We recently finished a seminar with Dr. Jake Fratkin here at Miridia Technology. Each time I attend a training with Dr. Fratkin, I learn something new. Jake made it very clear that he also continues to learn and evolve in his practice of Chinese medicine. I picked up several helpful tidbits from this seminar which immediately helped me in my practice. Luckily, I’m really great at note taking because of my experience in the field of medical transcription. At one time I could type 100 plus words per minute. In fact, in college, I was the “go-to-person” for well-typed class notes. So—I thought I would share some of my notes from Dr. Fratkin’s seminar with you. I hope you find them helpful.
Ask me a year from now what I think. A year ago I thought differently.
If someone wrote it in a book 500 years ago—it doesn’t mean it’s true!
The best acupuncturists are those that keep learning and keep questioning themselves. What could I have done differently? With continued needle technique and qi gong training—there is no end to your potential.
Dr. Fratkin has been a practitioner for more than 30 years. It gave me comfort to know that a year ago he would have one answer, but because he continues to evolve from experience, he would come up with a better answer a year later. I found that he really has changed some of his thoughts from the training that I had with him a year ago. Why did he change his approach? Because he came up with better strategies.
How often to treat patients:
For new or chronic patients treat once a week for four weeks. Then treat once every two weeks for 4 weeks. Then once a month. Everyone should get treatment once a month.
This is a question that is asked by every patient who walks in the door. Often I would tell my patient that it depended on how well they responded to treatment and I would then give examples of the best and worst case scenarios. The problem with my approach is that often patients would expect the best case scenario and then become disappointed if they didn’t fit that mold. I love Jake’s approach. Now my patients are immediately booking their first four visits and not expecting to receive a miracle first-time treatment. I let them know right from the beginning that it is going to take time. Jake was very insistent that it takes a good four treatments to stabilize a graph.
How long to leave needles in:
Leave needles in for a minimum of 10 minutes after the last needle goes in.
I have heard so many recommendations over the years–anywhere from 5 minutes to even an hour. The problem is that the recommendations that I have heard were based on multiple theories of acupuncture. Dr. Fratkin’s method uses the same system of treatment that I do. He gets results in 10 minutes. That’s good enough for me.
Root versus Branch:
Root treatments are enough for internal problems. (i.e. stress, anxiety, digestive disorders, hormone imbalances, menstrual cycle regulation, etc.)
If they are suffering you must do root treatment first (balance the graph) and then a branch treatment. Ear acupuncture is a great branch treatment.
I can’t tell you how many times someone at the seminar would ask this question: “But what if I’m treating _____________. How would I treat then?” You can fill in the blank with anything you want. The answer is still the same. Balance the graph FIRST—no matter what you are treating. If the problem is internal then your root treatment is enough. If you are treating pain or related symptoms, then AFTER you balance the graph–add in points for symptomatic relief.
What if pulses are different than the AcuGraph? I go with the AcuGraph. It is more reliable than the pulses.
I loved this statement. Dr. Fratkin has been doing pulse diagnosis for more than 30 years. It goes back to his original statement that stuck with me from his first seminar. “There is no pulse diagnosis in the world that is better than computer diagnosis.”
It is good to massage a point before you needle it.
Pinching points before needling helps to relieve pain.
I had pretty much given up on needling several points on my patients because Dr. Fratkin had convinced me that if I was causing pain, it was impossible to tonify a channel. During this seminar, I learned the “pinching” technique. If you pinch the skin for points like Pericardium 6, Lung 7, and Spleen 2 or 3 you can needle without any pain whatsoever. I did it the day after the seminar and it works! Now my patients don’t cringe when it is time to put a needle into a sensitive point.
I hope that you enjoyed my notes. If you attended Dr. Fratkin’s seminar and have some helpful tidbits that you learned, please post a comment on this blog with your thoughts. We want to hear what you have to say. Have a great week!
Kimberly Thompson, L.Ac.
Acupuncture Research Analyst
Miridia Technology Inc.