My passion for natural healing evolved incrementally but forcefully through family illness, personal experience and my own critical observations of mainstream medicine.
I’d been a working journalist for 15 years by 2005 when it felt like the right time to embark on a second career journey … into holistic healing. Three years and four months later, blessed with a Masters degree from Sarasota’s East West College of Natural Medicine, I took my Florida acupuncture license and accreditation from the National Certification Commission from Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine on the road. Sarasota has remained home since, a beautiful place with a strong natural health culture. I am always learning … patients have been my teaching Masters. When not reading about medicine and trying to improve my skills, I usually can be found walking the dog, cooking organically, watering the vegetable garden, spending time with friends and listening to all types of music.
Acupuncture, in my view, taps into the musical notes of our bodies and minds. It acknowledges chaos but seeks harmony.
Acupuncture is a nature-based system that stimulates specific points on the body to promote optimal healing.
Imagine your body and mind as water. When water flows in all the right places, nature flourishes, as do we. Acting through the energy channels, Acupuncture keeps our Qi flowing in all the right directions, irrigating our lives. Disharmonies in constitution, diet, thoughts and activity that lead to illness are rebalanced.
Acupuncture can be used for nearly all acute and chronic conditions. Some of the most common reasons for seeking an acupuncture treatment include:
- chronic and acute
- low energy
- digestive problems
- colds, allergies, and sinusitis
- stroke recovery
- cancer recovery
Acupuncture is even more effective when combined with Chinese herbal formulas and other natural modalities, such as Cupping, Moxibustion (a warming technique) and Qi Gong, an ancient art of moving and meditation. Changes to diet and stress management may be necessary as well.
In modern times, acupuncture has opened up to include electro-acupuncture, nutritional supplements and the injection of natural substances – B-12 Methylcobalamin and Homeopathics – into the acupuncture points.
What to Expect
Many people have not yet had their first acupuncture experience.
For the uninitiated, there’s nothing to be nervous about. It’s understandable, however, to have a variety of feelings about the idea of someone – even a highly trained professional – inserting fine needles in your body to feel better.
Think about this, though. By the time you sit down in the waiting room, you must have heard something positive about acupuncture. That’s good. Over a period of time – a week, a month, a day, perhaps even an hour – it’s more than likely going to make you feel better.
The rooms are set up to be calming, with soft music and lighting for deep, healing rest. We leave the undergarments on, and very often the entire outfit stays put. We might loosen a belt or a button to treat the lower back or, for example, the chest. It might be necessary to roll up your pants leg or sleeve. Occasionally the patient is asked to get into a gown for, let’s say, a sciatica treatment.
As for the mystery needles, they are extremely thin and flexible, just sharp enough to enter through the skin They come in various sizes based on the part of the body being treated and the patient’s individual sensitivities. By Florida State law, each needle can only be used once before going into a storage box for disposal later on.
You might feel a sensation. The more relaxed one is the better because in that state the nerve endings are less prone to be on high alert. Common sensations are heaviness and tingling. You’ll be asked if you’re comfortable and if any of the needles hurt. There may be a heat lamp on your feet for warmth.
Assuming everything’s OK, it’s time for the healing to begin. Most people are able to rest because of acupuncture has stimulated the release of natural endorphins and opioids. Many fall asleep. Another 20-25 minutes later, your session is over. The first visit, which involves an intake and diagnosis, might take 75 minutes. Follow up sessions last an hour or less.
Most importantly, your healing has begun!