Medicine specialist highlights alternative medicine benefits

An area specialist is out to show Carbondale a different relaxation method that gets right to the point.

Acupuncturist Susan Saniie conducted her monthly talk Saturday at Carbondale’s Dayemi Health Center, where she has worked for five years and learned of a 5,000-year-old Chinese healing method that places needles at points throughout the body on

her search for wholistic approaches to treatment for physical ailments such as back pain and arthritis.

Wholistic treatment approaches are not about healing one condition but rather exploring all of the potential issues throughout a patient’s body, she said.

Saniie said she studied subjects in college looking for the link between body and mind. She studied both dance and psychology at one point but finally found a connection in the practice of acupuncture, which involves much more than inserting

needles in the body, she said. “How can someone know they have the potential to heal themselves inside themselves?” she said. “How can I set the space for that? Yes, there’s putting needles in someone, but there’s also the healing relationship that allows for

transformation.” During the presentation, Saniie emphasized the difference between Eastern and Western medicine specifically aimed toward healing.

emphasized the difference between Eastern and Western medicine specifically aimed toward healing. Western medicine can use invasive procedures

that involve adding to the body or taking from it, she said, but the same is not true for acupuncture.

“There’s nothing I’m putting in the person, and there’s nothing I’m taking out of the person,” she said. “You’re actually just working with the person’s energy. It’s already on you. We’re just activating it,” she said.

Saniie said the needles are thin, flexible and sanitary as each one is only used once. The medicine is quite subtle, she said, as the needles don’t go deep into the skin.

One difference between general medicine and alternative medicine, she said, is an acupuncturist will actually spend time with patients. Saniie’s said her initial patient consultations generally last two hours.

“It’s really just a time to get to know each other a little bit,” she said. Saniie said she reviews a patient’s entire health concerns, health history,

family health history and general experience, which is a much more extensive checkup than a doctor would give a patient. A patient then returns for five weekly treatments and progress checks, which she said is usually an adequate amount of time to determine whether the treatment is working for him or her.

Patient Margie Coleman, who has received treatment from Saniie for more than a year, said acupuncture needles don’t hurt at all. Rather, she said the feeling is sometimes more of a pinch or a tickle.

Coleman said she has received acupuncture treatment for osteoarthritis and mobility issues, but the regimen also helps her mental health and focus. She has sought alternative medicine treatment for many years.

Attendee Amber Betts, of Murphysboro, said she has used acupuncture and herbal remedies. “I like that they are generally cheaper than

traditional healthcare, and I don’t worry about bad side effects,” she said.

While acupuncture is available in the community, several healthcare establishments said they don’t focus on the treatment.

The university’s School of Medicine does not teach students acupuncture, Public Affairs office employee Ruth Slottag said, but no other university official or faculty member was available to comment any further by press time Sunday.

A Southern Illinois Family Medicine spokesperson said the technique is not something doctors and nurses are trained for at hospitals.

It’s not something most physicians know anything about, he said, but they aren’t against it.

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