Hi everyone – It has been a while since last my last post. A lot has happened in the past 3 months with three brigades (including VIDA’s acupuncturist Laura La Due) coming down from Salem. Laura and I had been talking about and planning this visit for over 1 year. To say the least, Laura’s visit was incredible. It was VIDA Integrative medicine comes to Nicaragua… We saw over 170 patients in 4 packed days. In addition to acupuncture we had 2 doctors and a psychologist. The 16 medical students brought almost 8-thousand dollars of medicine, vitamins, herbals and supplements. VIDA had donated medical supplies as well, and I was able to do many trigger-point injections and prolotherapy treatments over the week.
Laura had some amazing moments with patients here including working with a patient who had recently had a stroke. After acupuncture sessions with Laura, he was able to raise and open his paralyzed hand. This patient is continuing to do well. Laura set up two tables outside in the back of the clinic and did acupuncture in front of the many patients waiting in line to be seen. In the weeks before Laura’s arrival I had explained acupuncture to multiple patients, many of whom returned for treatment. We had so many patients this brigade that we had to use a new system to manage their care.
The white-board helped us track patients throughout the day as well as those who had seen not only me but also the psychologist and Laura. Talk about integrative care!!
World Heath Organization (WHO) Director General Dr. Margaret Chan recently stated “The two systems of traditional (including Complementary and Alternative (CAM) therapies) and Western medicine need not clash. Within the context of primary health care, they can blend together in beneficial harmony, using the best features of each system, and compensating for certain weaknesses in each”.
There were moments during this brigade where I realized that our patients here were receiving the absolute best care possible. Dr. Chan’s vision was a reality. Armed with medications, herbals, vitamins, diet advice, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, massage we were able to provide full-service patient centered care for hundreds of people. And incredibly they are among the poorest people in the world. The patients, the brigaders, the doctors including Laura felt extremely satisfied by the end of the brigade, and many of us felt like we were finally seeing the possibility of integrating the best of all forms of medicine.
Up Next: NDI Sponsors a kids fun run on the beach on Isla de Ometepe.