Five Minute Acupuncture
Three blind men walk into a room with an elephant and are asked about the properties of an elephant. One man feels the tail and says that an elephant is like a rope. One feels a leg and says an elephant is like a pole. One feels the side and says the elephant is like a wall.
Three doctors are asked what is acupuncture....
------------------------- Aurum Nostrum Non Est Aurum Vulgi -------------------------------
In the AAMA, American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, It is required for members to be fully licensed physicians and we believe this makes a difference. " Aurum Nostrum non est Aurum Vulgi" is the forgotten motto of the AAMA. It means our gold is not common gold.
What is the objective of medical treatment if not to help the patient to be comfortable and functional? What else could you want?
The plethora of techniques of acupuncture lend one to believe there is more than one way to skin a cat. One person uses Bioenergetics and another uses PENS, or Worsley-type Five Element, or TCM and yet another uses Auricular medicine and another uses Koryu.
The richness in the diversity is vast but we cannot loose sight of the object, which is comfort and function for the patient. What is acupuncture?
In ancient times, as I understand it, the acupuncturist was the poor, bare foot country doctor. I can relate to that because I am a poor country doctor -- but I wear shoes. My patient base is Medicaid, Medicare, Indigent care, Hospice care and self pay/no pay. I use acupuncture on up to 20 patients per day for a wide array of illnesses and injuries in addition to my allopathic medicine patient visits. I don't separate acupuncture patients from allopathic medicine patients and I donít charge for acupuncture itself. It is included in the office visit. Often the patients that most need the acupuncture are often the least able to pay for it. Therefore, due to the larger patient load I need to maintain in order to keep my office open, I have limited time to do acupuncture with my patients. I do not have the luxury of being able to spend an hour with each acupuncture patient as many acupuncture sessions are organized. Additionally, the patients need results quickly so they can return to work and feed their families. It may seem counter intuitive, but, using quite a few different acupuncture techniques in order to get results quickly, shortens the length of the treatment. The whole acupuncture treatment can take as little as 5 minutes and the patient has immediate and often lasting relief.
[This leaves plenty of time for the important stuff like paperwork.;) ]
As I said, the patients almost always get immediate relief and leave the office pain free. I have them return within 3-4 days to treat the healing crisis that often ensues and then tell them that if they have further symptoms to come back right away because small problems are easier to fix and require fewer treatments, but if they have no problems to just go and have fun...
Then with a sarcastic grin I then say "oh wait! I won't make any money that way! No No let the symptoms go and wait until you can't stand them any longer so I must treat you more often. " The patients get good relief and send 3 more patients by referral to me the next week. Hereís how I do the five-minute acupuncture treatment.
The four acupuncture techniques to start with are Aeromedical Acupuncture, Auricular medicine, Battlefield Acupuncture and then Classical Five Element Acupuncture. The fourth treatment technique, Five Element Acupuncture, requires pulse diagnosis and undoing blocks and the third acupuncture technique requires reading the Vasoautonomic reflex [VAR] or Vasoautonomic stimulus [VAS] which I will describe later. . These four techniques done in succession usually take about 5 minutes and tend to alleviate all but the most complicated of conditions. Patients get this remarkable smile on their face when they have the immediate relief after receiving this five minute long treatment. This smile is remarkably addicting to me.
Often with chronic muscle syndromes I do need to do, additionally, a PENS/IMS hybrid treatment, which I often follow up with cupping. This adds about fifteen minutes to the patient's time in the office but I do not have to be in the room all that time.
Recently added to my armamentarium is another treatment that takes virtually no time to perform as well. Dr Tan has a remarkable balancing method that can be done with a piezo-electric stimulator. This treatment can be done to relieve pain before the treatment and gain patient confidence or to relieve any residual pain as a final part of the treatment. It can also be used alone. To reiterate, often the patient needs only the four-acupuncture/five minute treatment regimen.
As I mentioned, first in the sequence I use Aeromedical Acupuncture, a technique I developed from combining facets of Classical Five Element and Bioenergetics styles of acupuncture. I developed it during my time as an active duty Air Force Flight Surgeon. It consists of thirty-six tonifications on command points designed to bring pathology from deep within the patient to the surface [from yin to yang] where it can more easily be equilibrated. Using an N, N+1 circuit and using N on yin and N+1 on yang on each meridian, the needle is inserted quickly, turned clockwise and removed [I don't bother to cover the hole]. So long as you use command points, the selection of these points is fairly forgiving. Try to select command points where the capacitance in the myofascial planes is greatest. This could be where small muscles are occluding the normal flow of the interstitial fluid or where larger muscles occlude the channels of electrolyte within the myo-fascial plane that conduct the feedback current from our muscular contractions. [please see notes on some of our earliest explanations of the mechanism of acupuncture presented by the academy]
Mussat described the body as a bag of electric generators immersed in electrolyte. The circuitry is very complex and as with most generators or motor. Feedback circuits are essential to protect the devices. This is illustrated if you hold a ceiling fan still while it is engaged. The generator/motor will burn out.
Command points over larger muscle mass or command points located in deep recesses near the joints work well.
One can use needles or Genesen magnets to get the desired effect from this treatment and the patient feels the results immediately. When using the Genesen magnets, you hold the two magnets like chopsticks and put the point of the North Pole magnetic pen apparatus as close as possible but not touching the point of the South Pole magnetic pen apparatus. Try not to let the two instruments touch each other at all. The two closely spaced tips will pass over the skin and will fall into the Men. The patient will often get an Ahshi sensation when you pass over the points. I believe that the needles stimulate the points by conduction and therefore discharge the inherent capacitance at the points whereas the Genesen magnets stimulate the points by induction using the intensified magnetic field and have the same effect. The needles often have a more abrupt and often longer lasting effect but the Genesen and the sygoria magnets as well work very well and the patient has less discomfort. If the magnets do not have the desired effect, one can easily redo the Aeromedical acupuncture treatment with needles very quickly. Other methods are used to stimulate acupuncture points. I know that lasers stimulate the points as well but I am not familiar with the proposed mechanism except that the lasers of 810nm have been shown to stimulate mitochondria to accept an additional O2 instead of a nitric oxide molecule in the laboratory studies. I rarely use laser for this particular type of acupuncture though it is very good for auricular stimulation. I am convinced that the electomagnetic radiation eminating from burning artimetis vulgaris [moxa] has the same effect but I have seen no studies. Moxa is inconvenient for me and patients in my demographics do not like it so it is not something I pursue.
I would like to restate how to do Aeromedical Acupuncture. It is very simple. No matter how you stimulate the points, choose two yang command points and one yin command point for each meridian pair and tonify. That's it. That is all there is to Aeromedical Acupuncture. The meridian pairs are Small intestine/ Heart [Tai Yang/Shao Yin of the arm], Triple Heater/ Pericardium [Shao Yang/ Jue Yin of the arm], Large Intestine/ Lung [Yang Ming/ Tai Yin of the arm], Bladder/ Kidney [Tai Yang / Shao Yin of the leg], Gallbladder/ Liver [Shao Yang/ Jue Yin of the leg], Stomach/ Spleen [Yang Ming/ Tai Yin of the leg]. Thatís all there is to it for that part.
For many years, I successfully treated many patients using nothing more than Aeromedical Acupuncture. As I mentioned earlier, I am a country doctor and live in the middle of nowhere, but patients would regularly-- and still do-- travel from cities 200 miles or more away and even come from out of state for these treatments. They are drawn by word of mouth recommendation from a friend or family member. I have patients from the Carolinas, Florida, and Alaska just by word of mouth. Comfort and function is very important to all of us.
The second of the four acupuncture techniques is Battle Field Acupuncture using Genesen magnets to stimulate the points. I have done quite a bit of this technique and the Genesen work just as good or better than the semi permanent needles that are classically used. I usually do both ears because it takes no time at all and I would like to maximize benefits to the patient. There are plenty of diagrams and literature about the 5 points for Battle Field Acupuncture and Dr. Neimtzow's article is appended to this paper.
Thatís it for that.
Thirdly I use the VAS to equilibrate any ear points that may be active. These ear points are stimulated with the Genesen magnets as well. Thatís it for that.
If you are unfamiliar with Nogier and Barr and the Vas, this is an acupuncture technique called Auricular Medicine. This is different from Auricular Therapy, Chinese ear acupuncture or even the type of Auricular Acupuncture taught by Terry Oleson. These other Auricular acupunctures rely on maps of ear points and they are the basis of Battle Field Acupuncture. They were discovered when a group of neurologists found a point cauterized on ears of their patients who had back pain and no longer had that back pain. On investigating, it was found that they had sought the help of a gypsy lady who performed this procedure for them. Several different versions of a homunculus were mapped and these are the points often used with this therapy. There are even different phases which modify the homunculus throughout the progression of the patient's physiology. This is not the acupuncture to which I am referring.
Auricular medicine developed after this within the brain trust that included Nogier and Barr. It relies on the Vasoautonomic Stimulus [VAS] or Vasoautonomic Reflex [VAR] that was demonstrated in a military hospital in a patient whose femoral artery was exposed from an injury. The artery showed differences in the pulsations as he read a racy novel. On further investigation, the artery pulsation changed in predictable ways with various challenges to the patients' homeostasis and in particularly to the patient's bioelectricity generated magnetic field. This lead to a technique of feeling the pulse as the body's magnetic field was challenged. This pulse is not at all like the pulse felt to measure heart rate nor is it like the pulse used in Five Element Acupuncture. The Amount of bioelectricity in the human body obviously would produce a magnetic field. The Chinese called it Wei Chi. This magnetic field expands away from the body when the body is injured in some way and the more injury, the farther away from the body the magnetic field stretches. This may be how hunting sharks find injured fish in dark muddy water. With training, one can feel the Vas changes as certain ear points are tested. Then these points can easily be treated with the Genesen magnets.
As the author of Life of Pi said "If you only believe what you see, what do you do in the dark?"
The forth acupuncture technique I use is Classical Five Element Acupuncture as was taught by Worsely. First I treat for PTSD [post traumatic stress disorder] if is apparent in the patient's presentation. The treatment for PTSD is to use the internal and external dragon points on the Bladder, Stomach, and Ren and Du meridians. This regimen was integrated into the Worsely 5 element armamentarium from another system but is now an integral first step to the Classical 5 Element system. I notate this as ID/ED treatment in my records. The unblocking of husband/ wife blocks is very useful if they are present and is considered the important second step in classical five element acupuncture. I forgo the sucesive third step of dispersing aggressive energy techniques as taught by Worsely because my Aeromedical Acupuncture and the Auricular medicine can deal with aggressive energy very effectively. The next step is to undo all entry/exit blocks. After dealing with the blocks, we are ready to fortify the patient by treating the source, fire and water points on their CF [Causative Factor to be discussed later].
Untraditionally, I use the Genesen magnets for all my Classical 5 Element points and the pulse diagnosis confirms the physiologic changes. Using Genesen for these techniques reduces clinic time and patient discomfort and makes the interaction with the patient more rewarding.
It is such a relief to the patient as well as so gratifying to me to see when the patients feel an inner calm spread over them just as the final points are stimulated.
It happens over and over with many patients but it still is amazing to me nonetheless. Remember, this entire treatment takes about five minutes--unless I get talking too much.
The CF is the calling card of Classical Five Element Acupuncture. The Causative Factor is such an unfortunate nomenclature for such a marvelous concept. It conveys a sense of the patient's pathology and I prefer to look at it as representing the patient's inherent strengths. I will explain. When we are in the womb our mother provides for all our needs and we do not need to adapt at all. Our mother does everything for us. Once we are born we must adapt and eventually something will break. The first thing that breaks we fix the heck out of it and it becomes our favorite way to deal with anything that breaks. It is the strongest leg of the five-legged stool that we call the five elements. That is our CF.
Now; there are not really only the five elements Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood. Everything is on a continuum as is every other thing in nature--until you get to quantum mechanics of course [but few can understand quantum mechanics if even Stephen Hawking denies a full grasp of the subject]. In addition to using the elements in continuum, we are capable of using all 5 of the elements within each element itself making this system infinitely flexible. We can utilize the wood within water and the fire within metal etc. However, often times we don't use the options presented to us.
A fellow came across a man on his hands and knees obviously looking for something under a lighted street lamp. When asked, the man said he had lost his contact lens. The first fellow asked him where he had dropped it and the man replied "Oh, I dropped it over there but the light is much better here." No we don't use all five elements but we could.
The five elements are Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood. Each has a plethora of attributes. The only way in Classical Five Element Acupuncture to determine a person's CF is by CSOE, i.e. color, sound, odor, and emotion. The color of the skin and color preferences demonstrate color. The sound of the voice demonstrate sound. The body chemistry represented in the odor of the sebaceous glands demonstrate odor. And the over tone of consistent emotion in each patient show emotion of the person's CF. Perception and processing of the concepts of color, sound and emotion are all done in the cerebral cortex and we do have a tendency to talk ourselves into and out of conclusions when we use this part of our brain. Odor alone is processed in the olfactory system, which goes directly into the limbic system of the brain. It is not sophisticated enough to lie. I believe odor is the most reliable source to determine CF. Common areas to smell the sebaceous glands in the body are the axilla, groin, rectum and feet. The axilla is often altered with fragrances, and even though the dog in Dr. Doolittle said you never really know someone until you smell their butte, I don't want to smell buttes or groins. That leaves the feet. Feet are also often enclosed and that can make it easier to get a reading once they are just out of the shoes. I have found that it gets easier with practice. The animals communicate this way all the time.
Okay, five minutes is up.
Next, I reevaluate the patient to see if any further treatment is needed including Koryu hand acupuncture, Craig PENS, IMS or trigger point therapy, Dr. Tanís balancing method, and, rarely for me nowadays, curious meridians or trigramatic equilibration. I examine the patient again and make a clinical decision based on what the patientís body is telling me. I use Acupuncture, Category IV laser as a non-ablative laser, Allopathic medicine and even some rudimentary OMT manipulation from time to time. What is important is the function and comfort of the patient. I assure the patient that he or she is the most important person in the room.
My passion for acupuncture is a driving force in my life and my career, but it is not the foremost. I explain to my patients that if I cannot help them, my Boss will. There is nothing more important than Jesus, the Son of God. Second to God in my life is my wife with whom I am deeply in love. Now, since I am obviously human, I lie like every other human. The truth is probably that the most important thing in my life is ME! The things I said just now are true as far as I can tell, but I lie to my self al the time. We were all made that way and there is no getting around it. Our patients are made that way too. The most interesting thing to talk about for any person is that person or things that affect that person. And that leads to our goal of comfort and functionality for our patients.
Can our patients tell when they are functional and comfortable? We often go through life on memory and remember pain rather than experience it serially. This is a common problem. When someone is telling you about their pain, often they are telling you the memory of that pain because we all want to avoid pain making pain difficult to reexamine. What we patients report may or may not be accurate. Encourage your patients to reexamine pain regularly to see if it is still really there. It's not too much to ask.
The elements have a plethora of qualities. Here is an outline of some of them.
Fire is summer, red color, laughing voice, burnt/ scorched odor, bitter taste and connection to others emotionally as a primary motivation.
Wood is spring, green color shouting voice, petrolium odor , sour taste, and planning/organizing as primary motivation.
Water is winter, blue or black color, moaning voice, putrid/ sweat/ or winter day odor salty taste, and enduring or dare devil motivation.
Metal is fall, white color, groaning voice, rotten odor, spicy taste, and achievement of quality as motivation.
Earth is harvest, yellow color, singing voice, sweet odor, sweet taste, and nurturing as motivation.
It takes quite a bit of thought about these concepts to put it all together in a practical way, but once you get the knack it is invaluable.
The following illustration may help with perspective on the elements as well.
Remember always that this system of analysis is just the keyboard. When we type on a keyboard, we see the letters but the computer sees only moments of charge or of no charge. We call these states 1's and 0's but they are simply states of charge or no charge in data cells and micro circuits. The next more palatable system from this binary notation is hexadecimal and then more complicated computer code but all the data is related in various states of charge and no charge in various data cells in the computer. We would not be as able to manipulate and understand the data from a computer if all we saw was the moments of charge or no charge in the data cells so we made a short cut or a short hand notation to allow us to deal with the immense amount of information with which we have to deal. Exploring the theory of the 5 elements is no different. The scorched odor of the patient relates the chemical make-up of the patient's sebaceous glands and we could discuss it with molecular models relating to the cell wall receptors and intracellular milieu adapting to the environment. That would take much time and not be as practical as other ways. One perspective of the 5 elements is the following.
Imagine a tree. The seed falls to the ground and is buried in the ground where it sleeps. Spring comes and the young tree violently forces itself out of the seed shell just as a chick breaks through the egg shell. In subsequent years it forces its roots through the earth and even through the concrete of sidewalks. Buds force to the surface of the branches and break forth into blooms. These blooms are paler and greener than the flowers in summer but their fragrance pushes into the air overpowering the senses at times. So comes Easter. This is wood, spring, green, shouting, rancid, anger.
Then comes summer and the flowers become more brilliant and less fragrant. Long days and pleasant nights inspire for connection of all the flora and fauna in the area. Insects and animals are very active, bees pollinate, birds nest, people stay up in the evening socializing beneath the boughs, etc. So comes memorial day, 4th of July, summer festivals etc. This is fire, summer, red, laughing, scorched, joy.
Then comes harvest. The flowers are no longer brilliant but now they are pleasant and contentment comes to the garden. There is fruit on the tree the bugs and animals slow down a little and nothing is rushed. Mother earth is doting over all of nature which is, for the moment, safe in her bosom. Labor day and summer festivals still prevail, but Thanks Giving is close at hand as well. The Canadian Thanks Giving is in October and is temporally better situated for the theme of this holiday. This is earth, harvest, yellow, singing, sweet, contentment.
Autumn comes with the foreboding call to prepare for the up coming winter. Leaves fall from the trees and stark preparation is the tone of the season. Long days are lost and there must be order to get preparations done. Disorder simultaneously appears and there is dichotomy in the stark outline of the branches of the trees contrasting with the clutter of leaves at their base. This is the time of ghost stories and spooky weather. An other worldliness pervades much of the background and so comes Halloween. This is metal, autumn, white, groaning, rotten, grieving.
Then comes the somber storing and sleeping to out last the harsh cold famine that is winter. The storehouse sustains the tree and the sleeping seeds as they conserve life until the upcoming spring. Sensibleness and conservative measures may predominate but recklessness may be at times incorporated if stores run out. Worry can intrude on the prevailing tone, but the extreme strength and patience of enduring hope prevail. So is Christmas and New Years. This is water, winter, black or blue, moaning, putrid, fear.
Another model is such:
A wave goes through the same cycle starting in the cold deep powerful depths that correspond to winter and water. Transitioning as it first overcomes the enormous inertia and breaks the surface of the ocean is spring and wood. In the more shallow depths you can see the crests of the wave now foaming and brilliant representing the summer and fire. The harvest and earth are when the wave balances on the beach and stillness and contentment reign. As the fall of the wave draws it back to the depths from which it originated the cycle nears completion, hence comes the fall and metal. The cycle is complete back in the depths as the powerful winter and water can start the cycle over again.
Our bodies follow these rhythms and movements. Moreover, within each of these movements are all the rest in complete cycles. In the spring, which is wood, the tree acts with each, the force of wood, the connection of fire, the contentment of harvest, the preparation of metal and the endurance of water. The same is true in the winter, which is water. In the winter, the tree will use patterns of action that can be characterized by wood, fire, earth, metal as well as water. The cycles within cycles within cycles are endless. Even more confusing is the fact that each of the elemental phases is not discrete, but it is in a continuum. We are dealing with the analog nature of things not with the inaccurate precision of the digital.
Please indulge me by allowing me to give you some of my background.
In 5th grade I got a hold of Dr. Felix Mann's book,
"The Ancient Chinese
For a very long time I have been trying to cultivate a continuity in the art of acupuncture. There are many groups using varied types of acupuncture, all of which have claims to success. The Bioenergetics group, the Worsley 5 element group, the IMS and trigger point group, the Chinese auricular group, the Auricular Medicine group, the Koryu group, the TCM group, the laser acupuncture group and it goes on and on. Iíve gone to as many different courses as I have been able and use many of them in conjunction. It seems the common thread is that we are all seeking the main objective of medical therapy, comfort and functionality.
I developed Aeromedical Acupuncture while I was a flight surgeon on active duty in the Air Force in 1994 and it has evolved further since then. The original Aeromedical Acupuncture is illustrated above in the first step and for a long time it was all I did. This type of treatment did not render my patients ďDNIFĒ [duties not to include flying]. Any punctures on the torso required, by regulation, 24 hours of DNIF due to the risk of pneumothorax while flying in an unpressurized aircraft. Most of my patients were ďP.J.ísĒ [Pararescue Jumpers]. These guys, through their vigorous training and, many times their shenanigans, would be injured and unable to fly rescue missions. Injuries = dnif, medicines = dnif, regular acupuncture = dnif. DNIF = no PJ and no PJ means no rescue mission and that means someone could die. Additionally, the treatments take less than 5 minutes and P.J.ís and pilots are impatient. Aeromedical acupuncture was a great way to keep the rescue divers and pilots flying and keeping the unit operational. Mission first! Accomplish the mission by taking care of the personnel. [Thatís old school. Now that we have PC, it seems to no longer be an attitude that is considered favorable.]
AS A METAPHYSICAL ADDENDUM:
Remember the story about the elephant and the blind men?
Patients heal despite doctors as often as because of them. Thank you God. There is nothing more important than you... no matter what I say. One of the major differences between ancient acupuncture and modern western medicine is that acupuncture is designed to assist the body's own healing process by removing electrical blockages and imbalances by stimulating points on the skin whereas western medicine uses surgery and medicines to manipulate the structures and physiology of the body to make it conform to a predetermined pattern considered optimal by the particular physician at that time. As it is in all of life, both outlooks see part of the elephant.
Medical Acupuncture is only practiced by M.D.'s or D.O.'s facilitating that we see more than one part of the elephant. To separate the parts of the whole organism and ignore some of those parts as is the case with Aristotle's and subsequently DeCarte's influence on modern western thought seems incomplete to me, "I think therefore I am," which separates the spiritual from the physical, or "the galbladder in room 235" which separates the patient from his or her humanity. The patient is whole and not a Leggo to be put together in a way thought befitting by the doctor. Conversely , to remove a blockage to healing only to deposit it further down in the path of healing is futile as well. Understanding the parts and ignoring the whole is as bad as understanding the whole but not taking into consideration the interaction of the parts. That is why understanding the labyrinth of cycles within cycles of the five elements is necessary, complicated as it may be.
The East has continued with the discipline of the mysticism of unity as was practiced with Plato in his discussions of forms and Lao Su with the Tao de Ching based on unity and direct experience of what is. Aristotle fractured existence into categories including pathos, logos, and ethos implying the inability to experience the whole without breaking existence into parts. The west has followed the road set down by Aristotle mainly because of the backing by the Church who saw in his teachings a way to justify their own beliefs. This has become the disjointed discipline of science. The east followed its own path and is presently called mysticism. With the development of quantum mechanics, the two disciplines are coming back together and agreeing with each other.
Let us define science. Science is nothing more than the art of putting together observations to make a prediction with the highest probability of accuracy. That's it! There are no absolute facts in pure science, just observation, hypotheses, experimentation to test the hypotheses and then theories based on the repeatability of the observations in the experiments to make reliable predictions. Unfortunately there have been worshippers of science and they have made a religion of it.
The sun will rise tomorrow is an inductive logical conclusion that predicts with enormous but not absolute accuracy the state of dawn. There is a low probability of inaccuracy in this case but it is so low that it is taken for a fact that the sun will rise tomorrow. A cosmic event could happen that could destroy the Earth or the Sun and that would be that. There is a possibility of inaccuracy of the statement-- of any statement in science. That is why statistical analysis is about the most important thing in science. When predictions take on the role of facts and science becomes religion, it is not good. It is not what science was intended to be.
The mystic relies on direct experiences, many of which cannot be translated into symbols. Therefore they cannot be talked about. Our language is so much a second nature to us that we rarely experience anything directly anymore. We match up our sensory input to maps in our mind and label them with symbols therefore allowing us to filter the enormous amount of input we receive every minute. Without this filtering, we would not be able to focus on anything. We would be distracted by the sensation of our shirt touching us, the pulsing of our blood through the arteries near our tympanic membrane as they made a sound, the flow of a breeze across our face, and the movement seen in the corner of our eye. We would be paralyzed by overload. A baby before he or she learns language experiences things directly. Very quickly, the baby adapts to our environment and starts to filter the most familiar and predictable sensations into recognition groups and eventually to assign them symbols. When it cries, unpleasant conditions are remedied, like diaper changes or relief of hunger by feeding. Direct experience communication may be possible but it is beyond my understanding.
It is said that the Native Americans were unable to see the ships of Columbus because they were so different from anything in their experience. The medicine man found the ships by seeing the wake created by the ships. Eventually seeing the ships, he described them and the rest could then see the ships.
It is possible that if an alien were standing here we could not see him due to our lack of a symbol for him.
The physicist can see things we cannot after years of training. His observations and use of the scientific method can bring theories to fruition that a novice could not. Often these theories make possible the conveniences we often take for granted, microwaves, television, computers, running water. The mystic through his years of training receives similar wages but from him we get the Tao de Ching, acupuncture, meditation techniques etc. Both come from the same discipline and all things come from God. I am glad I work for Him. He is the only one who understands Quantum Mechanics.