How Much (Acupuncture) Do You Need?
In the last newsletter, I offered some general guidelines about how to make the most of your acupuncture experience, should you decide to dip your toe in.
I wanted to follow-up with another real-life example of the results one patient experienced when she committed to the five-session weekly package that I designed in particular to help people with ongoing health issues who need a boost to get back on track with their health.
I offered to change tiny details in the email this patient recently sent me, and to leave off her name entirely (as is always my inclination), but she asked that I go ahead and identify her. I’m grateful for her willingness to be an example for others!
Sharon first started coming to me with a bloaty and full feeling in her stomach and anxiety. We worked together once a week for 15 weeks. After 10 weekly sessions, she said she felt good again--her stomach pain was gone and her anxiety was in-check--but she wanted the safety of continuing to come weekly for another month or so.
Seeing someone weekly for care can be incredibly nourishing and reassuring. I usually talk to a patient for 15-30 minutes at the beginning of each appointment. We discuss progress and any challenges or questions. Because the package sessions are 15 minutes longer than a regular follow-up, the patient still has 30-40 minutes to relax on the table with acupuncture needles.
If you’ve never had acupuncture before, this whole experience might sound horrifically scary rather than “relaxing,” but many people fall asleep when I step out of the room. And some patients describe their time on the table as being like a “meditation.” A recent patient reported feeling “refreshed” at the end of each session.
Once you commit to the package of five weekly sessions, we can both stop worrying about logistics, like the time frame for appointments or how long we will work together, and focus completely on your healing.
Having that commitment of the five weekly sessions in place means that we have time to start to heal your health concerns, and it also signals to both of us that healing is a process. During those five weeks, we have time to dig deep and figure out the best ways to get you to wherever it is you want to be.
After seeing someone weekly, I often transition them to every other week for awhile so we don’t lose any momentum. But Sharon was feeling so good after committing to the container of 15 weeks that she and I made a leap to monthly appointments, and right now we’re holding steady at 8-weeks since her last appointment, with the intention to transition her to once every 8-12 weeks or so for “maintenance” appointments.
She wrote to me recently, having not seen me for acupuncture for two months, and described her results in the following way:
“Thankfully I’m doing pretty well, mindful of things, continuing to meditate, and go to Pilates. My stomach has been a bit off--I’ve been not as careful eating, so occasionally I was feeling a little blech. I’m again being more careful, and honestly I’m feeling pretty good.
You’ve taught me well, and even though my favorite Pilates instructor has stopped teaching to go to grad school, I was able to deal with it appropriately (being sad, and then celebrating with her on her last day – which was a truly lovely memory). It gave me great joy to be able to spearhead collecting for a going away gift for my teacher, and we were able to collect $650.00 and give her VISA gift cards.”
~Sharon Brubaker, shared with her permission
While Sharon did have a little resurgence of stomach pain, she was also able to recognize why this might be occurring and then she was able to adjust her eating so that she could feel good again.
I love working with digestive disorders and issues around food and eating because there are so many ways to educate people about what kind of foods might work best for them AND there is so much opportunity for the patient to start learning a lot about what does and doesn’t work for them based on how their body feels with certain foods or eating habits.
While it can be overwhelming when you’re doing it all alone to track what you eat and how you feel, having a partner in the process who can look objectively at what you’re reporting can help you uncover patterns of eating or thinking that aren’t really serving you.
If you’re wanting someone to help you heal, and to help you identify patterns and habits that can help you decide what tiny adjustments to make, please consider contacting me for a free consultation. We’ll talk about your health and wellness goals and figure out if I’m the best person to help you.
Here’s hoping that you’re enjoying the last little bit of summer glory.