Shiroko Sokitch- When Acupuncture is your Best Option
Dr. Shiroko Sokitch is an MD, a board-certified acupuncturist, functional medicine doctor, and best-selling author with expertise in both acupuncture and conventional medicine. Her unique perspective allows her to consider all the options and find the best solutions for helping patients manage pain.
When Dr. Shiroko was five, her great-grandmother collapsed in front of her, dying from a heart attack. This experience spurred her passion for problem solving and saving lives. As a surgical resident, Dr. Shiroko realized that many times, patients weren’t being helped by the conventional methods of managing pain. As she looked for solutions, her mission transformed from “saving lives” to helping people heal and thrive. That’s when she discovered Chinese medicine – and she was hooked!
She left her surgical residency to become an ER doctor and study acupuncture, building expertise in both Chinese and Western medicine. In 1993, Dr. Shiroko opened her Heart to Heart Medical Center in Santa Rosa, CA, bringing the best of both into one practice.
Her book, Healing When It Seems Impossible: 7 Keys to Defy the Odds outlines her core philosophy and offers practical healing tools that can help readers start healing immediately. Dr. Shiroko is a frequent presence on radio, local television, and podcasts, and offers webinars on creating a fundamental shift in how to relate to your body and health.
Today, she is sharing her unique perspective on combining conventional approaches with acupuncture to treat pain in this episode of the High-Tech Wellness podcast.
3:09 The Basis of Chinese Medicine
4:57 Integrating Western and Chinese Medicine
14:43 The Triangle of Wellness
31:30 The Emotional Connection
Dr. Shiroko offers the following valuable insights:
The Basis of Chinese Medicine
The basic tenant of Chinese medicine is that your body has currents of energy flowing through it. Pain indicates energy that is not moving, and the problem that needs to be solved is how to get that energy flowing again.
“Chinese medicine was this thing that filled in the gaps to me…Western medicine is like these big rocks in a riverbed. And then Chinese medicine is like a water that flows, and there are available answers within all of that.”
Integrating Western and Chinese Medicine
Dr. Shiroko feels that Western and Chinese medicine can be used in an integrative way for best results. Chinese medicine, she says, is the big picture, while Western medicine can fill in the gaps.
“You do your best with any tool that you have available and then you move on in order to help somebody.”
No one system will do it all. Surgery or medication may be necessary to deal with some issues, such as a fracture or infection, while Chinese medicine can help with underlying issues, like pain.
“One of the things that acupuncture is most famous for is helping people with pain…A person can come in in acute pain and within a few minutes you can have the pain gone…”
The Triangle of Wellness
Dr. Shiroko describes a “triangle of wellness” which is the three systems that impact any condition: the hormones, the nervous system and the immune system. These three elements are especially important when considering “mystery” illnesses.
“If you figure out what’s going on with the hormones, the nervous system, and the immune system you begin to get those systems into balance, then your body can do nothing but get well.”
Initial assessments, then, must consider all these systems. Acupuncture can be used for balancing these systems, rather than simply treating symptoms.
“…Sometimes, the thing that’s wrong has a much deeper root. So that’s what you want to find.”
The Emotional Connection
Every organ in the body has physical functions that impact other organs and systems. Chinese medicine looks beyond these physical connections to explore emotional and spiritual connections as well.
“In traditional Chinese medicine that’s our training. Whatever your health issue is, it comes from inside your body, there’s an emotional component to it.”
Acupuncture helps shift these emotions to promote healing.
“People come in to me all the time…stressed out, angry, frustrated, or going through emotional grief or emotional trauma and the acupuncture will help settle their emotions as much as it helps balance their bodies.”
Connect with Dr. Shiroko
Want more insights from Dr. Shiroko?