I have been teaching at Radiance since the studio first opened in 2008.  As I discovered my teaching path I rediscovered my passion for health and healing and decided to go back to school to study Acupuncture.  After over three years of commuting back and forth from DC to NYC for my program, I am now a Board Certified Licensed Acupuncturist in Virginia and Washington, D.C.  In September, I opened up my private practice in Del Ray and Dupont Circle.  While in school I dreamt of the idea of incorporating Yin Yoga, which is based off of the Meridians in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture together in a collective community healing session.  In January, I launched my first AcuYin workshop at Radiance.  The article below is intended to help those new or unfamiliar with Acupuncture gain a little more sense of how it might benefit you.  I look forward to welcoming you as a patient into my practice or seeing you on the yoga mat.


Before any Westerner experiences Acupuncture for the first time it can be as mysterious as the ingredients that keep a Twinkie fresh for decades.  However, Acupuncture has been used for centuries and dates back to at least the Shang Dynasty, approximately 1600 BC.   Acupuncture has been practiced in the United States for only about thirty years.  In contrast, Acupuncture has been practiced in England for over 400 years and in France for over 900 years.


3449573_mAcupuncture works by regulating a flow of energy in the body called Qi, the vital, life-giving force found both in nature and in the body.  Disruption of Qi (blocked, deficient or excess) can be responsible for a variety of diseases and disorders.  Physical and emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise, poor diet, overexertion, seasonal changes, accidents or excessive activity can influence Qi.  Normally, when an imbalance occurs, the body easily bounces back returning to a state of well-being.  However, when this disruption is prolonged or excessive, or if the body is in a weakened state, illness, pain or disease can set in.  Acupuncture needles stimulate points on or under the skin, which access the Qi and protect the body from illness and pain.  The health of an individual is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.  Qi travels through channels in the body called meridians, which support all functions of the mind, body and spirit.  For example, treating points on the hand can help with headache, neck and lower back pain. Treating points on the feet and legs can assist with depression, anxiety, hip pain, shoulder pain and digestive issues.  Treating points on the wrist, leg, back and lower abdomen can assist with gynecological concerns and fertility.  While these points may be far from the actual site of pain or patient complaint, Acupuncture treatments at these points are highly effective.


One of the largest studies to date on acupuncture and chronic pain- 29 studies involving nearly 28,000 patients, conducted by doctors at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and published in October 2012 in the Archives of Internal Medicine- found that acupuncture is effective for treating chronic pain and therefore is a reasonable referral option.  According to the World Health Organization, Acupuncture can treat over 50 diseases and disorders such as pain issues affecting the muscles, joints and bones, fertility, gastrointestinal concerns, digestive complaints, anxiety, depression, allergies, sleep disturbances and more.  Acupuncture training includes at least three years of professional masters/doctorate level education and requires the passing of three national board exams to become licensed in the state of Virginia.


What can you expect when you come in for the first time?

Even if you come in for localized lower back pain, I will ask you questions that might not seem related to your condition.  This is because everything in the body is important to Acupuncturists in regards to diagnosing.  Chinese Medicine looks at all conditions interrelated, even if there is no obvious connection in the Western view.  I will look at your tongue, check your pulse to read the energy of your meridians and organs and palpate your tummy.  These and other diagnostic measures help me determine the strategy for your treatment.  I will develop a treatment plan for you with your goals in mind.  Effective treatments typically require multiple visits. For example, for acute conditions and if you are in relatively good health you may only need up to five treatments spread over five weeks.  For chronic conditions, you may need more treatments depending on the condition and your overall health.  However, it is my expectation that you notice improvements with each session and together we will modify and adjust your treatment plan accordingly.  My goal (as much as I like you ) is to see you on a bi-monthly, monthly or quarterly basis for tune-ups/wellness visits once your condition is under control.


17421437_sAs a board certified licensed Acupuncturist, I am also nationally certified in Clean Needle Technique granted by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM).  During your treatments we will be using acupuncture needles, which are sterile, one-time use disposable needles about as thick as a strand of hair.  The needles are incredibly flexible and not at all like those used to draw blood.  Many times you will feel nothing as the needles are being inserted and stimulated during in the session.  Other times you may feel a slight pinch, heaviness, dull sensation, a slight achiness and/or a muscular twitch for trigger point releases at the site of the needle insertion or along the meridian channels.  Acupuncture, when performed by a qualified licensed practitioner is an incredibly safe and highly effective medicine.


The healing benefits from Acupuncture can range anywhere from complete clearing of your symptoms to deep personal transformation.  After treatment, most patients experience a  sense of relaxation and improvement in sleep.  Many report a total or partial relief of their symptoms and an overall sense of wellness and peace.  Other common benefits from treatment include fewer uses of medications, reduction of stress, reduction in long-term health care costs, quicker recovery from illness, increased clarity and focus, decreased frequency of illness and more harmonious professional and personal relationships.


I am offering 10% off of your first appointment at my office location in Del Ray at Vital Body Mind Therapies(Initial appointments regularly $200) and 5% off of your next 4 appointments (Follow ups regularly $150) during the month of February and the first part of March.  Offer is valid for new patients only and all appointments must be scheduled before March 11, 2014.  I see patients in Del Ray on Mondays and Tuesdays from 8am-8pm.  Book your appointments online at www.bulawellness.com.  Please mention code RadianceFeb2014 at the time of your appointment to receive the discount.