01 Jun 2019

I Love What I Do as an Acupuncturist!

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Pain and Chronic Conditions

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Depression, Migraines

As with so many people, Fred came into my office with more than one issue plaguing him. He was limping slightly, so I knew that something was up with his low back/hip area. But IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) had become chronic since the loss of his son, and his depression surrounding that tragedy had led to weight gain and less exercise and thus more low back pain. He was also suffering from frequent migraines.

Another Option to Drugs & Surgery

When I asked about any x-rays or MRI’s on the low back area, he began a story about his doctors that is becoming all too familiar. His western docs are offering drugs or surgery, and Fred wasn’t interested in either.

Acupuncture and herbs can handle each of these conditions, but not all at once.

Bottom Line: Feeling Better

When I asked which of the above he would most like to focus on, Fred simply smiled and said,

“I just want to leave feeling a whole lot better
than I feel right now.”

I realized that not only had he verbalized what all of my clients hope for, but he also put into succinct words why I love practicing Chinese medicine. I make people feel so much better!

Rapid Stress Reduction

Here is where Chinese medicine accomplishes so much more in a session than simply reducing pain. Everyone’s stress levels drop significantly and rapidly. Without actually focusing on points to reduce stress, I know that 99% of my clients will begin relaxing within 5 to 10 minutes of needles placed virtually anywhere. How does this happen?

Acupuncture Stimulates Healing

The answer lies with how the nervous system is organized. There are acupoints all over the body whose nerve signals overlap and stimulate a cascade of neurotransmitters released from the brain; these in turn signal hormones and cytokines (immune cell signaling chemicals) which affect every system in your body.

Not only are my patients feeling better by the minute;
the body has begun actively healing itself.

Natural Pain Relievers

When I inserted a few needles in the spasming muscles of Fred’s back (lumbar area), his brain released endorphins and enkalphins (natural pain relievers) that in turn direct blood flow and nutrients to the low back.

So two processes have begun:

  • The first will manage the symptoms
  • And the second will begin to heal the root of the problem.

When I add a gentle electro-stimulation to the points, Fred all but purrs. And we finish with cupping, which is new to him and deserves a description all of its own.

Recipe for Feeling Better

Will the pain return, Fred wants to know? Yes, most likely, though less intensely, and thus we reschedule him for about six to eight treatments.

To shorten the number of sessions, I am persuading him to walk more often, back off the inflammatory evils like sugar, and take some herbs—especially turmeric. DEAL! He leaves with herbs, a smile on his face, and I’ve ordered a centuries-old Chinese formula for dealing with his IBS.

With no drugs and no surgery,
we’ve begun assisting the body in doing
what it knows how to do, quite brilliantly:
heal itself.

I’ll see Fred in a week, and I get to sail home on a high like none other. I love what I do as an acupuncturist! Helping my patients feel better is so rewarding.

I Love What I Do!

Of course, I encourage anyone who is plagued by aches and pains that Western Medicine isn’t resolving to contact me and give acupuncture a try.

And I also encourage anyone who is looking for a satisfying career to consider the joys of a helping profession. Here are some articles that may inspire you!

Why Science Says Helping Others Makes Us Happier

Life’s Too Short: 4 Reasons to Do What You Love for a Living

A List of Helping Professions: Big Hearts, Big Opportunities


About the Author

Janet Barrows has a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) from the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College in Berkeley, CA. She is a California State Licensed Acupuncturist (L. Ac.) practicing acupuncture in Santa Rosa, CA. Her practice includes acupuncture, natural herbs, facial rejuvenation, nutrition, and medical qigong.