When East meets West

by Anna

I work in a general healthcare setting in which most alternative treatments are not seen as valid treatment unless they have been trialed and tested and found to work. Most of them don’t.

So you can probably emphasise with my enthusiasm when I learned that a request has been put forward to treat urinary problems with fibular nerve stimulation using needles. My excitement was beyond reason, particularly because I had just recently completed an acupressure massage course in which I learned about the application of points on the achillis, which were exactly the point of stimulation for the fibular nerve.

Of course I wanted to know more and be part of this incredible project. So I eagerly asked the person who had put the request forward and it emerged that we were essentially talking about the same thing, yet from two completely unrelated points of view.

I was talking about applied pressure to stimulate two points (BL 60, KI 3) on either side of the achillis tendon at the back of the foot which have many, many properties, among others the said urinary problems but also gynecological disorders, menopause, lumber pain, sciatica, diarrhoea, dyspnoea, asthma, dizziness, fever, insomnia, impotence, oedema and many more. However, BL60, which isn’t as important for urinary problems as is KI 3, can also induce labour. It is purely easier to squeeze both of them together, but one should consider the desired outcome before the treatment.

Anyway, my person of reference was talking about inserting a needle into the said area (to which I still nodded approvingly) and then wiring it up to a device which sends an electrical current via the needle to stimulate the fibular nerve.

Ok, still sounds interesting to me, it’s essentially just a much stronger acupuncture treatment, however, my heart skipped a beat when she responded to my explanation of manual stimulation with: “Well that doesn’t work. It can only work if it has been tested and undergone approved procedures.””But it is the same points and meridians”, I said, even pushing the points on her foot. Although she found my approach very interesting, she couldn’t do anything about it, because she was just yet another puppet in the system, like me.

Curious as I am, I set out to learn more about PTNS (percutaneous tibular nerve stimulation). But all I could find was that it was invented by a Dr. Marshall L. Stoller, medical director of the Urinary Stone Center at UCSF Medical Center, USA. His invention coined the treatment of PTNS in 2010, which, however followed a century full of research of nerve stimulation from direct bladder to lumber nerve stimulation and only further research went along the lower limbs to find that it had a 80% success rate in treating urinary urgency and incontinence. Just why exactly, nobody could say. And I could not find any links relating to acupuncture anywhere in the test documents.

Funny, isn’t it just, how western people need over a century to trial and test something they think might be a good idea in order to solve a problem, actually find a solution yet don’t actually know why it does so, when acupressure has been actively used in the East for thousands of years. And still applies today.

If the western medical researchers would open their minds just a little bit to a seemingly less viable concept, they would know why their tried and tested solution works. They would maybe see that there is more than just nerves, blood, bones, cells and muscles in our bodies, and that the reason why their solution works, is because they have accidentally found one of many points that act as a gateway allowing the physical and energetic worlds to merge.

So long, I would still like to take part in this project, but the requesting period takes at least six weeks, and whether anyone will have mercy with my eager willingness to improve people’s suffering on a less invasive level, I won’t know anytime soon.

Yet, it has opened my mind to western practices, seeing that maybe it isn’t all that bad since they surely know how to find the unknown and see reason, if only they would find the part within them that has all the answers.

A much more all-encompassing related article if you would like to learn more: http://www.acupuncturemoxibustion.com/conditions/overactive-bladder