A Natural Approach to Healing at Traditional Acupuncture
Feb 28, 2014 01:02AM
● By Nancy Somera
With the rising costs of health insurance and the associated higher copayment fees and deductibles, health maintenance and disease prevention are becoming more attractive. For this, people increasingly seem to be looking toward complementary and alternative healthcare such as acupuncture and herbal medicine.
Bev Fornoff, a licensed acupuncturist and certified herbalist at Traditional Acupuncture, agrees. “Prevention goes a long way,” she says. “There isn’t just a financial cost to hospital visits and surgeries, but a physical and emotional toll on the body as you try to heal.”
Fornoff first became interested in acupuncture 15 years ago when she didn’t feel that Western doctors were doing enough to prevent her mother’s illness from progressing. Although she had been a respiratory therapist for 30 years, Fornoff thought her allergies could be managed only with medication until she discovered that acupuncture and herbal medicine could cure the problem. “The strength of Chinese medicine is that it doesn’t create a reliance on medicine; it corrects the underlying issue,” she explains. “My condition was completely corrected, no longer just managed.”
Excited by the possibilities, Fornoff enrolled in the Maryland University of Integrated Health and completed a degree in acupuncture, becoming a licensed acupuncturist in 2002, followed by a certification in herbal medicine in 2013. In 2005, she opened Traditional Acupuncture, in Lancaster, where she treats people for myriad issues, including acute injuries, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, respiratory problems, gastrointestinal issues, irritable bowel syndrome, infertility, smoking cessation, chronic pain such as fibromyalgia, and common ailments such as colds and bronchitis.
Fornoff may spend up to an hour listening to a client’s story and gathering information to help devise an effective treatment plan that incorporates a combination of acupuncture and herbs. She appreciates that she doesn’t feel pressured to get people in and out quickly. “Not everyone has a long story to tell, but often, especially for people with chronic pain, acupuncture is a last resort for them, so they have been through a lot already,” she says. “Having someone really listen is comforting to the client and helps me put the puzzle together.”
In addition, Fornoff uses the client’s pulse to help develop a diagnosis. Measuring 28 qualities of the pulse, she looks for clues regarding blocked meridians, or energy channels, that may be causing imbalances in the body. Because each meridian corresponds to a body organ, acupuncture is helpful in treating pain both on the surface and internally. When combined with herbal treatments, Fornoff maintains that often she can do more for people in her acupuncture practice than she can as a respiratory therapist. “The acupuncture treatments help get to the root of the problem by correcting imbalances, but it’s not always a quick fix,” she explains. “Complementing treatments with herbal formulas provides the body with the necessary support between treatments, so healing can occur much faster.”
As part of the healing protocol, Fornoff also provides nutritional and lifestyle counseling. She notes that change is difficult, especially for those that have been conditioned by the Western medical approach to believe there is a quick solution in the form of pharmaceutical drugs or a surgical procedure. “It’s important for people to concentrate on the things that matter most to them, such as seeing their grandchildren grow up, than the lifestyle they are not willing to give up,” she counsels. “I become a partner in the process, supporting clients as emotions arise.”
As people take more responsibility for their own health, Fornoff believes, they will see the value in budgeting for natural health therapies, perhaps prioritizing expenses related to preventative health care over those that are more frivolous. She hopes that this kind of mindset appeals to the younger generation while they still have time to get it right. “It does appear that we are slowly coming full circle by using natural means of staying well like we did 150 years ago,” she proposes.
Location: Manor West Commons, Ste. 302, 2938 Columbia Ave., Lancaster. For more information, call 717-381-7334 or visit AcupunctureMassagePA.com.
Nancy Somera is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings.