Acupuncture, Prism Blog

Why I Love Acupuncture, and You Should Too

Prior to being an acupuncturist, my background was in health education. I had also worked as a personal care assistant and receptionist at a chiropractic clinic. All of these experiences taught me that I wanted to be able to work with patients, and I wanted to have the tools to help them right then and there. I didn’t like western medicine, which tends to see the doctor as all knowing and doesn’t take into account patients experiences of their bodies and needs. Also, though I do a lot of health education in my acupuncture work now, I didn’t like just educating people, without being able to actually do anything for them. I wanted it to be a two-way street. I wanted to be able to provide them with care that would help them right away AND involve them in their own healing process. This led me to explore various alternative medicine fields.

I came to acupuncture specifically through a love of herbal medicine, sparked by my botanist father who taught me a deep appreciation for plants, and the women in my family who taught me the value of caring for others.

I had only had acupuncture once, on a whim, before starting acupuncture school and I didn’t really know if I’d like it. I’m sure some of you can relate!

I decided that if I didn’t like it, I’d just study the herbs and skip the rest of the program. It turns out I LOVE acupuncture and being an acupuncturist and I’m so glad I started this journey.

My favorite part of my job is watching people regain ownership of their healing process, reconnect with their bodies, and make positive changes in their lives.

Acupuncture is a holistic system that brings you back into balance by fixing the root of a problem rather than just the symptoms.

Some acupoints trigger a release of calming hormones, some rewrite pain pathways, some awaken the immune system, have anti-inflammatory effects, or increase circulation. Together, they help our nervous systems switch from ‘fight or flight’ (stress) mode into ‘rest and digest’ (healing) mode. This helps us keep calm, sleep well, build our immune systems, and repair cellular damage.

Most importantly, acupuncture helps people reconnect with their bodies and take true ownership of their healing processes.

Acupuncture makes small adjustments in your body to set you on the right path for healing. It’s your choice to continue to follow that path in between your treatments. Your body wants to heal. It likes getting a little reset so it can get back to doing what it does best. Acupuncture allows you to set your healing intentions and send you in the right direction to actually accomplish them. What a wonderful gift.

The more scientifically identifiable effects of an acupuncture treatment (including changes in nerve and pain pathways, as well as endorphins and other brain chemicals that are released) last about four days after a session. Notice how you feel over the first 3-4 days after your treatment, jotting down any improvements or symptoms that you notice, like increased energy, better sleep, better digestion, and improvement in whatever symptoms you came in for. This allows you to keep in touch with your body and understand what it needs, and also helps us understand how you’re responding to treatment.

When you listen to your body, follow the healing path that acupuncture lays out for you, and come in often, this truly allows the healing momentum to build up. Rather than bouncing back and forth between better after acupuncture and worse again between each session, you begin to improve and improve and improve. Each time you come in, you’re expanding upon what you’ve already accomplished and you can actually start to see dramatic changes in your mental, physical, and spiritual health. Even once you’re feeling great it’s important to come in for your monthly or seasonal ‘tune-up’, just to keep your body on the right track of healing so that you can continue to enjoy good health.

It can be really challenging to create new habits and let go of old patterns that don’t serve us. It is so much easier just to come in and expect your healthcare provider to fix you. And sometimes we can do exactly that. But mostly those kind of fixes are temporary; the lasting changes come with work that you do outside of our sessions as well. Acupuncture can help you get there by resetting your nervous system and helping you reconnect to what your body has been telling you all along.

What do you do to get the most out of your acupuncture sessions? Why do you love acupuncture?


Schedule your first acupuncture session now, at www.prismacupuncture.com/appointments


This information is for educational purposes only, please consult a healthcare provider before exercising and always follow your surgeon’s advice.

A queer couple kissing
Prism Blog, Sex & Relationships

How to Talk to Your Doctor About Polyamory

 

Bringing up alternative relationships styles with a doctor can be intimidating, especially when you don’t know for sure what their experience is with these topics. However, to get the care you need, it can be important for your doctor to know your relationship status. HSDP‘s most recent workshop focused on working with polyamorous patients in clinic: how we can create a safe space for patients to talk about their relationships without being judged. This is a followup post to Talking to Your Doctor About BDSM.

For Poly Patients:

  • You may first want to decide what you want your doctor to know about your personal life based on what is necessary for your care.
    • For example, perhaps it is relevant to tell your doctor that you are in multiple relationships when you have a questions about safer sex practices, but not when you are going in for a flu shot.
    • You may decide that you personally feel more comfortable when you can be open about your identity or relationship status with every doctor, regardless of the reason for visit.
  • The most important thing to remember when talking to your doctor about topics that may be new to them, is that they are primarily looking out for your safety. This means that it’s especially important to remain confident when talking about issues like poly and kink that could be seen as related to partner abuse.
    • Let your provider know that you are happy and feel empowered by polyamory, if that is true for you, so that they don’t have reason to suspect that you are in a dangerous situation.
    • However, if you are actually in a dangerous or uncomfortable situation and want to discuss this with your provider, it is okay to bring that up as well. Many poly people feel that they need to constantly “prove” to monogamous people that being poly is healthy and makes everyone happy, and because of this they may feel reluctant to bring up issues that they actually want to talk about.
    • Remember to take care of yourself, your doctor is there to support you and you have the right to get the help you want. If you feel judged by your doctor for seeking help, or you feel you are not getting the care you want because they are not educated about your lifestyle, consider getting a recommendation from a friend for a new doctor!

For Poly Healthcare Practitioners:

  • The number one thing to keep in mind, with this and any other topic you may be unfamiliar with, is simply to maintain a professional, nonjudgmental attitude when talking to your patients.
    • Though actually knowing about and understanding topics like polyamory is helpful, you can still be an effective practitioner simply by keeping an open mind and paying attention to what your patients are asking of you.
  • Related to this, keep your assumptions at bay. Don’t automatically assume that your poly patient is more likely to get an STI. In fact, most polyamorous people are much more STI aware and are more likely to have safer sex than monogamous people, partly because they have more people to be accountable to.
    • This applies to all aspects of a patients life: don’t assume they’re straight, don’t assume their gender, don’t assume they can afford to pay for the prescription you give them, etc.
    • You can ask more broad questions, like “What safe sex practices do you use?”, “Are you currently dating?/What is your current relationship status?”, and “What genders do you usually date?”. These questions are great because they don’t assume that the patient is having sex, that they use or need birth control, nor do they assume anything about their sexual identity or relationship status.
  • If you are truly concerned for a patient’s mental health or physical safety (and not just because you have not educated yourself about poly relationships), you can ask questions like “Do you feel safe at home?” or “Do you have a support system or someone to talk to?” to decide whether you need to take further steps.

More Helpful Resources:

What Psychologists Should Know About Polyamory

Kinkopedia: Solo Polyamory

Solopoly.net

What Health Professionals Need to Know

A Poly Metaphor


All information in this blog is for educational uses only. Always consult your doctor before taking any herbs or supplements, or changing or discontinuing your medications.


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