Slow Medicine

Michelle Hay 2By Michelle Hay, Lic. M.Ac.
Co-Director of Acupuncture Services
The Domar Center for Mind/Body Health at Boston IVF


Back in December there was an article published on WBUR regarding the “Slow Medicine” movement.

It’s focus was on taking more time with patients, getting to know them personally, and to support people thru their health path.

I found this article uplifting and encouraging that the Western Medical world was finally listening to what people need; however, I was a touch annoyed with the revolutionary tone to the article. From the world of a TCM (traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioner, my thought is, what took you so long?

Now, don’t get me wrong, Western Medicine is amazing. The advancements in surgical techniques, life saving drugs, not to mention the innovations in cancer fighting treatments are extending our life expectancy dramatically. Yet, most medical conditions that people experience these days are chronic in nature.

Pain, sleep issues, digestive disorders, diabetes, COPD/lung issues, to name a few. Patients with these disorders need long term treatment to help them manage the ups and downs of their disease. Acupuncture/TCM is the perfect addition to Western medical treatment for this patient population as it epitomizes slow medicine.

For example, each acupuncture appointment is 60 minutes long. During these appointments the practitioner reviews a patients health emotionally and physically. Appointments are typically weekly to bi monthly over long periods of time.

The acupuncturist truly gets to know and understand their patient which is part of the treatment goal. Better communication and understanding of a patient helps the practitioner treat more effectively.

I’m glad to hear that the world of Western medicine has finally caught on to the world of Chinese Medicine. Better medical relationships between practitioners and patients will always lead to better care, and in the end, that is all that matters.

About Michelle Hay, Lic. M.Ac.

Michelle Hay is a graduate from the New England School of Medicine where she received her Masters in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology.  She has practiced acupuncture at numerous clinics in the Boston area including Pathways to Wellness and at her private practice, The Hay Clinic, PC.  Michelle’s previous career was working as a Respiratory Therapist in a hospital setting.  This allows her to have insight into both the Eastern and Western ways of medicine.  Her expertise lies in Women’s health including sub/infertility, hormonal imbalance/menopausal issues, insomnia, and pulmonary issues (COPD, asthma, chronic bronchitis).