About a month and half ago I was in a total stress spiral—work was bananas and I was having a hard time unplugging. I even started having trouble sleeping. I’ve always toyed with the idea of trying acupuncture because I heard so many good things about it. But my stress levels put me over the edge and I finally made an appointment with Jen of Ocean Ki Acupuncture.
Not only is Jen a sweet and positive person, but she put my fears to rest. I’m not winning any awards for bravery when it comes to getting needles poked into my skin. But she walked me through everything and did a thorough intake on my goals before we got started.
Here are the details: don’t worry about the needles. They don’t hurt. Jen practices Japanese acupuncture which isn’t typically painful (see more below). By the end of each of my appointments I’m so relaxed. I feel like I just got back from a weeklong vacation, it’s like getting a massage or meditating. You just feel more centered when you leave. Overall, I feel less stressed out, I sleep deeply and uninterrupted, and feel like my body is physically and mentally back on track. It’s now just something I do for myself, along with eating well and exercising, that keeps me feeling my absolute best.
Interested? I asked Jen some questions about acupuncture, how it works, and what it can help with. Have you ever tried it? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
How does acupuncture work?
Jen: The way that I like to explain it, is to have you think of your body like a closed electrical circuit. In that closed circuit we have energy, so when you go to turn your lights on there are signals that switch them on. In our bodies we have the same thing and the needles act as the switches. The needles are able to open the floodgates for qi (chi) or help move stagnation. The main focus is to have free flowing qi in the body. When you have free flowing qi, we’re healthy. When it’s stuck we have pain, we have illness, things just aren’t happy in your body.
What is the difference between Chinese and Japanese acupuncture?
Jen: My experience with the difference between Japanese and Chinese acupuncture is that in Japanese acupuncture the needle is a smaller gauge and they aren’t inserted as deeply. It’s a more subtle approach to the medicine. However, we’re all searching for that same goal in the qi flow. There isn’t one good or bad way.
What can acupuncture help with?
Jen: There is so much that acupuncture can help with! As long as you shouldn’t be in an emergency room, acupuncture can help. A lot of people walk through my door because of pain, stress, anxiety, migraines, allergies, insomnia, asthma, digestive issues, feeling stuck in life—you name it. The goal is to leave with more energy, clarity, and focus. People just need to be open to it. It’s such a different way of viewing and treating the body, we are stuck in our Western minds a lot. So don’t put it at the bottom of your list of things to try if you’re dealing with a chronic issue.
How do I know if an acupuncturist is qualified?
Jen: Each state has their own rules and regulations, always check to see what your state’s licensing process is and then check to see if your acupuncturist is licensed. Ask what school they attended and make sure it’s an acupuncture school. Ask how long they’ve been practicing too. Every doctor should be using medical grade, unopened needles during your appointment and they should be disposing of them properly. Check them out online and see if other patients are talking about them and have feedback. Before your first appointment have a conversation on the phone to make sure you feel comfortable.
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