Low Cost Virtual Visits for Herbs and Supplements
by Julie Peterson
Stephen Durell, MTOM, R. Ac., owner and founder of Acupuncture of West Michigan hasn’t let not being able to see patients in person at this time stop him from helping people.
While acupuncture is currently unavailable, Durell is offering comprehensive virtual appts. An initial phone call to see if it is a good fit is always free. For those who decide to become new patients, the virtual process involves a first consultation over the phone and then the patient fills out emailed forms. A second phone consult is held to fine tune what is needed. Herbs and supplements get drop shipped directly to the patient’s home.
“It’s certainly not the way I prefer to see people, but I’m really driven to help people, so I had to find a way to do it,” says Durell, who has dramatically cut the cost of receiving virtual consultations so that it is accessible to all.
Ideally, herbs and supplements are used to support people’s immune systems so that they can rise to the occasion if they get an infection. Then if they do start to get sick, people are treated based on the symptoms they have, because not everyone with the same virus will have the same symptoms. Herbs that have historical and evidence-based use on viruses and that support the person’s body are used.
The immune system is part of every system in the body and it also creates the inflammation that is needed to help the body heal damaged tissue. Too much inflammation, caused by dysbiosis or emotional stress, keeps the immune system busy so that it’s not ready to deal with an invader such as a virus.
“People realize that when they take care of themselves with diet and exercise, they feel better, stronger, sleep better and have an overall sense of vitality. That vitality also helps us deal with challenges like infection,” says Durell. “With an epidemic, nobody has immunity, but there are people who are exposed and don’t get very sick. We want to figure out how to be those people.”
Fresh produce, organic if possible, contains phytochemicals that help keep us healthy. Getting enough physical activity, finding methods for stress relief and getting enough sleep are all important. With herbs, it’s important to focus on the things that will actually make a difference.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been around for thousands of years and there are a lot of historical documents about how to treat epidemics, all of which was created before the development of lab tests. This gives Chinese medicine practitioners the benefit of not having to wait for laboratory tests. In person, there would be a physical diagnosis. Virtually, there are questions to figure out what systems are involved and what areas to focus on.
Once a patient is taking herbs, Durell will touch base after a couple weeks. For chronic conditions, Durell likes to talk monthly with patients for a while. The goal is always to help the patient’s body function at its best through proven, natural methods.
“Right now, we need help if we have increased anxiety, want a stronger immune system or if there are pre-existing health issues like cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic lung issues,” says Durell. “It’s not too late to work on our immune status but also work on those underlying health situations that complicate any illness.”
Acupuncture of West Michigan, 2815 Michigan St NE, Suite A Grand Rapids 616-855-7718 AcupunctureOfWestMichigan.com
Julie Peterson has contributed to Natural Awakenings for more than a decade. Contact her at JuliePeterson2222@gmail.com