When to see your Acupuncturist
So, a patient walked in and I asked how he was doing – “Well, if I was doing well I wouldn’t be here.” I hear that sometimes, but did you know you don’t have to be sick or in pain to come in for a visit? So here is a little snippet about when to see your Acupuncturist, when I go, and what I experience from a practitioner’s point of view.
Quick answer – go often, go for anything, go for nothing, go for everything. Everyone should come in at least once per season at minimal (think of it like watering a plant). If you really want to get specific, come at the corresponding time related to your chinese animal. I personally see my Acupuncturist anywhere from 1-4 times a month, and I have a few different acupuncturists that I see depending on what I’m working on. I started going in for a cough one day in August and continued going in weekly for a few months and now monthly just because. Why and what did I get out of the visits? Well, I love Acupuncture. It feels good on my body, it gives me an hour for myself, and it keeps me sane and healthy. Acupuncture helps me relax and reboots my system, harmonizes me to the world, and allows me to process all of the emotional and seasonal changes in life. It helped me clear that cough (Acupuncture and the corresponding formula are the number one way to clear a cough or cold in no time (good for kids and adults)!), cleared hip pain from childbirth, distressed me from all the business changes I was undertaking, and has prevented my own seasonal illnesses. There were days I didn’t even have an issue or illness, but having a scheduled treatment allowed me to work on somethings that got forgotten about (like 9/11 memories that were stewing in my mind from long ago).
I didn’t even realize how many things Chinese Medicine is used for until the end of my studies…and I’m still learning. So, if I’m still learning, I imagine my patients are too. Did you know Acupuncture was first created to be used like an almanac where everyone was treated with the same points based on the day to get in-tune with the cycle of life? Pretty cool, huh? Some of my colleagues still treat this way and one herb shop I visited in China even makes a tea of the day based on the seasonal almanac. This medicine has been around for over 2000 years so it has a good, long history of treating things that work using your body’s own immune system without side effects. For instance, Moxa, an infrared plant therapy, just won the Nobel Prize for science for curing malaria. Chinese Medicine treats syndromes, not names of illnesses, so things like malaria fall into a specific category that was known 2000 years ago.
Not every Acupuncturist works the same, just as no two artists work the same (think of how different Picasso and El Greco are). If you’re not having success with one practitioner for a particular issue then go see another. And remember – Chinese Medicine isn’t just Acupuncture – it is a combination of herbal therapy, food therapy, qi gong (energy movement), moxa (far infrared plant therapy), cupping (suction cups), gua sha (scraping or Graston technique), and tuina (medical massage). I use many of these tools in my treatments but I focus on Acupuncture, herbs, and Qi gong as well as a comfortable, relaxed bed-side manner that my patients say makes relaxing and opening-up very easy.
So, that’s what can happen when you use this medicine. Things in your life can change. You become happy, at peace, tuned in, and healthy.
Suggestions of when to see your Acupuncturist:
Birthday: I use specific Daoist points made just for your body. It is not only a feel-good relaxing time but it’s also preventative medicine. One patient was born in the year of the Monkey and not only experiences UTIs but also thyroid issues. This is not a coincidence in Chinese Medicine so working on balancing her helped clear both issues. Birthday treatments are discounted!!
Seasonly: Do you get seasonal allergies or maybe seasonal bronchitis? Come in at least once per quarter to adjust yourself to the new season and avoid chronic ailments that are affected by the season. Remember to come in before it happens to prevent it!
Coughs/colds/sinus pain or infection/ bronchitis: I had no idea how good Chinese medicine and Acupuncture worked until my NYC Acupuncturist, Dr Wu, cleared a sinus infection for me the morning of my cousin’s wedding. I was so impressed and it was just another sign for me to go into this field. Why do people get sick in different ways, and why do some of us get sick at the same time? There are different types of colds – wind cold, heat, dry, or damp. They all manifest in different ways so some people are more inclined to get a runny nose type of cold and others get a sore throat type of cold. Some people are more prone to bronchitis or others get a hacking cough with yellow phlegm. This all has to do with a mix of the outside environment and our inside make up. What makes us up is based on some things like what foods and liquids we eat and drink, how stressed we are, if we sleep with a fan or window blowing on us, or if we wear slippers or not. I can guarantee that when your cold gets cleared up with this medicine you will know of the tip of its capabilities. Note: if you do experience bronchitis make sure you come in the summer to prevent it as well as when you’re prone to get it.
Allergies: come in NOW (January – February) for prevention with acupuncture and herbs (possibly Jade windscreen). I will suggest you take herbs for about 2-3 months and hopefully you will not need to come in for your seasonal allergies. Nettle tea (or supplements) are also a suggestion as it decreases inflammation. Decrease sugars and night-shade foods as well.
Pain: Chinese medicine was made for people to come in everyday for 10 days in a row. Seeing as America is a different culture, I recommend people come in several times a week if it’s acute. If you are experiencing chronic pain come in at least twice a week for 3 weeks and allow yourself one treatment per month of the issue. I expect to see some sort of change after one treatment and progressive change after about 4-6. For very chronic long-term things I will suggest you come in for as many treatments as it took to make the pain go away so it stays away. There are fantastic herbal formulas based on injuries from martial artists.
Breaks and sprains: Come in immediately! You cannot believe the number of times my patients and their MDs are amazed at how fast they heal! One patient healed a broken foot in 5 weeks. We also got down to the stressful reason it broke in the first place and worked on that. I sprained my foot in Seattle and had a quick treatment before bed and I was all better by morning. I use a combo of acupuncture, and herbs (internal and topical).
Pregnancy: Come in once per trimester and get the “happy baby treatment.” People that meet my little munchkin, Oliver, say he is the happiest baby they’ve ever known. Not sure if it’s the reason, but I used acupuncture and herbs throughout the pregnancy for treatment and prevention. Come in for hip/sciatic/SI joint pain. Come in for acid reflux. Physicians, midwives, and ob/gyns refer their patients to me for cervical ripening so you can have contractions on your own and avoid induction and pitocin and help the baby be healthier. Even if you have a planned c-section it’s great to have contractions for the health of the baby. Plan on 4-5 visits about 1-2 weeks before your induction date or come if you’re eager to get things moving post your due date. I have a pregnancy table so you will be comfortable and well-cared for.
Post natal care: Use Acupuncture and herbs to help ligaments heal, to keep your immune system healthy, reduce stress, provide relief for mastitis, increase lactation, and aid in sleep (ahhh… sleep!).
Miscarriage: It’s the word no one wants to say, but it happens a lot more than anyone talks about. In fact, until I had my own miscarriage I didn’t know that almost 50% of pregnancies end. I received Acupuncture while it was happening and felt very cared for. It helped me process all that was happening and I even witnessed the baby’s spirit leaving during one session. There are herbs to prevent a miscarriage but it is not guaranteed. To prevent it Chinese Medicine practitioners suggest refraining from sex, high stress, or overindulgence during the first trimester while the little seed is settling in. The only thing that helped me feel better was the thought that the spirit needed to be loved and didn’t need to come to earth. Read this link.
Pediatrics: Use Chinese Medicine to keep babies and kids healthy, happy, and growing. Is it safe? Yes!! Are kids ok with it? Yes!! Chinese Medicine is the number one treatment for coughs, colds, and flus and other non-emergent issues. It reduces pain and speeds healing of breaks, sprains, and fractures. Does your middle schooler show signs of scoliosis? Acupuncture and far-infrared therapy are fantastic for stopping its progression. There are also some stressors that may be causing it so we will work on that too. Child stressed from school? Too many kids I work with are stressed out (either from school, friend, or divorce issues): a short treatment and energy session gets them back on track. Daughter experiencing menstrual issues or pain, PMS, or mood swings? While I cannot fix “teenager,” Chinese medicine is great at regulating the menstrual cycle and emotions. Come in now so they will not have bleeding issues in their 20s or trouble conceiving later as an adult. Pre-schooler or child experiencing asthma, eczema, or allergies? These are related – especially so if your child is a c-section baby. I use a combo of herbs, acupuncture, and food therapy. This is more of a long-term treatment so expect to come in for about 6 months. Pink Eye? There are herbs that stop the spread of it and clear it up within 1-2 days! Tonsillitis? Yup, herbs for that too! Upset belly, trouble eating, or GI issues? There are different food types that are better for some kids based on current season and what is ailing them. I know I had the worst nutrition and diet growing up (I didn’t like anything except ice cream and pasta) which led to menstrual issue, knee pain, chronic bronchitis and ear infections. Knowing this, I am committed to kids feeling healthier and happier. I highly suggest the books Chinese Pediatric Massage Therapy: A Parent’s and Practitioner’s Guide to the Treatment and Prevention of Childhood Disease and Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford.
Stress/ Anxiety/ Depression /PTSD: keep the cortisol levels down and regulate your hormones with Acupuncture. It’s scientifically proven to work better than anti-depressants/anxiety meds. Research here. I also use a variety of herbal formulas based on what is going on (Xiao Yao San, Gui Pi Tang, An Shen Bu Xin Dan to name a few).
Grief / heartbreak/ resentment: A treatment can clear years of pent-up grief/heartbreak/resentment so you can be present and happy. Know anyone that has breast cancer? There is likely some anger and resentment stuck in the Liver meridian that could be a contributing factor. There are a whole lot of people that have shed tears on my table then walk out laughing. This medicine is fantastic for clearing things that have been sitting on our mind for far too long, and seeing their smile brings such a warmth to my heart.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): Do you know there is a type of UTI that has nothing to do with bacteria but with comes from stress? About 75% of my patients experience this type of UTI. Also, veterinarians also state that many cats that have UTIs do not have any time of bacterial infection. Why and what can cause this? It’s from STRESS! We all know that stress does affect so many things in our lives, but how can it cause a UTI? Imagine this scenario – you have a lover/ spouse/ significant other/ ex that is causing you stress on your heart. This heart heat can get stuck in your body and then in your small intestine then in your bladder. Think of it like being unable to process things they said or did then you can’t clear it or let it go. There is an amazing formula called Guide the Red Out that heals this type of UTI. I also use several points on the Heart meridian to help you out as well. Simply Amazing!
In 2003 the World Health Organization published a list of conditions that are treatable with Acupuncture. Here are some more things Acupuncture is good for, so come in when/if you experience it, ok?! 🙂
- Somatization disorder
- Headache and migraine
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Facial palsy (early stage, within three to six months)
- Paresis following stroke
- Peripheral neuropathies
- Meniere’s Disease
- Nocturnal enuresis
- Cervicobrachial syndrome
- Neurogenic bladder dysfunction
- Intercostal neuralgia
- Disc problems
- Muscle pain, swelling, stiffness and weakness
- Localized traumatic injuries, sprains, strains, tendinitis, contractures
- Work and sports related injuries
- Low back and/or neck strain
- “Frozen shoulder”, “tennis elbow”
Respiratory System Conditions
- Acute sinusitis
- Acute rhinitis
- Common cold and allergies
- Acute tonsillitis
- Acute bronchitis
- Bronchial asthma
Conditions of the Eye, Ear, Nose & Mouth
- Acute conjunctivitis
- Central retinitis
- Myopia (in children)
- Cataract (without complications)
- Toothaches, post extraction pain
- Acute and chronic pharyngitis
- Spasms of esophagus and cardiac
- Irritable bowel and colitis
- Acute and chronic gastritis
- Gastric hyperacidity (i.e. acid reflux)
- Chronic duodenal ulcer (pain relief)
- Acute duodenal ulcer (without complication)
- Acute and chronic colitis
- Acute bacillary dysentery
- Paralytic ileus
- Menopause syndrome
- Benign irregular menstruation
- Benign amenorrhea
- Essential hypertension
- Withdrawal from street and pharmacological drugs
- Appetite suppression
See you on the table!
xo Kim Boldrini-Senn LAc