Constitutional Acupuncture: The Future of Medicine? Part 2

Constitutional Acupuncture: My experience with using constitutional acupuncture to treat digestive and hormonal issues.

Ok, where was I. If you recall from Part 1 I was at my acupuncturist, Dr. Kim’s office, and he was giving me the history of constitutional acupuncture. Then we moved on to muscle testing.

Muscle Testing

Dr. Kim explained that muscle testing is part of the puzzle that will allow him the information to figure out what constitution I fall into. He said that typically if you test strong with a certain group of foods, you will test weak with another specific group. When I say test “weak” that means that when he places those particular foods in my hand or on my body, then it will essentially block the flow of electricity through my body, and cause my muscles to go weak. To test “strong” means that when those foods are in contact with my body, it will allow my muscles to not lose their strength or even become stronger. Sounds really weird, but Google it and watch some videos on YouTube to get a better understanding. The testing is done using your arm or hands to resist pressure exerted on it by the doctor, meaning if your muscles go weak, then he can press your arm down, but if the muscles stay strong, you can resist the pressure. It’s really interesting and there is totally a scientific explanation for why this happens. Anyway, back to the story. First he did a few trial tests with various items, I guess to make sure that my body was in a state where everything was flowing properly… not sure how else to describe it other than that. He tested two types of Scotch, yes Scotch, and I tested weak with one and strong with the other. Then he tested two types of herbs, and again I tested strong with one and weak with the other. He didn’t say much about what this meant, but I got the feeling that it proved whatever he was trying to prove, because he seemed satisfied and we moved on… The following is a list of items that he tested on me, with the outcome of each. Brace yourselves, kiddies, I am about to rock your world.
  1. Leafy greens – weak
  2. Grapes – weak (this includes all grape products, including wine and champagne)
  3. Peaches – weak
  4. Cherries – weak
  5. Wheat – strong
  6. Coffee – strong
  7. CHOCOLATE – weak (tested 4x for verification… tear…)
  8. Dairy – strong
  9. Seafood – weak
  10. Egg whites – weak

Gasp, What Does This Mean???

According to Dr. Kim, this means, with a few tiny exceptions, these foods will always be foods that are not good for me. They will always cause me problems, because my body is not set up to digest them. These are the biggies. As my treatment with Dr. Kim continues, he will continue to add more foods to the “no good” list as he calls it, but for the most part, the foods on this list that create the weakness in my body are the ones that I really need to stay away from for optimal health. You can imagine the combination of horror for my realization that my long-standing affair with chocolate is officially over combined with the utter elation that dairy is not the culprit for my distress, which I have thought for so long. Visions of cheeses, whey protein powder, and LATTES dancing in my head! We chatted for a bit about the fact that my diet up to this point, and over the past 5 years has consisted of 99% of these foods. So, from now on, no spinach, no egg whites, but yolks are ok, no chocolate, not even cacao, no sushi, except he did say that I can have eel, and eventually I will be able to have a small amount of salmon. Not quite sure how this happens, but I plan to ask him more about it on a future visit. I asked him if broccoli and cauliflower are considered a leafy green, and he said no but not to eat them for now. Last, but not least, I asked him about dates, and he said no, no dates. Good-bye Larabars… He went on to explain that he doesn’t know what my constitution is yet, but he is narrowing it down. By his explanation, I envision it like a giant funnel. We are near the top, widest rim, and as my treatment continues, and we see how I do each week with the adjustments, he will narrow it down further and further based on the results I am seeing from eliminating certain foods from my diet. He also said that it is typical for someone who tests well with diary and coffee to test “no good” with chocolate, and vice versa. He told me how he is a meat eater, where his wife’s constitution is the total opposite, and she can only eat seafood, rice, and sea vegetables. I am soooooo thankful to be in my shoes. If I am really going to give this a go, which I am, I would much rather be able to have yogurt, and meat, and COFFEE, and CHEESE, and wheat, and nuts (I asked him about nuts and he said they are ok). I will survive without chocolate. Never in a million YEARS would I imagine myself saying that. He finished up by doing the acupuncture… “doing the acupuncture,” that’s not right. How do I even say this correctly – performing? Anyway, he doesn’t leave the needles in like you typically see with acupuncture. He first swabs the areas between my feet and knees and my hands and elbows, and uses one little pin-like thingy to poke me in various areas on my toes, fingers, arms, legs, etc. I don’t even really feel it at all. It’s not even what I would call a pinch. If he didn’t tell me that he was pricking me, I don’t think I would have known. Before I left I asked him if it was my gallbladder that was causing the problems and he said, “how did you know that?” And I told him that was what Dr. Jantz (my alternative doctor from Michigan) found – that my gallbladder was weak and sluggish, which was causing everything else to not work correctly. It is all interconnected. Dr. Kim said that he believes this as well and that the combo of the food guidelines and the acupuncture was going to fix that. I asked him about his opinion of the liver and gallbladder cleanses that are commonly discussed on the Internet, and he said “no good” and that I don’t need those. {Whew!} So, that was the first visit. Still so many questions… What about acidity versus alkalinity? What about vitamins and minerals? Do I even need to take a multi-vitamin? What about my fish oils? What about chicken and turkey, if I can’t have eggs, isn’t that the same thing? What about stevia, it comes from a leaf!? And on and on. I followed his guidelines to a T for a week and a half and felt somewhat better. Still had some digestive issues here and there, but nowhere near like before. I also noticed a difference in my complexion as well.

Visit #2

My second visit was on a Saturday, so Ryan went with me. YAY. He is afraid of needles (Ryan, your secret is out) and wanted to check it out for himself. It was cool that he went because Dr. Kim did a little impromptu muscle testing on him as well, and we found that his results were the same as mine, which makes things sooooo much easier because that means we can eat the same foods and don’t have to shop/cook for two different diets. Dr. Kim asked me how I felt that week and I told him I was doing better however, I did have a turkey burger and a few fries on Sunday and I noticed a big difference in my digestion and skin after that. So he said to cut out all tomato and tomato products as well as potatoes. Sigh… oh ketchup, I will miss you. He said eventually I might be ok with a little bit of tomato, but not much. I also brought some things from home for him to test. :-)
  1. Stevia – strong (YAY)
  2. Fish oils – weak
  3. My multi-vitamin – weak
I had a bottle of FIJI Water with me as well, and he said let’s test that as well, which was totally confusing to me at first because I thought he was saying “fizzy” water, and I was thinking, no it’s just plain water. It tested strong and he explained that his wife, the opposite constitution as me, can’t have it. I asked him about some other things like POM and he said, no for me that is “no good” and lemons, and he said no, citrus is not good for me either. He said if I am to drink alcohol, beer is best, but really alcohol isn’t good period. I also asked him about the multi-vitamin and if I need to take any period, and he said, “do lions take multi-vitamins?” He makes a good point. Again, he finished up with my pinpricks, and we were on our way.

What Do I Eat?

So how have I been getting in my roughage you ask? Well, I’ve been having salads. I just leave out the greens and pile on everything else – cucumbers, carrots, green onions, sprouts, beets, peppers, etc. I have been eating cheese, and yogurt, and fruit, and meats, protein powder, oatmeal, nuts, and nut butters, asparagus, green beans, sprouted bread… I thought about how coffee can be good for me when I have read so much about it being acidic, and it occurred to me that maybe it is only acidic in a body that cannot digest it. So it would be acidic for someone who’s constitution is the opposite of mine, but would not be acidic in my body? Just a thought.

The Role of Mindset

As you may know, I believe that mindset is really the most important aspect of health. If you don’t feel healthy, happy, vital and alive, then you just plain and simple are not going to be healthy. Our mind is waaaaaaay stronger than many of us believe. When Dr. Kim mentioned the possibility of being able to eat certain foods once again, he said it depends on the strength of the mind. If you have a strong mind, you will be able to get away with more, if you don’t, then you are going to feel the repercussions. I agree with him. I have noticed that health, fitness, weight loss, etc feels elegant and almost effortless when I focus my attention on empowering thoughts that make me feel happy, grateful, and good about myself and my body, rather than focusing on the things that I previously would have labeled as flaws. When we feel good mentally, I believe that transfers over into physical strength, meaning our immune system, bodily functions, etc operates at peak condition. This is why it’s so important to pay attention to the mental aspect of well-being.

A New Adventure Begins

So, we will see where this adventure leads. I am willing to be open to the process and see how it goes. I will keep you posted on my progress and let you know if I see any major changes. Please keep in mind, this is a very individual thing, so what works for me might not be what works for you. My purpose in sharing this is not to say,
“Hey this is what you need to do,”
…but instead to say…
“Hey, if you, like me, have had health challenges and can’t seem to figure out what the root cause is, maybe this is something you want to learn more about too.”
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