As a licensed acupuncturist and certified Reiki master/teacher, I'm often asked how it all works. What's the point? Why should someone try either?

When it comes to acupuncture, I explain how vital energy — or “Qi” — circulates through the 12 invisible energy lines known as meridians on the body, each of which correlates to a specific organ systems. By inserting needles into specific points along meridian lines, balance to the flow of Qi is restored.

I also mention the scientific explanation, which is that acupuncture stimulates the release of pain-relieving endorphins, influences the release of neurotransmitters, stimulates circulation, influences the electrical currents of the body, and revitalizes the body’s natural healing abilities.

For Reiki, I explain that it's a healing modality in which gentle “hands-on” and “hands-off” placement of hands assists in relieving or reducing pain and discomfort by balancing the body’s energy centers, or chakras.

And the reason Reiki can be so powerful and effective is because it infuses your chakras — and your body — with Universal Light energy. This helps release old patterns in powerful but gentle ways that no longer serve you. As a practitioner, I act as a conduit for Universal Energy so your body can heal itself.

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Listen, I get it. I understand the reluctance to try practices like acupuncture and Reiki. When I first started acupuncture school, my father, a Western doctor (a radiologist, to be specific), wasn't shy about voicing his doubts that I could ever be successful in my field, mainly because he saw it as a “soft” healing practice. One that may not get results, much less be a career I could make a living on!

I'm grateful for his initial doubt in my healing work, though, because it prepared me for the kind of mindset I'd meet going forward. But flash-forward a few years, and my dad wants to try out acupuncture for himself ... from me! After our first session, he admitted he could feel greater circulation in the area of pain, that he felt more ease in the area, and was generally more relaxed.

Then he added, “You have a good bedside manner. If this is how you do your treatments, you’re gonna be OK.”

I know some people may not be as easily won over as my father, and that's fine by me. What I practice isn't for everyone, but I urge even the skeptics to put their doubts aside and at least try something new, no matter how tenuous they might find the initial thought.

Trust me on this: I've been practicing for many years now and have seen the healing powers of acupuncture and Reiki.

When patients first come in, they often present with their chief complaint. Usually, it’s a physical one, like back or shoulder pain, or digestive issues. Others may come in to deal with stress, anxiety, thyroid issues, irregular menses, or because they're trying to conceive.

Whatever the health concern, I ask about how they feel, and if their heart and spirit are happy. This may not be a typical question asked by health care providers, but it's a vital query in my book!

If your heart and spirit aren't in sync with what you're doing in life, it creates problems in the energetic body. And if those problems aren't addressed or healed, they manifest in the physical body.

Once I hone in on and address what's not in balance in their lives (in addition to treating what they originally came in for), they're able to function from a more whole and healed perspective. In order for the whole body to be healthy, the mind, body, and spirit need to be balanced. And acupuncture and Reiki are modalities that do just that.

When you create wellness within, you create wellness without. Healthy shifts not only happen internally but affect how we interact with the outside world in positive ways.

What makes your heart happy? What do you want to heal within?

Photo Credit: Getty Images


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