As a Chinese medical practitioner, a lot of the concepts & ideas I share with my patients are very new & even down-right foreign. I get it. I have been exposed to the medical system as it currently is. I am an American. I have seen the same t.v. shows & been immersed in the same culture as you. I understand where you're coming from.
The medical system in the U.S. as it currently stands, is much more akin to a "disease-management" system than an actual healthcare system. There is not always time for your practitioner to spend enough time with you or for you to ask questions, & receive answers. Additionally, your practitioner may not be well-versed in alternative therapies, nutrition, lifestyle modifications or be able to provide options outside of surgery or medications. You may not want medications, or at least to not be on medications permanently. You may be hesitant to be put under and have your body operated on, though certainly both of these options are sometimes necessary. I know that if I was in a critical or emergency scenario, I would want to go to a hospital with resources at the ready!
Today, more than ever, Americans are finding themselves ill or being diagnosed with all categories of diseases, often at the credit of modern technology. Maybe you've struggled so long with feeling "off", tired or poorly, that a diagnosis was a relief to you, which is understandable. Perhaps you've experienced being mis-diagnosed or a diagnosis being missed all together. Science has come so far, has further to go, but at what expense? Don't get me wrong. I believe there is value to be had in knowing what may be plaguing the body, but does knowing & focusing on a disease label, symptoms, outcomes, & prognosis make you feel healthier? Does it make you feel refreshed, calm, un-anxious, & vibrant? (Well, if it does, then you probably don't need my help, let's be honest!)
Regardless of the diagnosis or reason you are seeking acupuncture &/or herbal medicine, wellness & health is truly an "inside job". What do I mean by that? It's a combination of factors:
*Acupuncture & herbal medicine balance the body from within. Both of these modalities decrease inflammation, increase blood circulation, & make you feel good by releasing endorphins & serotonin. They also help "re-set" the brain by calming the nervous system & putting you into a sympathetic state by slowing your breath & heart rate. When your body is in this calmer state, healing can naturally occur & is very similar to what happens when you are sleeping; this is the time of day your body rejuvenates (if you're getting enough, high-quality sleep). This is how I can help propel you to wellness.
*Controlling where your mind & thoughts go will MAGNIFY & ACCELERATE your health & wellness even further than the treatments I can provide. Control is perhaps too strong of a word, but it's about focusing your attention on what you want, instead of what you don't want. How does this relate to your medical diagnosis? Do you feel good when you worry or over-think? Most of us would give a resounding NO. This is not about stuffing down or ignoring your thoughts & feelings in regards to a diagnosis (that may understandably be devastating). It's about allowing yourself to grieve or be angry or be upset & REALLY feel those emotions, without judgement. Do you find yourself being critical towards yourself when you think you have grieved for "too long" or "too intensely" or maybe a friend or family member has been critical of you? This is a perfect opportunity to practice kindness & compassion towards yourself. Accept & be okay with the amount of grieving you've needed or the manner in which you've needed to vent your frustration. And then - L E T I T G O. I know this is easier said than done. It's a practice & a skill that may take time. I would encourage you to focus your attention & energy on health, wellness, & visualizing yourself where you want & desire to be. The sky's the limit here! I realize you may not be sitting & thinking every moment of the day on your diagnosis, but do you say things like, "I suffer from back pain" or "I have fibromyalgia" or "that is my bad hip"? Words & thoughts have a lot of power & energy. Alternatively, you could say, "My back is healthy & pain-free" or "I am free from fibromyalgia & I feel great!" or "both of my hips are healthy & get me where I need to go", even when you have physical pain. This may sound or feel silly at first, but it absolutely changes your focus, re-directs your thoughts, & even changes your internal environment to a vibrant one instead of a diseased one.
*Knowing your diagnosis is important to me, but it will not be the focus of my treatment. I look at your body as a whole & entire unit that includes the physical, emotional & physiological aspects of YOU. It is impossible that they are separate - or you would not be alive & in human form. Therefore, a Western diagnosis is helpful, but there is a reason I ask a lot of questions every time you come in, feel your pulses & look at your tongue; your body is dynamic & always changing. You may have shoulder pain - & so may your neighbor Sally - but do you have the exact same stressors in life? Do you eat the same foods & have the same cravings? Do you work the same job & have the same dreams & aspirations? Likely, no! I will choose to focus more on the symptoms YOU are having & how to achieve optimal balance in your body to achieve wellness most applicable to your unique challenges. I choose to focus on your health, instead of your present disease.
Here's to your health! - Holly Christiansen, Licensed Acupuncturist at Bluegrass Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine in Lexington, Kentucky.
For a LIMITED TIME ONLY, during the hectic back-to-school, end-of-summer season, I am waiving the $45 cost for a private, discovery session to discuss your biggest health & wellness challenges. Click below and enter the discount code: ENDOFSUMMER
Available to new patients only please.
About the Author:
Holly Christiansen, Licensed Acupuncturist, currently practicing in the gorgeous, horse capital of the world: Lexington, Kentucky.