Most Americans have no idea what acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine are all about, despite the fact that acupuncture is gaining wide, main-stream acceptance. The most common things I hear are: "Uh, acupuncture? Why? How? And what the... ?!?" And how on Earth does a seemingly "normal" American start the journey of studying Chinese medicine and eventually pursue a career as an Acupuncturist?
Long story short, I sought-out acupuncture treatment for a shoulder injury when conventional medicine could only offer temporary symptom relief in the form of pain medication. That automatically went out the window for me as I had no interest in masking the natural healing process happening in my body. However, I was still in constant and excruciating pain. I decided to try acupuncture, having zero expectations and not knowing a single thing about traditional Chinese medicine. To be fair, my undergraduate degree is from what I affectionately call a "hippy" school and I had always sought out more holistic ways of healing (within reason) and had a passion for nutrition and an outdoor/athletic lifestyle. I still vividly re-call my reaction to that initial experience. I left feeling an 80% reduction in pain and an all-encompassing feeling of wellness and balance. Acupuncture was an amazing, life-altering experience for me! After a little bit of intellectual research and soul-searching, I knew this was IT for me! EPIPHANY TIME! I felt to my CORE that Chinese medicine would allow me to not only help people (the best feeling in the world!) but by utilizing and accessing the body's own resources to do so. Acupuncture is thousands of years old. It's based upon principles that RESPECT nature and the natural functions of the body. Acupuncture helps balance the body; it reduces inflammation; it hits the proverbial "re-set" button on our bodies. You don't even have to understand or believe in acupuncture (it works on animals). Acupuncture respects and COMPLIMENTS other healing modalities and health systems (Western, chiropractic, homeopathic, naturopathic, massage, etc.). Yes! I love acupuncture and Chinese medicine!
I'm a profound believer that we have everything we need for balance, health and contentment within ourselves. Sometimes we need a little assistance finding that balance. We all need a helping hand now and then! I also firmly believe that there is no greater strength than ASKING for help when we need it. Humans are social-beings. We need one another. I believe that my roll as an Acupuncturist is to be an assistant on your path to happiness and well-being. Nothing more, nothing less.
So, what does all of this have to do with picking the right Acupuncturist for you?!?! (When am I going to get to the point here!) As with anyone you choose to have as a helper or coach in your life, whether it be a medical doctor, coach, therapist or even an attorney, it's necessary to feel at ease, to trust that person and to be in alignment with that person's intentions. It's simple enough to verify a professional's credentials, education and licensure (hey, let's not negate the importance of these things too), but let's get real! I want to share with you where I'm coming from and what I can offer YOU! These are the things you're really considering when deciding whether to come see me or not!
My belief and philosophy is to be 100% PRESENT with my patients. I want them to feel that I am available, showing up, educated, articulate, trustworthy and that my healing intent comes directly from my heart. The most remarkable healing I've seen in patients is when they really SHOW-UP too with regard to treatment. This might mean: setting aside the amount of treatment time I suggest to you to get OPTIMAL results, taking an herbal prescription, being honest and/or asking me the burning questions you may have. Goodness, this list could go on and on. Are you ready to dedicate what it takes to feeling better? Well, then I'm here for you!
Nothing floors me more than being with my patients, giving them my full attention and sharing my knowledge - all with the most sincere of intentions. I have no interest in providing medicine and wellness in the same model Western medicine currently provides. I'm here to offer patients who are fed-up and ready for true healing and contentment - something different. If you're still not sure if I'm the right Acupuncturist for you, please feel free to call me to chat for a few minutes or you can schedule an initial consultation, where we will discuss your individual goals.
Here's to your health!
-Holly Christiansen L.Ac
About the Author:
Holly Christiansen, Licensed Acupuncturist, currently practicing in the gorgeous, horse capital of the world: Lexington, Kentucky.