Jim Kreider says he stands half an inch taller than he did two years ago. “That tells me something obviously is happening differently in my body,” says Kreider, a Lawrence resident and clinical social worker.
Once a sufferer of frequent colds, chronic severe pain and sleepless nights, Kreider turned to acupuncture several years ago and now attributes it and other therapies to his improved health and taller stature.
“This is making a difference in my body,” he says.
Acupuncture and other types of complementary and alternative medicine, such as massage therapy and meditation therapy, are growing areas in health care as consumers seek new ways to heal.
“The trends are positive and they continue to increase each year,” says Deena Khosh, a naturopathic doctor and research assistant professor at the Kansas University Medical Center and KU Hospital, where faculty and staff are expanding an integrative medicine program that will offer acupuncture and other services.
Khosh says the movement is consumer-driven.
“People are starting to take an active role in their health,” she says. “They’re wanting to do things on their own to help improve their health.”
That’s one reason Kreider turned to acupuncture. Kreider says he has been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, a gastrointestinal disorder and fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition. He has sought the help of a slew of professionals, but couldn’t find relief.
About five years ago, he turned to Natural Medical Care, 4824 Quail Crest Place, a Lawrence clinic specializing in natural medicine.
Kreider now takes herbal supplements and undergoes monthly acupuncture treatment. He also sees a massage therapist and a rolfer, who specializes in soft tissue manipulation. He says these treatments complement his use of traditional Western medicine, and the combination works for him. He believes he stands a bit taller now because the treatments have reduced the tension in some of his muscles.
“I don’t have to nap just to get through the day,” he says. “My sleep has improved. I’m not having multiple colds or rounds of flu as I had before.”
Kreider says he used to rate his pain as a 7 out of 10. Now he says it is about a 2. Acupuncture is an ancient treatment that aims to restore health through the stimulation of specific points on the body.
“The body is a seen as a delicate balance of two opposing and at the same time inseparable forces — yin and yang,” says Farhang Khosh, Kreider’s naturopathic doctor at Natural Medical Care and Deena Khosh’s spouse. “Self is achieved only by maintaining the body in a balanced state between yin and yang.”
Khosh also treats patients through clinical nutrition, homeopathy, herbal supplements and lifestyle counseling. Khosh says he takes a detailed history of patients, taking into account such things as their diet, sleeping patterns and stress level.
“We are trying to find the cause of the problem, rather than just treating the problem,” he says.