“How did you find acupuncture?” This is usually the first question people ask upon learning that I am an acupuncturist. Before I can respond, the next question is: “Does it hurt?” (No!) But that is a topic for another day.
Many of us who have experienced acupuncture talk about finding acupuncture the same way others talk about finding themselves. It is rarely an easy journey that leads people to this medicine: full of ups and downs, joys and sorrows, victories and defeat, and my journey is no different.
I was a healthy and happy child. At the age of ten, I suddenly became ill for a couple of months, and was diagnosed with gallstones. Two weeks and a minor surgery later, my gallbladder was gone and I was sent back home on the road to recovery. Except I did not recover. The gallbladder attacks and the pain eventually ceased, but the crippling nausea remained. Fortunately, I had six weeks left of summer vacation to adjust to my “new normal,” and to adapt to daily nausea. As anyone with a chronic health problem knows: life keeps moving. No matter how you are physically feeling, you are told and believe that you must keep pushing forward.
Jumping ahead three years to the age of 13, my body had reached its limit. The regular growing pains of the pre-teen years: glasses, braces, awkwardly long arms and legs: are physically and emotionally trying without adding a constant battle with your health. By this point the nausea was nonstop and my body and immune system began to shut down. I had dropped to a frighteningly low weight with no sign of improvement, and no diagnosis from any of the several doctors and specialists I had been seeing. The consistent response of, “There is nothing physically wrong. This is all in your head,” became unbearable to hear. We were overwhelmed and desperately searching for any other options, and that is when we found Dr. K.
I very clearly remember my first acupuncture session. My mother told our acupuncturist that she would try anything at this point: standing on her head in the corner and chanting, if it were necessary. My acupuncturist laughed and said that wouldn’t be necessary, and then he turned to me. He assured us that this was not in my head, and there was a serious imbalance in my body that needed to be corrected. At the end of my first treatment, my nausea completely disappeared…for about twenty minutes. The feeling of reassurance and hope, along with the brief relief in nausea, was all it took for me to commit to acupuncture. My acupuncturist gave me a diagnosis of severe allergies, the worst being my braces, and with that the healing process began. I started feeling better and better each week, and my body grew stronger. Over time, I was able to resume my activities, eat a regular diet, and lead a normal life.
As an acupuncturist, my favorite part of the job is providing that same sense of relief that I felt from my acupuncturist during that first session: the feeling of hope, and the reassurance that there can be a solution. A lot of people find acupuncture as a “last resort,” when all other resources have been exhausted. That space is where healing begins.
Opening R&R Acupuncture has been a dream of mine for many years, and I am so humbled to have the ability to help people on their own roads to recovery. I look forward to sharing more information about what led me to the founding of R&R, and the plans I have for the future. Thank you all for joining me on this journey.