Wellness Wednesday: Acupuncture

Several weeks ago, when I published my first-ever Wellness Wednesday post, I mentioned that I had started to form a complete “health squad.” Since January, I’ve put together a team of wellness practitioners who come from all walks of life in an effort to take a holistic approach to my health. One of those practitioners is my acupuncturist.

When I was still living in downtown Vancouver, I’d won a free acupuncture session through my yoga studio in a Twitter contest. I didn’t get to choose the practitioner and the acupuncturist decided which ailment of mine he would treat. It was by no means a negative experience, but it didn’t leave me wanting to go back again.

This past January, once I started seeing a naturopath, I decided I wanted to give acupuncture another try. A colleague told me about an acupuncturist she was a patient of. She told me that, though this acupuncturist erred on the side of free-spirited rather than by-the-book, she was incredible at what she did. Naturally I was intrigued so I visited the website and quickly made an appointment with Dr. Tanya Gee.

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The first time I arrived in her office, after filling out a few pages of paperwork, I waited amongst the sound of crashing ocean waves and chirping birds. The jade green walls of the waiting room were as soothing as the warm mug of jasmine green tea I was given to sip on. Hardcover books about love were scattered around an urn bursting with fresh-cut flowers.

I heard Dr. Gee before I saw her. She’s got an infectious belly laugh and she uses it often. Tanya, as her patients call her, came out to get me and whisked me to a low-lit treatment room. She reviewed my paperwork and we spent some time chatting. If there’s a characteristic I appreciate about any practitioner, it’s when he or she takes the time to listen. Too often patients’ concerns are glazed over, but Tanya values a connection with each and every one of her patients.

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As we were ready to begin my initial acupuncture treatment, she carefully explained what she would do and, more importantly, why she was doing it. Dr. Gee is a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), so she incorporates this into every aspect of her practice. Many people fear acupuncture, but she is gentle and considerate and very rarely do I ever feel the needle going in.

Once I was “needled up,” Tanya wrapped me in a blanket, kept the lights low, and left me to fall asleep, meditate, or simply be alone with my thoughts. A mobile of origami cranes floated from the ceiling above me and I spent my time fixated on them dance through the air. I couldn’t tell you if five minutes or 50 minutes passed, but eventually Dr. Gee returned.

The needles were quickly plucked from my skin and, to finish the treatment, Dr. Gee brought in a few different essential oils to smell. She had an idea of which ones I’d like just based on… well, I’m not sure how she knew but her intuition has always been spot-on with me.

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Does it actually work? Acupuncture dates back to at least 100 B.C. and countless medical and scientific studies have confirmed its efficacy. It works for me. What works for me may not work for you, and what works for you may not work for me. What I do know is that, since becoming a patient of Dr. Gee’s, my overall wellness has been profoundly enhanced and for that I am grateful.

Dr. Tanya Gee practices in Vancouver, BC. To learn more about her practice, visit her website or connect with her on Facebook.

Disclaimer: I was not paid or asked to write this post. All views and opinions are entirely my own.

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