Have you met Taran Rosenthal yet? One of the newest members of the Duke Integrative Acupuncture team. Taran is ready to meet you, wherever you are in your health journey. He believes in being a guide and a partner with his clients as he approaches acupuncture from a classical Chinese medicine perspective.
From a young age, I’ve been interested in how the body works and moves. I studied martial arts and danced as a kid. I went to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and studied experimental theater, focusing on movement. I danced professionally for a time, and while doing that I studied and practiced massage therapy and bodywork. I graduated from massage school in 1995. I wanted to deepen and broaden my understanding and scope of practice more than I felt I could as a licensed massage body therapist, so I went to graduate school to study Chinese medicine. It was one of the best choices I ever made. Chinese medicine approaches healing in a unique way, and every day I’m grateful to share that knowledge with my clients, so I can support them on their paths to healing and living healthy.
Tui na (Chinese manual medicine), fascial unwinding, visceral work, and craniosacral therapy are all forms of manual therapy (bodywork) that support the body through creating the structural change that supports improved function.
There are several ways I can listen to my clients’ stories. It’s more than what a client says about their symptoms and health. I also use my hands to sense and feel what is going on in the body and how the body is, and isn’t communicating with itself. I listen to how the body responds when I use manual therapy and acupuncture. Those responses guide me as I provide care for my clients.
Chinese medicine can transform lives. It uses a different perspective—it changes how the body works, rather than simply improving a symptom. For instance, releasing tension in one part of the body may change the balance and other body parts can share the work better. I am not saying this happens with everyone and every appointment, but it happens often.
While there’s been many, one person stands out first. He was a new client. His body had been pushed to the limits of being a professional painter and intense martial arts training. He came in with a serious shoulder injury, and he was having trouble breathing. He was desperate and feeling hopeless. His shoulder had very little range of motion, and he could barely walk a few stairs without being winded. Within eight appointments, his shoulder was back to 95% mobility, and not only was he going up and downstairs, but he was also back at martial arts. It was incredible! How the body responds to acupuncture and heals itself is truly remarkable. I’m so thankful I was able to help him and all the others before and after him.
We treat people.
People often want to know, “Can acupuncture treat X, Y, or Z?” From a Western world point of view, that kind of question works. From classical Chinese medicine, it doesn’t. Classical Chinese medicine doesn’t treat an umbrella diagnosis. It treats what is going on in the present moment. For instance, 10 people may have the same diagnosis but rather than treating each of them the same way, I use acupuncture to treat the person as they are at that moment. By treating that person as they are today, they may leave with improvement in their current symptoms, and see positive change for their overall health through time. This is how I’m able to help many people with all kinds of health problems.
“Classical Chinese medicine doesn’t treat an umbrella diagnosis. It treats what is going on in the present moment.”
My clients have my attention and compassion. The first question I’ll ask after we meet is “How can I help?” I’ll then listen to what’s brought you in to see me. I’ll also ask questions from the perspective of Chinese medicine. These are questions that connect the life you live with your body. Together, you and I come up with a treatment plan that works best for your unique needs.
“My clients have my attention and compassion. The first question I’ll ask after we meet is “How can I help?”
After we talk, I use my hands to perform some global palpatory assessments that help us understand where your body feels like it needs attention. We use that information to do some manual work that helps the system re-regulate and communicate with itself more clearly and easily. Based on what we find through conversation and palpation we determine how to use acupuncture to best support you. Then we put in some needles and you relax for about 20 – 30 minutes. Once we remove the needles and check in about how you are feeling and come up with a treatment plan, you’re on your way!
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