Buddha

Q and A with Eugene Lee Mahoney, LAc, AEamp

What is your favorite thing about what you do?

Making people feel better and helping them to lead healthy lives is my

passion. It’s very special when someone discovers that they can be

pain free for the first time. Some might have struggled for a long time

and only came to acupuncture as a last resort. The look and feeling

that comes over a healed patient is both exciting and heartbreaking.

Seeing satisfied patients with a mix of excitement, relief and even a

little grief at the discovery of their healing, is truly humbling. I can

relate to that healing experience and am glad to be of service to a

patient’s overall greater health team!

 

Talk about your personal style.

I am straightforward and honest when talking to someone about their

health. I am not in it to keep them coming back. I’m in it to get

results. Any medical professional worth their “salt” wants that - It is

how we keep doing what we love to do. If my patients feel better and

have a great experience they’ll tell their loved ones. Patient referrals

are our best form of praise!

I also believe in treating the person who is in front of me that minute

on that day. In acupuncture, approach is critical. Treating a person’s

condition as opposed to approaching their current situation isn’t very

effective because it doesn’t account for the individual’s unique

circumstances. Patients who have the same Western medical

diagnosis won’t necessarily have a similar acupuncture treatment

plan. My goal is always to treat the whole person.

 

Why should someone come see you?

I think of myself as a partner in your health plan, and you, the patient,

are the most important member- the team captain so to speak. I

listen, assess and give you the information; ultimately you make the

decisions. Additionally, I understand that acupuncturists are often

working in tandem with other healthcare providers. The right fit is

different for everyone and very important for prognosis.

Ultimately, I think of myself as a good listener and my goal is to

provide a private, safe and comfortable environment where you feel

heard while you receive the care you need. If that sounds like what

you’re looking for, then we more than likely would be an excellent fit. 

 

What is the biggest misunderstanding people have about

acupuncture?

One big misunderstanding for people who are unfamiliar with the

Eastern model of treatment is that, like a dosage of Tylenol, they will

have one acupuncture treatment and their symptoms should be gone.

Acupuncture generally doesn’t work that way. You will feel better after

a treatment, but the longest lasting results come from a regular

course of visits. Starting with more frequent visits, then scaling back

supports us in treating the root of the problem, which solves the

symptoms.

For example, the best-case scenario is seeing acupuncture patients

twice a week for the first 2 to 3 weeks, for an acute symptom, and

then weekly for a couple of weeks. Once we have the symptoms

under control, maintenance visits every two to four weeks will help

solidify your progress, long term.

Symptoms are usually caused by environmental factors, i.e. diet,

lifestyle, allergens, etc. If the complicating factor isn’t identified and

addressed, then the problem will keep coming back. Identifying those

complicating factors is part of our practitioner and patient work,

together.

Sometimes a patient comes in with a genetic or chronic condition

which of course requires a long-term strategy and treatment plan.

The main point is that acupuncture can and does work for many of

the conditions people suffer with these days.

Another thing to keep in mind is that everyone reacts to acupuncture

differently. I have patients who require only a few treatments to

address a condition they’ve suffered from for years. Conversely, there

are conditions that should be relatively simple to treat, but they turn

out requiring longer treatment plans. Of course, there are patients

who land between these two extremes. In short, each patient is

unique and will respond differently.

What do you feel are the biggest barriers for someone to seek

healthcare from an acupuncturist? What would you say to those

prospective patients?

The biggest barriers I have noticed are (1) fear of needles, (2) not

knowing how acupuncture can help and (3) feeling like acupuncture is

just too alien a concept. 

Believe it or not, acupuncture needles don’t hurt on insertion. The

needles are very tiny in circumference and are not hollow like

hypodermic needles- which are used for administering shots or for

taking blood samples. We manipulate the needles after insertion,

which sometimes elicits a physical response. Pain? no. Usually it’s a

dull sensation or a releasing feeling. Sometimes the pressure point

can feel “heavy” or like the tissue is seizing up. But typically, that

feeling is gone as fast as it shows up. If discomfort arises, an

adjustment of the needle’s depth or location fixes the discomfort

quickly. Most people say they feel a releasing or “traveling” sensation

or a dull sensation that dissipates.

The other barrier for some is that they don’t understand how inserting

needles in the body can help them feel better. Well, the answer to that

is finally beginning to be understood by Western science. Recent

studies indicate that the body shows reduced inflammation, nerve

signal modulation, bio peizoelectric polar swapping, immune

regulation, vasodilation, stimulation of the part of the immune system

designated for tissue repair, increased intracellular fluid flow and

collagen production, when needles are inserted. Why? Scientists are

still figuring that out, but current studies are looking at the role of the

network of collagen, peizoelectricity, the intracellular matrix and the

fascia of the body, just to name a few, for those answers.

 

Any last words?

Just that if there is anyone out there who is curious about

acupuncture and how acupuncture and herbal medicine can help

their health, please reach out, make that first appointment. I would be

happy to review your health history and to discuss a treatment plan

that works best for you. It will be totally up to you to decide if you

would like to proceed or not. I would be glad to introduce you to this

centuries old, safe, noninvasive, non-addictive method of treatment

that works!