What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the strategic insertion of very fine needles into specific locations on the body to treat a range of symptoms and conditions. It is a healthcare system that has been in practice on a large scale in China, Japan and Korea for many centuries, and is officially recognized by their governments.
What Is Scalp Acupuncture?
Scalp acupuncture is what is called an acupuncture microsystem. The entire body is represented on the scalp, and so the entire body can be treated by placing acupuncture needles only on the scalp. Other microsystems you may have already heard of are foot reflexology, which treats the entire body from points on the foot, and auricular (ear) acupuncture, which treats the entire body from points on the cartilage of the ear.
The tissue of the scalp is thin, so the acupuncture needles are placed almost parallel to the curve of your head rather than going straight in. By strategically placing needles on the scalp, we can affect the motor (strength and movement) and sensory (pain, temperature, and sense of touch) function of specific areas of the body. If you have trouble lifting your right arm due to a stroke, a needle can be placed in the specific region of your scalp that will make it possible to lift your arm. Or if your neck hurts, a needle can be placed in the region of your scalp that will affect your neck.
Did You Know That There Are Many Types of Acupuncture?
Dr. Baert practices traditional Chinese style acupuncture, which is based on meridian theory. You may have already had acupuncture with a physiotherapist, chiropractor or medical doctor (MD), who may have treated you with what is called "dry needling," "medical acupuncture" or "IMS (intramuscular stimulation)," all of which are based on Western anatomical theory, not meridian theory.
What makes acupuncture based on Chinese meridian theory so effective is that it observes relationships between multiple symptoms, which makes it possible to treat many symptoms all at the same time, rather than treating one painful region at a time. For example, a patient may often have pain in the neck, top of the shoulder, hip, outside of the knee and outside of the foot, but not necessarily at all of those areas at the same moment. In Chinese medicine, this is often only one problem, because all of these painful areas lie along the Gallbladder acupuncture meridian. It is not necessary to put needles in each painful region because meridian theory makes it possible to use fewer needles to affect more regions at the same time.
It is also very common that body pain can be caused by functional problems of the internal organs (from a TCM perspective, not a modern Western medicine perspective), rather than a local problem. Chinese acupuncture will catch this, whereas dry needling, medical acupuncture and IMS will not.
Who is Dr. Mingqing Zhu?
Though there are several types of scalp acupuncture, Dr. Danielle Baert practices the system devised by Dr. Mingqing Zhu, renowned for his success in rehabilitating both stroke and spinal cord injured patients to an extent currently unmatched by modern Western medicine. Videos of him working with patients with paraplegia and hemiplegia are readily found on YouTube.