A HEALTHY DOSE
The more I work with clients trying to achieve optimal health, the more I’ve realized the power of our bodies to heal themselves. Very often, however, we need a nudge in the right direction. Acupuncture is a powerful healing modality that treats and prevents illness and provides the perfect encouragement for our bodies to find balance and wellness.
For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture has been used to diagnose, treat and prevent illness. In acupuncture treatments, thin, sterile needles are inserted into the body. A major component of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture seeks to restore balance in one’s body. Chinese medicine holds that there is yin and yang energy in everything in nature; all things are balancing and rebalancing into a state of perfect harmony.
A key word in Chinese medicine is qi (pronounced “chee”). Qi is a vital energy or life force which can become blocked or stagnated, leading to pain or illness. To help qi flow and regain balance, acupuncturists insert needles at points along the meridians, or energy pathways.
Though acupuncture is most well-known as a pain reliever, it is also used to treat a variety of conditions, including digestive problems, respiratory disorders, infertility, headaches and more. It is used both as a preventive approach, and as a curative therapy. I receive treatments monthly, and find it beneficial to both my mind and body.
The general vibe of the treatment differs depending on the practitioner. Most practitioners will have you in a private room, laying on a treatment table under a sheet. Some recommend wearing loose clothing, others allow you to be undressed if you prefer. Some facilities feel sterile, while others are warm and inviting, with relaxing ambient music. Most practitioners offer other treatment methods as well, such as cupping, the use of herbs, and dietary recommendations.
Acupuncture in the Rutland area runs anywhere from $65 to $200 per treatment, and is covered by some insurance plans. One unique practice in our area is The Village Community Acupuncture, where patients pay on a sliding scale of $20-$50 per visit, and receive treatment in a community room in comfortable reclining chairs. The space is shared with other patients, who might be neighbors or friends, but often don’t know each other. Though they do have screened off areas and treatment tables for those who need to lay down, the community approach allows them to make acupuncture more accessible to the average person who may not have insurance coverage or enough expendable income to make acupuncture part of their regular wellness protocol.
Here in the Rutland region, there are at least six licensed acupuncturists practicing. I reached out to them with questions and here are some of the replies I received:
Why did you decide to go into acupuncture?
Dalite Sancic, Red Lotus Wellness, Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine LLC (practicing at Rutland Integrative Health): I was having persistent knee pain when I was 20 years old. After a slew of tests and a series of physical therapy that didn’t help, someone suggested acupuncture. I had never had experience with acupuncture and knew very little about it. As someone with needle phobias from childhood, I was a bit hesitant, but needed to do something, so I went to a lovely woman that not only helped my knees, but I felt better in my body. This is one of the wonderful things about acupuncture! Part of the known mechanism is the activation of the body’s endogenous opioids, which are chemicals that the body naturally manufactures to provide pain relief. Because of this, it’s not unusual to get beneficial side effects: reduced stress, better digestion, and more restful sleep.
What do you wish everyone knew about acupuncture?
Lisa Williams, The Village Community Acupuncture: I wish people knew that acupuncture can be surprisingly relaxing. Needle phobia is very common, but the single-use, sterile needles we use are hair thin. People often are surprised that our needles are so tiny, and yet can elicit such amazing results. I would also love for people to know that it can take a few treatments to begin feeling results, yet people do often walk out feeling better than when they walked in. Also, Acupuncture treats many issues, not just pain. While it is very effective for issues like sciatica, back pain, headaches, joint pain etc., we also treat digestive, fertility, respiratory, neurological, pediatric, geriatric issues as well, among many others.
Do you like your work?
Dianne Barclay, Acupuncture Works VT: I am passionate about health and enjoy helping others on their path, whether physically, spiritually or emotionally. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine provide amazing alternatives for health care. I find that I leave my office each day rejuvenated because people are being helped in ways that they never even imagined were possible. How many professions can say that?