Adapting an Ancient Art to Modern Medicine


by Julie Thibodeaux


Dr. Daniel Finley, LAC, practices acupuncture and Oriental medicine at the Living Well Health and Wellness Center, in Dallas. He is now helping others, but it was his own health problems that sparked an interest in the field.


Finley was a devotee of the martial arts as a teenager. When he experienced digestive problems, he was treated by his future teacher, Grandmaster James Shyun, a doctor of Chinese medicine, when Western medicine fell short. “I never in 1,000 years would have imagined going into acupuncture if I hadn’t had that experience,” Finley says. “I love it. It’s very much focused on the living body.”


The Keller native explains that when the treatments brought relief to his irritable bowel syndrome, he wanted to learn more about Eastern medicine. By that time a kung fuinstructor, Finley enrolled in Texas Health Science University, in Austin, where he received a master’s degree in Oriental medicine and licensure in acupuncture in 2008.


Today, he’s helping returning soldiers find relief using this ancient modality. In addition to his private practice, he works two days a week with veterans at an in-patient facility in Denton. Many are returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, suffering from addictions, chronic pain and post-traumatic stress. “I was so excited to help veterans,” he says. “They’re coming home and having a lot of problems.”


He says acupuncture is well-suited to work with addictionsbecause it doesn’t introduce additional medicines into the body. “Acupuncture is very good for balancing out and calming the central nervous system,” says Finley. “They’ve found it’s very effective to get pain relief and stress relief without introducing pain medications.”


Finley’s client list includes athletes that are dealing with old injuries or want to enhance their physical performance, and he draws from his own experience as a longtime martial arts athlete and the treatments that have worked for him. In addition, he treats people with chronic stress and pain, fertility problems and sleep disorders.


There are a number of myths surrounding acupuncture,” relates Finley.“For example, many people they’re going to have to take off their clothesand be stuck all over their bodies with needles during treatment. Actually, most of the points that get used are on the hands and feet, because the strongest nerve signals are in the fingers and toes.”


Many people fear there will be discomfort, but the reality is quite different. “It’s very relaxing, calming,” says Finley. “A lot of people take a nap.”


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