Each person is unique, and each presentation of symptoms and disease process different. Our intake interview includes a comprehensive review of all symptoms and body systems including sleep, bowel function, digestion, menstrual cycle, pain, mental state, and more. We formulate an individualized plan taking all of the signs and symptoms into consideration. Patients often remark that it is the first time a health practitioner has taken the time to listen to the “whole story.”
Treatment may include acupressure, moxibustion (warming of acupuncture points), acupuncture, and gua sha and tui na (techniques borrowed from the martial arts that help resolve pain in the muscles and fascia.)
Acupuncture is currently used by over 60% of the world’s population as a primary form of health care. It is the oldest continually practiced and recorded health system in the world. Most major medical centers now value acupuncture as an integral part of their treatment plan.
Acupuncture at Healing Point Acupuncture and Healing Arts is provided by Brandon and Bridget Hughes, a husband and wife team with over 40 years of combined experience in health care. Brandon and Bridget are the only acupuncturists to be vetted by the cancer committee at Howard County General Hospital, a Johns Hopkins Hospital, and they are the providers of choice by many doctors in Maryland for the care of both their patients and families.
"Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials"
An Official World Health Organization report
lists the following symptoms, diseases and conditions that have been shown through controlled trials to be treated effectively by acupuncture:
Healing Point Testimonials
TESTIMONIAL FROM AN ONCOLOGIST
"I feel lucky to have met the acupuncture team of Bridget and Brandon Hughes, licensed acupuncturists with Healing Point Acupuncture and Healing Arts. They have been treating my Radiation Oncology patients for many years now as part of an integrated approach to total wellness.
There has been overwhelmingly positive feedback about these two professionals. Not only do they help a large number of patients with conditions expected to respond to acupuncture, i.e., those associated with autonomic nervous system dysfunction, but many patients have noticed improvement in general well-being and a sense of calm after being treated.
This team’s value extends beyond their technical skills and well into the psychosocial. My patients have uniformly commented upon the willingness of Bridget and Brandon to truly listen to their stories, thereby lowering anxiety and improving understanding of the healing process.
After many patients had such positive experiences, I decided to try acupuncture with this team myself. I too have seen objective improvement in autonomic dysfunction (Raynaud’s and migraines) and general well being that I attribute to acupuncture.
I have worked with Brandon and Bridget for over thirteen years in various capacities. We have had many mutual patients and attended tumor conferences and committees together. They are professional and understand the integration of varied specialties, including medical oncology, surgical oncology, nutrition, physical therapy, massage therapy, psychology, social work, radiology, pathology, etc.
Several of my colleagues have opened their minds to the concept of acupuncture and are seeing positive results.
The compassionate and accepting approach Bridget and Brandon embrace puts patients at ease. They provide more than just acupuncture, they also function as counselors. I trust them to care for my most vulnerable patients and my family."
Jeanette A. Linder, M.D.
Chief of Radiation Oncology
The Top Ten Things I Learned From Brandon:
#10. Acupuncture doesn’t hurt!
#9. Find a spot to meditate
#8. Be aware of nature
#7. Rest and be still
#6. Everything is connected
#5. Don’t let your mind take you to the bad Disneyland
#4. Be calm to heal
#2. I am stronger than I thought I was
#1. I may have cancer, but it doesn’t have me.
"I HAVE BEEN AN ONCOLOGY NURSE FOR MANY YEARS and have spent many of those years trying to make the patients under my care more comfortable. Recently I have had the unfortunate experience of being a cancer patient myself. Dealing with the side effects of whole brain radiation and chemotherapy became too much for ordinary medications and I decided to seek out acupuncture.
I was introduced to Bridget Hughes, a licensed acupuncturist, to try to gain control of the intractable nausea that had plagued me for three months. Bridget, using her expertise, helped me overcome the nausea and gradually I began to approach a normal diet.
I want to recommend Bridget’s approach and utilization of Acupuncture. Her gentle spirit and kindness are a wonderful combination. As a healthcare provider I feel it is very important to remain open-minded about alternative approaches to care."
Jackie Barnum, R.N.
"I wanted my story to be about the people who mean the world to me. My dear old friends (and you all know who you are), my dear work friends, and my new friends—my awesome circle of caretakers, Maryland Oncology, Dr. Lee and Adam, my nurses (love you all), Denise, my champion, and the wonderful people who greet me each week when I walk in. Also Mary, the sweet volunteer who drives me to visits on behalf of the American Cancer Society, The Claudia Mayer Center, and especially Brandon Hughes, my acupuncturist, who has made me feel whole again. Healing Point is the best thing that has ever happened to me. With my faith, their continuous prayers and love, I will survive!"
Published in Women's Journal click here for the whole article
"I’m a 61 year old woman that has been in more pain than any one person should have to tolerate. It all started when I saw my first back doctor at age 58 and was told that there was nothing he could do because my back was inoperable. He said to go home take whatever pain medicine I needed and to lay in bed or just sit in a recliner. I was devastated. I thought my life was over. I had heard about “pain management specialist” and decided to see one. He started to help me a lot. Although he has helped me live with the pain, I still had to have surgery to correct my back problems. Besides the major back surgery, I have had 12 surgeries in the last 2 years. I also have metastalic melanoma. Life has been painful. My family have gotten through it with love, laughter and a big sense of humor.
I have worked with doctors and tried a number of pain relievers. I’ve tried physical therapy, back block shots and had a spinal stimulator inserted. Nothing has fully eased the pain. My Pain Management Specialist suggested acupuncture. Believe me, I have always been terrified of needles. After all the pain and all the things I tried I thought why not give this a try. I figured that I didn’t have anything to loose.
I found a wonderful Acupuncturist that I could relate to. The first session lasted 2 hours. We found out a lot about each other and did a lot of crying together. She seemed to quickly understand me and my pain. It was good to be able to talk to someone who seemed to understand my pain and what it meant to me, my husband and my family. The first hour of talking went quickly. It was then time to face being stuck with needles. To be honest, I was very tense. She quickly made me relax. Before inserting the needles, she pushes on your skin and you hardly feel the needles being inserted. I felt so relaxed that I hated to have the session end. After the first session, I felt confident that I had found the relief that I was looking for. I have had several session since then and each one seems to work better and longer than the last. Prior to having acupuncture, I was unable to sit or stand for any length of time. Since having acupuncture, I have been able to stand longer and even was able to bake Christmas cookies for 2 days. After a recent session, my family and I took a bus trip to New York and thoroughly enjoyed the entire trip.
I know that many people are afraid of the thought of having needles inserted. I was one of them. It did take a few session to get the right combination and for things to work out. Be patient and stick with it. It is hard to fully explain how this has improved my and my family’s life. I now look forward to my sessions. When my session is over I feel totally relaxed and feel that I can handle anything. I highly recommend trying it."
"If Bridget were one of the Seven Dwarfs she'd be Happy, and when you spend time with her, you can't help but feel that way too."
"I never would have thought that after trying shots to deaden the nerves in my back and getting no relief that I could leave here after one visit and feel so much better. I was amazed. The only reason I even considered coming was my neurologist recommended it. I'm telling all my friends that they need to do this!"
"In June of 2002 I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Type B. My doctor was Dr. Koutrelakos at the Central Maryland Oncology Center. For the next six months I was subjected to eight rounds of chemotherapy. After that in early 2003 I had 15 rounds of radiation (minimal dose). This is where my trouble started. I had no taste and a very dry mouth.
Dr. Linder, the Radiation Oncologist at Central Maryland Oncology Center, recommended Ms. Bridget Hughes as an acupuncturist to relieve my dry mouth and restore my taste. My recovery was slow but steady. I noticed a distinct increase in my taste after each session.
According to Dr. Linder, I was an anomaly for having minimal radiation and not recovering taste and moisture in two months.
I am now 100% back in taste and 90% in mouth moisture and still receiving acupuncture treatment about once every 2-3 months.
As an engineer, I was very skeptical at first. But now I have no doubt that my recovery was the result of my acupuncture with Ms. Hughes."
The Role of Acupuncture in Cancer Treatment and Recovery
For patients undergoing treatment for cancer, we are dedicated to providing excellent acupuncture care both during and after medical treatment.
The use of acupuncture to stimulate the healing capacity of the body can translate into a reduction of the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of treatment. Some of the symptoms for which acupuncture has a demonstrated efficacy include:
Adverse Reaction to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy:
Acupuncture is cited as an effective treatment by the World Health Organization in the report titled “Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials.“
Nausea and vomiting:
One of the most well known benefits of acupuncture in relation to cancer care was cited by the National Institute of Health in 1997 when a panel of medical researchers found that nausea and vomiting could be reduced or relieved with acupuncture. In conjunction with or in place of anti-nausea medications, this benefit can enhance comfort during chemotherapy.
Dry mouth (Xerostomia):
Acupuncture has a demonstrated benefit in reducing the discomfort of dry mouth following chemotherapy or radiation to the head and neck. The ability to produce saliva may return completely, even in cases where there has been no improvement in over 5 or more years prior to commencing acupuncture. Acupuncture may also speed the recovery of taste and smell sensory functions which can become disrupted during cancer treatment.
Insomnia, anxiety, depression, and stress:
Acupuncture patients often report a greater sense of well-being and an improved ability to cope with their cancer diagnosis and treatment. Many patients are not able to gather the energy necessary for healing due to disrupted sleep, tension, nervousness, and anxiety. Acupuncture helps to dislodge the “fight or flight” or adrenaline response pattern thereby allowing a more peaceful state (reducing allostatic load). Education that occurs during the acupuncture treatment increases the patients’ ability to maintain the change in this pattern on their own. With less stress chemicals circulating in the body and running energy reserves down, the patient has the opportunity for increased energy levels and an increased capacity for healing.
Many patients report a reduction in the intensity, frequency, and duration of hot flashes and night sweats whether the cause is hormonal or related to cancer treatment. With reduced hot flashes and night sweats, sleep may be deeper and more restful.
Constipation and diarrhea may be an on-going issue or show up in relation to cancer treatment. Acupuncture helps to regulate the bowels and restore a natural rhythm, thereby increasing comfort, and decreasing reliance on external aids.
Pre-existing pain conditions and pain related to cancer and its treatment can be effectively reduced by acupuncture. In the official World Health Organization report “Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials,“ acupuncture is cited as an effective treatment for both pain and post-operative pain in controlled trials.
Safety and efficacy:
Acupuncture is safe, does not interfere with cancer treatment (as herbs or other modalities might), may reduce the amount of medications necessary in ameliorating the side effects of cancer treatment, enhances well-being, may correct a myriad of small symptoms un-related to cancer in the process of treatment, and has been used and depended on for thousands of years for its benefits to health and well-being.
We work in community with western medical professionals and other holistic care providers both in Severna Park, MD, and at Healing Point Acupuncture and Healing Arts at the Howard County General Hospital Medical Pavilion in Columbia.