It all started with #GetAcuStoned…
#GetAcuStoned is more than a cute irreverent t-shirt; it’s a mission & a movement.
#GetAcuStoned is a movement to bring acupuncture to the people. Everybody needs acupuncture. Most folks don’t know how much acupuncture can help improve their health and wellbeing. We are here to shout from rooftops that acupuncture is natural medicine that works for people from all walks of life - acupuncture relieves pain & stress, keeps you healthy and makes your daily life better!
I’ve wanted to do something for a long time to increase awareness about the benefits of acupuncture. More and more professional athletes & celebrities are sharing their experiences with acupuncture and politicians are starting to speak up for its potential role in combating the opioid crisis. I want to be a voice from the acupuncture profession to share the good news about how awesome acupuncture is and to be a source of non-judgmental & no-nonsense education for people about what types of things quality acupuncture can treat and how to talk to friends, family members, and colleagues about the experience & benefits of receiving acupuncture treatments.
The AcuStoned feeling is a relaxed, calm glow and sense of well-being that patients often experience after an acupuncture treatment. It comes from the relaxation of skeletal muscle, the unwinding of fascia and the increase of systemic available endorphins, serotonin and dopamine. With acupuncture treatments patients often move from being in a cortisol high sympathetic (fight or flight) state to a parasympathetic (rest & digest) state. Feeling AcuStoned is the name I’ve given to this experience in my practice - this moniker gets a laugh from patients and helps them conceptualize the immediately tangible benefits of coming to treatment regularly. The AcuStoned patient has quickly moved from feeling stressed and focused on their tension, dysfunctions and pain to feeling good about themselves, a decreased sense of pain and an increased awareness of what they can do to improve their daily wellbeing.
In our medical system American doctors prescribe many medications that have euphoric side effects to treat pain. We are learning the negative consequences that the misuse of these drugs can have on people’s future health and wellbeing. In fact though these medications are necessary for some, they also have the power to kill or drastically diminish quality of life and function if they are used improperly or for extended periods. Acupuncture does not have any of these negative side effects.
In the late 1970s acupuncture was used to combat the first opioid epidemic - the heroin epidemic and was shown to be one of the most cost effective modes of treatment and support. It is used in drug and substance abuse rehabilitation centers to this day. Over the past 40+ years acupuncture hasn’t flourished as much as it can and should. Instead it has only become marginally more common and is not accessible for the majority of Americans.
In recent years more and more people are interested in exploring alternative and complementary forms of medical treatment than ever before. Even the military is beginning to use yoga, meditation and acupuncture to help soldiers heal. The alternative healthcare and wellness industry is a $30 billion dollar industry and all signs point to its exponential increase over the next decade.
As an acupuncturist and an herbalist I am highly motivated by these movements and growing interest in acupuncture as well as other alternative forms of healthcare but I have been disheartened by the lack of focus and lack of growth from our industry’s professionals and leaders.
There are more interested potential patients than there are acupuncturists but so many acupuncturists are failing to build strong practices...why is that? Our profession spends too much time fighting with other professions as if they could take away the benefits that we provide to our patients. Our profession spends so much time arguing about which school or technique is more authentic or the most pure. We spend so much time on these things that we are missing out on shouting from the rooftops about the unmatched benefits that acupuncture will have for anyone who hasn’t tried it.
I watch a lot of medical tv shows and it frustrates me when there are conditions we can treat non-invasively and acupuncture isn’t even mentioned. It frustrates me even more when patients come in with treatable conditions that their doctor says can only be remedied by extreme surgeries or medications. Acupuncturists aren’t part of the national healthcare conversation nearly to the extent that we should be. There are more & more politicians and celebrities who talk about acupuncture and we need to capitalize on their candor.
I understand that I am a young practitioner and many practitioners have been organizing and speaking up for our industry for decades before I was born. I proudly continue the work of those who have come before and laid the foundation for this medicine in America. It is my mission & I believe responsibility to get more people talking, interested & treated so that we can make sure that acupuncture is here and available generations to come.
So...#GetAcuStoned is my contribution. I know it’s a bit controversial and not to everyone’s taste or good for every market but I also know that it’s provocative and I think that’s what our profession needs right now.
America needs acupuncturists more than ever and I want to make sure that folks know we are here for them, whatever their need. So #GetAcuStoned is about starting a conversation and building an army of practitioners and patients who are vocal about acupuncture.
I’m a damn good acupuncturist and I’m proud of it! Our existing patients love us and more people should have the opportunity. ✌🏾