I first started with acupuncture as a patient. I was living in Chicago – in my mid 30’s and I was dealing with a number of physical health issues – nothing too serious – and many that were caused by the stress in my life. I was not “sick”. There really was no need for me to go to the doctor. Why would I anyway? I had great respect for my internist and knew that she was an excellent diagnostician. If there was any test that were needed – I would be there in a heartbeat. However, I also knew that what I was experiencing was considered “normal” by many standards.
I was working in a stressful job – in sales and marketing – overseeing a large geographic area – metropolitan Chicago. While I enjoyed what I did, I did not enjoy the effect that working long days with travel had on my body. I had many sleepless nights. My mind raced with thoughts of the next day. My digestion was “off” – I had what could be labeled as “IBS”. My PMS increased during the 2nd 1/2 of my cycle – with many symptoms that impacted my day to day life. I was a mess!
My massage therapist suggested I go to an acupuncturist! I was not familiar with what they did. I conjured up images of an old Chinese man in the back room of a storefront with long, thick needles! I could not have been more wrong.
My first acupuncturist was, in fact, a physician who only practiced acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Imagine that! He worked with acupuncture, herbs, diet and nutrition. He talked to me about balance and how to look at my body from a viewpoint of where my own body might be out of balance. I had never thought of my body that way. He showed me the needles – which were so very small – I was relieved. And I most certainly was relaxed after each session. I began to take a more proactive approach to my health. I would go to visit my acupuncturist throughout the next several years – before I decided for myself to become an acupuncturist. I began to view the body differently – avoiding labeling myself when something was wrong and looking for a quick fix. I respected the teachings of acupuncture – specifically:
- The concept of yin and yang as a way to understand where our body is in and out of balance. Yin and yang mean many things in the body: hot vs. cold symptoms, energetic vs. fatigue, hunger vs. lethargic, ovulation vs. anovulation. Every symptom in the body is a symptom of yin and yang.
- The idea that, underlying all organic body functions, is energy – and energy called qi. Qi is our life force – it is responsible for all body functions. Without it, TCM believes we would not be alive. Many times I have felt and seen the powerful impact of qi.
- The interdependency of our health – TCM believes strongly that we cannot isolate one aspect of our health from the other. Rather, our body is a fluid system of interdependent functions – each relying on the other to “create the sense of balance”.
- The importance of self care and health empowerment. Acupuncture encourages us to take care of yourself – to be proactive in our health – to pay attention to subtle changes.
- The gentle nature of acupuncture and the respect it holds for each person as a unique individual.
At Acupuncture Healthcare Associates, we believe strongly in Integrated Medicine. We build strong relationships with physicians and other medical professionals as well as other Integrative Medicine practitioners to support our clients in bettering their health and well being.
We welcome you to visit our practice and learn more about acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.