'Acupuncture is a healthcare system'
4 days ago, 07:03
Tara Manjiw is one of the very few qualified acupuncturists in Kenya. Armed with a Bachelor of Science in Acupuncture from the University of Westminster in the United Kingdom, a post graduate specialisation with a focus on acupuncture for the treatment of infertility and obstetric acupuncture; and over a decade of clinical practise, Tara says that the practise of acupuncture is both delightful and challenging.
“Acupuncture training requires many years of commitment. In addition to studying the Chinese Medicine health paradigm; I was also required to study Western Medicine including physiology, anatomy, pathophysiology, biochemistry, and differential diagnosis,” she says.
But this is a commitment she was willing to make because human health in general and acupuncture in particular has always been an area of interest to her. Acupuncture is distinct in its approach to health because it views pain and illness as a sign that the body is out of balance and seeks to restore good health through rebalancing the body's vital energy (Qi).
Thus, acupuncture not only looks at presenting symptoms, but also at the connections between different parts of the body and how specific symptoms and dysfunctions influence each other. It also looks at ways of empowering the patient to take control of their own health; like through diet or lifestyle changes.
“This is known as treating the root as well as the manifestation, or in modern terminology, holism,” she explains. “I am a scientist at heart, and I strongly believe that we are the total sum of our parts and that all our bodily, emotional, and mental functions are connected. The fact that there is a strong body of evidence based clinical research documenting the efficacy of acupuncture combined with its holistic approach makes it very attractive to me,” she says.
What is the connection between acupuncture and primary healthcare as we know it?
Acupuncture is often referred to as alternative medicine. I dislike the term ‘alternative’ as it suggests that people must choose either orthodox medicine or acupuncture. This is not the case and in fact, acupuncture and orthodox medicine complement each other.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), recognises acupuncture as a useful and effective treatment for a wide range of conditions including pain, nausea, depression, gynaecological conditions, rhinitis, digestive problems and many more.
In my own practice, I actively cultivate close links with primary health care providers as well as other therapists, so that my patients can benefit from what I refer to as a ‘network of care’ which addresses all their health needs.
What does a typical work-day look like for you?
I don’t have a typical day because everything revolves around my patients who always bring surprises into the treatment room. I have a basic routine though, so I can manage my time productively.
I keep the first two hours of my working day for phone calls. I then see patients for the rest of the day. In ...
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