Doreen Riser’s experience in various forms of physical therapy dates back 20 years to her own feet. Recommended an operation by her Podiatrist, she opted for acupuncture as an alternative to manage the pain. Satisfied with the results and her body bogged down by the demands put on her as a traditional physical therapist, she began a move into the field of acupuncture and other forms of alternative treatments.
With the opening of her new office in South Salem at 19 South Salem Road, she invited me in for a treatment. I have no significant physical ailments other than a little pain in my shoulder and right arm from playing a lot of volleyball. Upon examining me, she found my shoulder muscles around my neck to be a little tight, and we went ahead with a treatment.
From my own condition (or really lack of one), it is a little hard for me to judge the results of this 5000 year old profession, but I’m sure there are people out there who might discount the possibilities based the fear of having a bunch of tiny needles introduced into their epidermis.
All in all, she introduced 22 into my outer layer. Some pass into your skin almost completely unnoticed, while others definitely penetrate your skin with a pinch. With each person being a little different, the idea is to find something called the trigger point. Once found, the needles act to release the muscle and has the effect of working it out.
So beyond the pinch, as your trigger points have been released, the feeling ranges between nothing, a tingling sensation and slight discomfort. For me, I would say of the needles introduced, I was aware of this vacillating range of sensation in only four or five of the points (one in each shoulder, the point between by thumb and index finger and in my feet).
Afterward, where the tightness existed in my shoulders, the treatment left a feeling of soreness that is reminiscent of the after effect of working. So this was clearly consistent with the trigger treatment that Ms. Riser described to me beforehand. For the squeamish, of which I would have to include myself, the net effect on the table of all this was still an unmistakable feeling of relaxation.
Something to certainly take of note of if your job description has a detrimental effect on your blood pressure or cholesterol levels. “It’s great for stress,” she says, and with 365 points to choose from, the combinations to help you chill are endless for the acupuncturist.
Most commonly, though, what brings people in is exactly what brought Ms. Riser to the field – pain. If the condition is recent and acute, she says, “Normally in a couple of sessions, I can turn that around and get them back to where they were.”
The younger and/or more active the patient the more likely she can get them there.
When it comes to the pain associated with a long standing problem, it much less about a cure. Often frustrated with the limits of medicine and its focus on medication, people turn to acupuncture as an alternative. “It’s not going to get rid of the problem,” she says, “but it can better help manage the pain.”
Acupuncture can play a role in problems ranging from depression and weight loss to help in quitting smoking and insomnia. In addition, it serves as a side effect free from of preventative healthcare. “It’s like exercise,” she says, the more you do it, the more you’ll get out of it.”
For Ms. Riser, she sees herself as both a receiver and giver of this treatment who can relate to her patients’ situations. From the perspective, she concludes, “I have found my passion, because I know this works.”
Rich Monetti coverage of treatment with Doreen Riser