LAc, Dipl. OM, MAcOM
What a weird freaking year. I've struggled personally in writing as much as I typically do because all of the health and wellness tips seem ridiculously small in the grand scheme of the political, social and public health concerns we're all dealing with today.
My colleague Reagan Taylor at AOMA put it perfectly with this meme:
Many of you may not know this, but I have a background of working in social services before my acupuncture days, and Maslow's hierarchy of needs always pops into my brain in tough times (picture below). I see a lot of the wellness "blocks" that people have been going through happening at the safety level, especially in the context of a pandemic and racial tensions. It's hard for people who do not have the luxury of working from home to go out everyday in a mask and feel safe. It's impossible for BIPOC to feel safe while existing in the world and simply turn on the news.
Know that it's OK to feel stuck for now, it's OK to feel overwhelmed and unproductive and maybe a little insane. Have you gained 10 pounds because of stress and your yoga studio being closed? That's OK. Are you coping in ways that are not completely healthy? You are human, and you've survived another pandemic day, I'm proud of you! If you are not reaching your "self actualisation" goals at this time - it's not you, it's most definitely the world on fire in 2020.
We're living in unprecedented times. If you need help with sleep, digestion, stress management or trauma, I'm here for you either in person with acupuncture or virtually with herbal support.
Love, light and unapologetic revolution,
Nicole Fillion-Robin, LAc, MAcOM
You've decided to try acupuncture, maybe you've even signed up for your first session, here are nine things you might not expect on your first visit!
1. PAPERWORK. Get ready! You will have a ton of really close and personal questions to answer about yourself in the intake paperwork, so make sure you've found someone you feel comfortable talking to! Chinese Medicine is a holistic practice, meaning we look at harmonizing mind, body, spirit and even your gastrointestinal system. So don't be caught off guard at questions that might not seem like they have anything to do with your back pain.
2. ARRIVAL TIME. On that note, out of respect for the next patient, your acupuncturist's time, and to get the most out of your treatment, fill out your intake paperwork as much as you can before arrival, or arrive 30 minutes ahead of time to have plenty of time to fill it out. The more time we have with you, the more we can get done!
3. NEEDLES. A lot of clients want to know if it will be like receiving a vaccination. The good news is NO! The needles used for vaccines are hollow, while the acupuncture needles are about 40 times smaller since they are filiform (solid).
Nicole Fillion-Robin, LAc, MAcOM, Dipl. OM
If you've decided that you want to try out acupuncture for the first time ever, it can be pretty daunting to figure out who you trust to put needles into your body and trust that they know what they are doing (PS: they are TINY, and almost painless, I promise!)
My number one tip for new patients is to to your homework. There is so much information you can get out on the internet. You're going to want to look for acupuncturists that practice in locations convenient to you, because commuting is just another stressor on your body. Some acupuncturists may even offer home visits (like me!) if that is something you are interested in. Others will work exclusively out of their clinic.
Are you coming to an acupuncturist with certain health goals in mind? You may want to find an acupuncturist who specializes in pain management, infertility or digestive disorders. The more patients they see with these conditions the more research and hands on experience they will have had. Are you interested in cupping, herbs or tuina? You will want to make sure that your acupuncturist incorporates those into their treatment plans and is certified for them in their respective state or province.
Many acupuncturists offer 15-30 minute consultations over the phone or in person to answer any questions you may have. Often, these are free or at a reduced rate. This is a really good way to ask about how they practice and if you feel like you will be comfortable with them.
I had the pleasure of chatting with two other acupuncturists this weekend on an episode of How the Heck!?, and we compiled a list for you to bring with you during your consultations. In the video below you can learn more about what to look for and what questions to ask in this video as well as about costs, insurance, legalities and accreditation, types of therapies, specialties and style of care.
What I tell friends and family is that everyone is different! Your best friend's favorite acupuncturist might not be the best fit for you. If you've ever done talk therapy, you'll know that personality and comfort are two very important factors when choosing a therapist; acupuncture is the same. You will want to feel like you can open up to your practitioner about any stressors or health concerns you may have without fear of judgement or embarrassment.
To learn more about Jimmy Chung Duong, and care near Boston, visit his website at www.newellnesssolutions.com.
For care in Austin, you may of course book a complimentary consultation with me on my appointments page, and you should also learn more about Jenna Valentine at www.valentinecare.com
Because we love you and want you to get the VERY BEST care no no matter where you are, here is a printable checklist to help in your search and during your consultations: bit.ly/2YWQimF.
Nicole Fillion-Robin, LAc, MAcOM, Dipl. OM
In solidarity with the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests, and also because of the trauma and stress resulting from the political climate, Lindsey Wilder Flatt and Nicole Fillion-Robin are both offering car-side stress and trauma treatments for the community on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Anyone can come between 12:00 PM-1:00 PM and receive a NADA treatment in the comfort of their vehicle. Practitioners and participants are required to be fever-free and wearing a mask.
The NADA protocol was developed to address addiction, as well as the stress and trauma that often coexist alongside addiction. Although it was developed as a way to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and aid in recovery, many people find this protocol helpful for stress management and in disaster relief efforts. NADA acupuncture can help calm the nervous system and help you sleep better, as well as nurture a sense of inner calmness, strength, and introspection.
Nicole Fillion-Robin, LAc, MAcOM, Dipl.OM
Hey friends. I’m sure you’ve noticed, but we’re in for some *changes* these days. If you're like us you've been getting emails from every corporation you've ever given your email to about how they are handling this. A lot of what we take for granted is being challenged and I’m sure we’re in for some interesting times. Routines are off, and a lot of what we do for self-care in group community settings is being cancelled - and for good reason.
My hope is that we address the shortage in sick leave policies, more rugged safety net systems and make a shift from fierce individualism to a more tampered community-mindset.
If you are looking for support, we’ll be uploading some new Qigong videos, and also check out the existing ones on tapping and breath-work. Many TCM practitioners are offering herbal consultations online with the option of delivery to your home. Apps like Headspace and Insight Timer (& Insight Timer en español!!) have some wonderful, free, guided meditations for sleep and anxiety. Black Swan Yoga just started offering donation based online streaming classes and our favorite Yoga with Adriene has always been free and web-based. AOMA is featuring community classes offered online.