Right before we closed due to Covid-19, we were lucky enough to welcome aboard a new acupuncturist in Chapel Hill that brings with him an impressive array of professional skills as well as being an absolutely charming and caring person. Jude Roman has over 23 years of experience working as a licensed acupuncturist and physical therapist. His most recent work experience came as an outpatient physical therapist and acupuncturist with the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Kernersville, NC where he treated a wide variety of conditions including chronic and acute pain, vestibular and balance disorders and postsurgical patients. You can get to know more by reading the interview below. We can’t wait for you to meet Jude and take advantage of his knowledge and experience.
You started your professional career as a Physical Therapist. What drew you to the field of acupuncture?
In my last year of school for physical therapy, I came down with the flu. A few weeks later, I was visiting a friend in Oregon but still felt run down and fatigued. My friend suggested that I visit a nearby acupuncture school that offered free treatments. This was my first experience with acupuncture and it had a profound effect on the way I felt physically and left me intrigued. At the time, I had a fairly solid understanding of the western view of medicine and how the body functioned but I could not figure out how or why acupuncture worked. I was amazed so I decided I needed to study acupuncture.
How do you use acupuncture in your practice and is your current treatment style a blend of PT and acupuncture?
I’ve practiced acupuncture for almost twenty years and have learned to incorporate several styles of acupuncture when treating patients. I consider the unique needs of each patient and apply the techniques that will help achieve the patient’s goals for their health and wellbeing. Simultaneously, I draw on my experience and training as a physical therapist to expand my therapeutic approach.
Acupuncture works well to restore proper flow in the body and physical therapy builds strength and stability. The analogy I often use is that your body is like farmland. Acupuncture improves the body’s energy and flow and physical therapy helps you cultivate it. Acupuncture helps nourish the land by regulating the flow or stream to your farmland and physical therapy and exercise is like plowing, planting, and weeding.
What health conditions do you enjoy treating and find most responsive to your style?
My initial goal is to help my patients feel better and find relief in the moment so that over time, we can work on improving their overall health. While this approach works well with many different health conditions I do have a lot of experience treating pain and various orthopaedic conditions which are especially responsive to the combination of acupuncture and physical therapy.
You also have advanced training in herbal medicine and enjoy this branch of Chinese Medicine. How do you find herbal medicine to be most helpful to patients?
Herbal medicine is an important adjunct to acupuncture. I find herbs can extend and maintain the effects of acupuncture over time which many patients find helpful for chronic or recurring conditions. Other times, treating acute conditions such as colds and flus with herbs can be very effective.
What are your other interests outside of work?
I like to practice Tai chi and play tennis with my family. I spend a lot of time working in my yard and though I wouldn’t say I like it, I am now pretty good at painting the inside of my house. Three rooms completed so far since Covid19 and two to go...for now.