I hope your holidays thus far has been heart-warming and full of much-needed rejuvenation! For those of you have been feeling challenged and triggered by the holidays, I send you love that the heartbreak will soon pass (it always does), and that you will discover glimmers of strength, hope, and support during this time.
As the year of 2013 wraps up, I was racking my cabeza trying to think of some profound list of how to release in order to receive the New Year, but then realized that this subject has been done 10 times over, backwards and forwards, already. So, I thought about the top reasons patients visited me this year, and discovered that, although they were coming to me for time-sensitive, and sometimes urgent, issues, that the reasons are classic ones that stand the test of time. Interestingly enough, people often come to me for one thing, and it turns out that something deeper needs to be addressed. Such is the case, since our physical is intertwined with the emotional and spiritual, and vice versa!
Here are the top 10 reasons patients visited me this year, and how Acupuncture and Reiki can benefit you in the New Year:
- Stress, anxiety, and depression management – Acupuncture is well-known for treating stress, and for good reason! It immediately gets the Liver Qi flowing again (the Liver is in charge of the free flow of Qi, and its obstruction causes physical and emotional pain, often showing up as irritability and having a short temper, among other symptoms), even in a patient who may not necessarily be sold on whether or not Acupuncture is for them. Both Acupuncture & Reiki are effective for stress, anxiety, and depression, and the benefits can be felt immediately during the session, and/or afterwards. Many of my Reiki patients come to me for anxiety and depression, and leave feeling so much more grounded, and that no matter what’s going on in their lives, that they’re more able to manage the emotional impact it may have on them.
- Musculoskeletal and joint pain, physical pain – This is probably the number one reason people come through my door, and the main reason why Western physicians refer patients to me for Acupuncture. Back pain (upper, middle, lower areas), shoulder pain, neck/trapezius pain (this one’s been more prevalent, recently), carpal tunnel syndrome, hip pain, costochondritis, knee pain, foot pain, ankle pain, and beyond! A recent patient, who’d had foot surgery a year or so ago, had been in such pain, it affected how she walked, and even limited her yoga, which made her incredibly sad, since that was one of the main things that helped her release stress and feel at peace. After one session of Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicated oil massage on her foot, she was in awe that her pain had vanished, and that she could walk normally! She is now in “maintenance mode” with her sessions (she comes in to maintain her foot once and a while, whenever she feels it’s necessary, or if she anticipates increased physical activity that may aggravate her foot), and enjoys her yoga more fully. A patient who was very much on the fence about Acupuncture’s efficacy announced 4 treatments later, with a big smile, “It is official. Acupuncture works!” He’d come in complaining of chronic neck pain and nasal congestion for 12 years, as a result of neuropathy from surgery and radiation treatment for Hodgkin’s Disease in his neck. And not only was his pain gone, but he was able to be more present in his life and more at peace, now that he no longer had the glaring pain in his neck to deal with! Interestingly enough, although Reiki involves only gentle placement of hands (and nothing else), I have also found it effective in helping to release physical pain, particularly when it’s due to storing old emotional baggage.
- Emotional release – Although this is not a main reason people visit me, this is one thing that often happens, particularly when a lot of inner healing needs to happen for the full, physical body to heal. An emotional release can happen when a patient’s consciousness becomes aware of what they’ve been suppressing (usually, for many years), and can come in the form of a release of tears, a powerful journey entry done as a result of what’s come up during a session, or a meaningful ritual that’s done to acknowledge the pain’s purpose (because pain always serves a purpose, but then we can hold onto the pain even if it no longer serves us) and to release it. It is an honor to gently hold space for my patients when this release needs to happen.
- Fertility – Acupuncture and Reiki are excellent modalities to promote fertility in both men and women. Acupuncture is especially effective for this, and is receiving wider acceptance by Western physicians as a modality, with or without IVF/IUI, to help with fertility. I have assisted women who preferred to address it naturally, and those who were going through cycles of IVF or IUI. Numerous studies have shown that IVF acupuncture can increase the efficacy of in-vitro fertilization. Acupuncture not only reduces stress, but can increase the number of follicles produced, help to thicken the endometrial lining, and decrease the side effects of IVF medications. It is a joy to help my patients grow their families! One of my patients who got pregnant did so even though she has PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)! You really never know, sometimes what may seem like an obstacle may not be, after all.
- Thyroid rebalancing – I saw various patients, this year, for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Most of them were on medications to help regulate their thyroid levels, such as Synthroid, and it is a wonderful thing when they report back to me that their levels have evened out! My goal with those dealing with thyroid issues is to nourish the Kidneys, support the Spleen, regulate the Liver, and help them connect with their body (since issues with the neck can often indicate a disconnect between body and mind). Thyroid issues often relate, energetically, to speaking our truth, and our Throat Chakra.
- Female issues – Female issues can range the gamut from PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), dysmenorrhea (painful menses), pelvic pain (that may or may not have anything to with the reproductive organs), and fibroids, among some. Directing some Acupuncture and Reiki love to the 2nd Chakra, female reproductive organs, and lower abdominal health, in general, has helped ease many of my female patients’ issues. It is always a joy to see my patients enjoy pain free cycles! And, after a successful treatment to address painful menses, they often report that their cycles thereafter are less intense, with little to no cramping.
- Aligning patients with their life’s purpose – Sometimes, I notice when a person is not following their heart. This often results in them staying in a job they hate, being resentful in a relationship, being angry with themselves but not knowing why, or sabotaging their own happiness. With Acupuncture and Reiki, as well as through compassionate communications, I help them get reconnected to their joy and passion, which translates to them re-aligning with their life’s purpose. Life on the earthly plane is short, and being in touch with what excites us and promotes our vitality is important to our whole health!
- Skin issues – Rashes, hives, and acne can be very frustrating for patients to deal with, especially when those suffering from them have already gone through the gauntlet of medications, numerous dermatology appointments, fad treatments, and the like, without desirable results. Many of these conditions are considered Blood Heat Toxin and/or Damp Heat in Chinese Medicine, and each patient’s treatment may be different, depending on their constitution.
- Releasing obsessions, addressing addictions – We all have something we like to hang onto, some more than others. And sometimes that can get in the way of realizing our greatest potential. This is often related to the Spleen in Chinese Medicine, oftentimes it is related to various organ systems, as we are complex beings after all! And it can run the spectrum – from a low-grade case of obsessive or addictive behavior, to one where the person is battling full-blown addiction, and many shades of grey in between. Having had experience working at a harm reduction agency, practicing NADA Ear Acupuncture, as well as full body Acupuncture, has helped me connect with those who are in recovery, and serve those who are looking to release their soul wounds around obsession and addiction.
- To honor their self-love, voice, and heart – This is not a commonly known benefit of Acupuncture and Reiki, but it exists, and is probably one of the biggest benefits of these modalities – opening the channels and balancing the chakras so that we can reconnect with our heart’s desire and love of self. I see it often where people give a lot of themselves, and get burned out. The reality is that, when this happens, we haven’t practiced enough self-care and self-love so that we don’t get burned out by giving to others. So, for instance, a person may come in for skin issues or back pain, and after a few treatments, realizes that he/she is seeing a subtle difference in how they see the world. They start feeling like they are more in touch with their capability in this world to not only survive, but thrive. To get in touch with what really makes them happy. And to be able to handle stress with more ease because there is a greater feeling of having a more solid foundation. This is subtle, but powerful.
I have had the pleasure to be of service through my private practice, offering whole body healing and rebalancing and coming back to self. I was also able to enjoy my first free ear acupuncture community clinic a few months ago, which was a hit! I’ll be doing more of that in the coming year.
Are you ready to rebirth and recommit to loving your whole body in 2014?
If so, how are you planning to do that?
Many blessings to you for an incredibly delicious 2014!
Copyright © 2013 by Alcantara Acupuncture & Healing Arts. All rights reserved. You may quote, copy, translate and link to this article, in its entirety, on free, non-donation based websites only, as long as you include the author name and a working link back to this website. All other uses are strictly prohibited.
All information on this website is my own opinion, and not to be taken as medical advice. Reliance on any information provided on this website is solely at your own risk. Please refer to your medical practitioner before making any medical decisions.