The following article was written by Tiffany Leigh, a contributor to ForbesLife online. At the Holistic Wellness Center, we read this useful piece and found it worth a share!
Working in a high-pressure job can be taxing on your health and can lead to ailments such as mood irregularities, fatigue, insomnia, migraines, and muscle tension.
Wall Street executives are a prime example of those who suffer from such concerns. So what’s the cure? Apparently, it is increasingly popular acupuncture sessions at the Advanced Holistic Center in NY. With multiple locations and providers across Manhattan, there’s been a marked demand in seeking out alternative forms and approaches to health and wellness by high-powered finance players such as employees of Goldman Sachs, the Federal Reserve, Deutsche Bank, Bloomberg and Morgan Stanley.
More interesting is that, according to Logman, owner of Advanced Holistic Center in NY, “New Yorkers working in finance are the center’s main source of income. I’ve definitely noticed an overall growing trend. When I began my practice in Brooklyn 15 years ago, I never imagined that I’d be in the hub of Wall Street treating the finance crowd (with bookings primarily done by males) – but it makes sense. They’re oftentimes overburdened, overworked and stressed. With a wealth of options that go beyond traditional modes of healing, many are willing to explore more holistic/alternative routes. And most recognize that popping a pill to manage anxiety, insomnia, depression and/or concentration difficulties as an acceptable in-the-moment solution; however, it only offers a quick fix. It’s more important to cultivate lifestyle modalities of being that offer lasting benefits, which include regular exercise, a healthy diet and a mindfulness program.”
For skeptics out there, many wonder if it works and if results are instantaneous. Irina says “there’s a large body of clinical research and inreputable journals that offer supporting evidence of acupuncture being effective to address pain complaints. These include back, hip, knee pain, and headaches being the most common issues people come to us for. And not only that, it’s able to target the root source of the problem. After the treatment, most people report less strain and a general sense of well-being. It all depends on the patient and his/her condition. Relief can oftentimes be felt immediately following the treatment, but it usually takes a few sessions to get significant results.” And support is being acknowledged and provided by mainstream entities, “it is considered medically necessary by most insurance companies – which implies that the larger community is embracing more well-rounded approaches to pain prevention and/or management.”
How or why does it work? Irina says that “acupuncture releases ‘happy’ hormones called endorphins. It lowers the threshold of pain and allows your body to switch from living in fight/flight mode to rest and digest mode (sympathetic nervous system vs. parasympathetic nervous system).”
Before beginning the session, the first step is establishing a comfortable and trusting relationship. So communicating with your acupuncturist is essential. “Especially for first-timers, he/she can experience many different sensations. The practitioner should always create an environment where the patient feels free to describe these sensations and ask if they are normal. This keeps him/her calm, reassured and informed throughout the process,” Logman explains. Practitioners can also offer additional modalities of healing to couple with the current treatment. After an initial verbal consultation, Logman will feel your wrists and ask to see your tongue. Both provide a “window” into the state and health of the patient. She explains that “in Chinese medicine, tongue diagnosis is a primary method for learning what is going on internally. The tongue is a microcosm for the entire body, and we can learn about each organ by looking at different parts of the tongue; we examine the shape, color, coating, and cracks. It is a helpful tool for diagnosis and subsequent treatment.”
From there, Logman and her team ask clients about points of pain they want to address. As per Chinese medicine, the Meridian system informs her acupuncture practice – which is the act of restoring the balance of energy (qi) in the body. Once balance is restored, health can be revived and maintained. ” We insert the needles into specific acupuncture points – different channels or meridians that run along the body. These channels connect different parts of the body and to each other – forming a connective web throughout the entire being. And along these channels are specific acupuncture points, each with its own function. A skilled acupuncturist can find these points with a combination of ‘point location’ and feeling for the points with touch. We then tap into the acupuncture points with the needles. By doing this, we are activating the functions of the different points and also sending messages across the meridian web to promote healing and release tension/pain.”
Because the procedure is considered ‘invasive’ (after-all, needles are being inserted into your body), this kind of treatment requires a lot of tact and thoughtfulness. Advanced Holistic Center’s mission is to offer intuitive aid; and depending on the level of comfort and pain tolerance of the patient, Logman and her team will sometimes couple acupuncture with additional forms of treatment such as e-stim (electric stimulation). “By sending electricity through the needles, we can make the muscles contract and then relax. E-stim is administered by first inserting needles via regular acupuncture (points) and then attaching wires to the needles with clips. We then send electrical impulse through the wire; this causes the acupuncture point to be continuously stimulated and sometimes produces a ‘jump’ or contraction in the muscle.” A “tamer” approach that can be an alternative or addition to treatment is the use of heat lamps which ‘hover’ over the most strained part(s) of the body. Doing this allows for swifter absorption. Irina explains that, “in Chinese medicine, pain stems from stagnation -which is when there isn’t a sufficient flow of energy and blood. While western medicine will use e.g. ice for pain and injury, we opt for heat because it speeds up movement and flow, as opposed to cold – which slows it down.”
It can often be overlooked, but this holistic maintenance of well-being is directly related to external and internal beauty. Irina explains how it works: “Acupuncture improves blood flow and creates micro-trauma to allow new collagen to form. It also helps restore and balance emotions, therefore preventing wrinkles from forming. In reference to the face, each wrinkle is directly reflective of any emotional imbalance. Frown lines, for instance, are from liver qi stagnation. Once liver energy is balanced, you should feel no need to frown and your face will look more relaxed.” Clients can take it a step further and opt for facial acupuncture which addresses such issues/concerns directly. “The face and skin are initial indicators of the state of our internal organs. If there’s any imbalance, they will manifest as puffiness, sagging, premature aging, etc. When I treat the face with acupuncture, it offers facial rejuvenation (a treatment within the Chinese medicine wheelhouse). By inserting very thin needles into specific parts of the face, collagen promotion occurs, along with lymphatic drainage and blood circulation – all of which restore vital nutrients and oxygen to the skin cells. Elasticity is improved and can eliminate fine lines and wrinkles.”