As an acupuncturist, I often treat issues that many would never even think of. Many, many people call me when they are in physical pain-treating back pain and neck pain is a relatively simple matter. I’ve seen so many of these patients that I’m quite surprised when things don’t resolve quickly. When you are immersed in your work, it’s very easy to forget that most people don’t know what tools you have under your belt. If they haven’t had experience with something, they don’t realize the power of it. This is why I feel that it is so important to inform and educate. When I think about all of the suffering people out there who have no idea that acupuncture can help, with minimal risk of side effects, I know that am doing them a disservice if I am not constantly sharing what this medicine is capable of. Often, we just don’t know what we don’t know.
ASIDE FROM PAIN, WHAT ELSE CAN AN ACUPUNCTURIST TREAT?
At this point, after almost ten years in practice as an acupuncturist, I find myself asking, “What CAN’T be treated with acupuncture?” It’s rare to find an issue that cannot be improved upon with acupuncture. I love to treat insomnia, hormonal imbalances, and menopausal symptoms such as night sweats and hot flashes. I often joke with my patients that I am the “period whisperer.” These needles will IMMEDIATELY quell the pain of menstrual cramps, and they can induce a period that is irregular. PMS also shifts fairly quickly with a few sessions. This medicine can get the digestion flowing, bringing on bowel movements when you are constipated. It can also help with the opposite issue. We can banish heartburn and indigestion, and even help with excessive hunger. Although I don’t condone drinking yourself into a vicious hangover on a regular basis, a session the morning after will ease your suffering. Can you cure everything? Of course not (and if an acupuncturist DOES tell you that they can cure everything, steer clear!) For example, I would NEVER, EVER tell a patient to forgo Western medicine for acupuncture if they were diagnosed with cancer. That is criminally irresponsible. However, acupuncture can significantly help with side effects of cancer treatments. It can boost the energy, alleviate nausea, and reduce pain.
CAN MENTAL ISSUES BE TREATED BY AN ACUPUNCTURIST, AS WELL?
Anxiety and depression tend to respond well to acupuncture. It helps to regulate the nervous system, and can bring people out of “fight or flight” mode when they are suffering from severe anxiety. Most anxiety patients will find themselves relaxing almost as soon as the needles go in. Over and over, I hear the same thing: that seeing an acupuncturist brings down the heightened emotional response when people are on high alert. With regular sessions, that feeling of relaxation and peace of mind lasts longer and longer. Again, I personally feel that the best treatment options are those that approach the issue from all angles. If someone is benefitting from medication, an acupuncturist can help to increase those positive effects. It’s a wonderfully powerful tool to have in your arsenal.
IS IT SAFE FOR PREGNANT WOMEN TO SEE AN ACUPUNCTURIST?
I often joke with my pregnant clients that I can stick with them throughout the entire span of pregnancy, from fertility work to get them pregnant, through the morning sickness, all the way into the end, when their sciatica flares up due to the changes in their body. Since many medicines are contraindicated in pregnancy, this is a perfect alternative. I have used a special technique to flip a breech baby, many times. And if the woman goes past her due date and it is safe to do so, there are points that can be used to coax the body into going into labor. And after all that? We acupuncturists can work on regulating hormones, stimulating milk production, and getting the body back to a healthy place after the rigors of labor. Click here to view all of our services.