What is acupuncture?
Thousands of years ago, the Chinese took the observable world and translated it into human physiology, signaling the birth of Chinese medicine. Acupuncture is part of Chinese medicine, which is an ancient medical system that treats the body as a dynamic, interconnected whole. Acupuncture is the process of using strategically placed micro-thin needles to nudge your system back to balance/optimal health (homeostasis) by capitalizing on the infinite potential of the natural world outside of and within you.
How does it work?
Essentially, acupuncture utilizes your body’s own bio-intelligence and resources to fix itself. This process is similar to when you get a cut and the body mobilizes to heal it. Depending on the aim of treatment, acupuncture encourages the augmentation of immunity, interrupts pain signals, recruits endorphins (stronger than opiates) to modulate pain, balances neurotransmitter communication, and improves circulation.
If you think of the body as a road map, various roads called “meridians” connect to different areas of your body and the stops along the way are where the acupuncture points reside. Coursing through these roads is what we call “Qi”, which can be described as the energetic currency of vitality moving through your body that animates every physiologic process. From a Western medicine framework, it is described as the biomedical expression of the tissues. By inserting acupuncture needles into specific points, we can significantly influence the function of the whole body.
The idea is to teach your system how to take care of itself so well that you eventually don’t have to come in for regular treatment, only occasional tune-up treatments when the seasons of your life require a different version of you.
How many acupuncture sessions will I need to notice results?
The amount of sessions varies per patient, but on average a typical course of treatment can be anywhere from 2-12 sessions. This will depend on your health history, severity of the current condition, and lifestyle.
Should I get acupuncture if I’m not experiencing any problems?
Absolutely. I would compare it to getting scheduled maintenance for your car to avoid potential mechanical problems.
Does it hurt?
Not really. At most, you may experience a brief pinch. In Western society, we’re naturally conditioned to equate needles with pain. This is understandable, considering the times you are usually engaging with needles aren’t the most savory (tattoos, lab blood draws). Acupuncture needles are a class of their own. They are micro-thin, single-use, and sterile. Depending on the gauge, you can fit HUNDREDS of acupuncture needles inside a standard hypodermic needle. Acupuncture needles are also solid, not hollow, which significantly decreases the sensation of pain.
Are there side effects?
When being treated by a licensed acupuncturist, the side effects are negligible. Occasional light bruising at the insertion site is possible. Some of the most common side effects my patients report are improved sleep, flowing digestion, buoyed energy, robust immunity, and an enhanced capacity to take on the world.
Who is your acupuncture practice for?
My practice is open to anyone seeking to change the story surrounding their health and human potential. That being said, I intentionally center the narratives of people who have been historically disregarded and disillusioned by healthcare systems that refuse to hold them safely. This does not diminish the level of care I provide for each patient, but enhances the container and capacity of healing for everyone that engages with my work.
What are your credentials?
I’m a nationally licensed acupuncturist and herbalist with licensure in California and Pennsylvania. I have undergone rigorous state and national licensing examination as well as Clean Needle Technique certification. I have a four-year Master’s degree from one of the best acupuncture schools in the United States. My bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science affords me the ability to integrate the best of Eastern and Western medicine. I have worked with Cara Frank (Six Fishes Acupuncture, China Herb Company) who is one of the best herbalists on the East Coast. I have worked with patients in a kaleidoscopic range of environments including cruise ships, LGBTQIA+ health centers, addiction clinics, community clinics, and private practice. I have successfully treated casual tech neck pain to symptoms of HIV and cancer.