BellaSpark is an outspoken supporter of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. But, even though we’ve run articles on dozens of modalities, we’ve rarely offered first-hand reviews of the actual client experience. For 2015, we decided to challenge our staff to seek out new (and, in some cases, “old”) alternative healing modalities that they found interesting. We then asked them to schedule a session with a local practitioner and report back to the magazine on their experience.
By Phyllis Kennemer
I have had an abiding curiosity about acupuncture since 1980 when I was on a tour of China. One of the members of our group visited a local hospital for an acupuncture treatment. The doctor placed needles on various parts of his body and then his back felt better. His brief account was the extent of my knowledge for over thirty years, until I finally investigated acupuncture for myself.
I met with Inger Giffin of Wisdom Ways Acupuncture. Fortunately, I do not suffer from any medical problems, so my time with Giffin was mostly educational and, surprisingly, very relaxing.
Giffin started our session with a discussion of my medical history. She explained that she does not treat symptoms. She uses a holistic approach that assumes everything in the body is connected, and she looks for the root of her clients’ problems. She concentrates on chronic issues and generally meets with people over a series of sessions to bring about gradual and sustaining changes in overall health. Her treatments also include recommendations for supplemental herbal formulas and changes in eating habits.
Acupuncture is all about chi –- the energy that exists in our bodies. An acupuncturist places needles in various places on the body to stimulate the chi and help it move more smoothly. Before she began our procedure, I observed that a needle is as thin as human hair. She placed needles on my feet, legs, arms and wrists. The last needle went on my forehead in the area of the “third eye.” I did not feel most of them, but some needles produced a strong sensation at first, which then faded. Griffin left me in a quiet room with soft music and an opportunity for quiet meditation. After about twenty minutes she removed the needles. I was very relaxed and grateful for the sense of renewal I experienced.
Griffin, who is trained in the Chinese tradition, spent some time in China as an intern. In ancient Chinese cultures, doctors were paid to keep people well, not to treat illness. When their clients periodically consulted them the medical practitioners would check digestion and body functions, and make recommendations for changes in eating habits or physical activities. Doctors were expected to notice potential health problems and advise the patient on ways to avoid them. If the person later became ill, the doctor’s treatment was free.
Inger Giffin, M.S., L.Ac., Acupuncturist, Herbalist, Educator can be reached at: HYPERLINK “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”email@example.com, HYPERLINK “http://www.wisdomwaysacupuncture.com/”www.wisdomwaysacupuncture.com.