HOLLY CARLING: Acupuncture and asthma

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Coming from a conventional medical background and working as a nurse, generally in the Intensive Care Unit or the Emergency Room, the switch to acupuncture school was quite the culture shock! I went to acupuncture school never having had traditional acupuncture before. After having met my educational requirements, I was able to start my internship. This is where my story really begins.

I had just stepped into the clinic on my first day of my internship, when I heard a rushing noise behind me. I whirled around to find three men practically carrying a mostly limp man between them. The man in the center was having a severe asthma attack, and was cyanotic. He was in bad shape. I would expect most people to take someone like this to a conventional emergency room or call 911. But they hadn’t. He wanted acupuncture.

My first thought as I observed what was before me was, ‘where’s the epinephrine or oxygen or nebulizer?’ I was clearly out of my element, so I briskly sat the man down in the waiting room sofa and ran off to get the head physician/Clinic Director. He responded amazingly quickly, prepared with four needles in hand. In a flash, he expertly inserted the first two needles. The asthmatic man instantly calmed, drew in a good breath and pinked up. We’re talking 30 seconds. I was stunned. Never had I seen any treatment in the emergency room work that fast! He inserted the other two needles and the man relaxed into a deep sleep. I looked at the doctor with an obvious shock to my countenance, and said, “Wow! This stuff really works!” He laughed and walked back to his other patient.

I hate to admit it, but the culture of acupuncturists tends to be a bit odd. I think to be an acupuncturist, you have to think differently. When I first started acupuncture school, I kept trying to pigeon-hole what I was learning within the context of conventional medicine, because that’s what I knew. Nursing and conventional medicine was my background. I came from a family of nurses and started in medicine at an early age. Now, in acupuncture school, I was really struggling and not doing well the first few weeks. It wasn’t until a teacher in acupuncture school told me to forget everything I knew about conventional medicine and to learn with a clean slate that I finally got it. Now as a seasoned practitioner, I can explain it in conventional medicine terms.

The most important thing that I took from school, and from that first day, is that acupuncture works. After a number of acupuncture treatments, that first man was eventually cured of his asthma. Since then, I have seen some pretty remarkable ailments resolved with acupuncture. While I still believe the first place to go to while in an acute asthma attack is the emergency room, I sure enjoy helping people resolve or lessen their asthma condition.

Learn more by attending our upcoming health class, “Natural Solutions for Asthma, Allergies, COPD and Sinus Problems,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 16, at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene. Fee: $10. RSVP: 208-765-1994 or register here: http://bit.ly/VHBreatheClass

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Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. She is a “Health Detective,” looking beyond your symptom picture, and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’Alene clinic. Visit Carling’s website at www.vitalhealthcda.com to learn more about Carling, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Carling can be reached at 208-765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.

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