Curious & Curiouser, Episode 13: Mental Health Therapy and Acupuncture as Tools for Transformation

Today on the podcast, we explore the intersection of Tracey’s work and my own, talk all about the benefits of combining mental health therapy with acupuncture and other forms of bodywork, and explain how doing so can facilitate transformation and often accelerate healing.

Both Tracey and I have seen our clients and patients progress more quickly when they are willing to make themselves vulnerable by asking for help on various levels from a variety of supportive people.

We have both also experienced the transformative power of this process ourselves — which is something we discuss openly in the episode.

For those of you who have been wondering, I offer up a brief explanation of some of the ways in which acupuncture is working from a biomedical perspective, and Tracey describes her experience of being a patient of mine in the past. And although Tracey isn’t my personal therapist, I talk about how seeing a counselor regularly has become an essential and profound part of my own healthcare puzzle.

I hope this episode inspires you to take a chance on a healing modality you may have been hesitant to try and empowers you to become a more active participant in your own health by taking the brave step of asking for help when you need it. The resulting transformation might just surprise you.

Because none of us can do this human existence thing alone.

Not me. Not Tracey. Not anyone.

Other highlights from the episode include:

  • How utilizing multiple modalities simultaneously can help accelerate the process of healing and transformation
  • Cayly and Tracey’s experiences combining therapy with bodywork
  • A quick and dirty breakdown about how acupuncture works from a biomedical perspective
  • Chris Kresser and his series of articles about how acupuncture works from a biomedical perspective
  • Circulatory, immune, and nervous system responses to acupuncture
  • How acupuncture moves your body out of a fight-or-flight nervous system state and into a rest-and-digest nervous system state to facilitate healing and mitigate the effects of stress
  • Tracey’s experience having acupuncture from Cayly and other practitioners
  • How acupuncture helps alleviate pain
  • Acupuncture as an effective treatment for irregular menstrual cycles, dysmenorrhea, and infertility
  • Bessel van der Kolk and The Body Keeps the Score:  Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma
  • Bessel van der Kolk on On Being with Krista Tippett
  • Traumatic injury and chronic pain — EMDR, massage, and acupuncture as effective treatments
  • The benefit of physical touch and the role of oxytocin
  • How the vulnerability of asking for help in different ways helps to build intimacy, trust, and connection
  • Can you break up with your healthcare provider? What is the role of the practitioner-patient relationship in the healing process?
  • The power of holding a different story for another person before they are able to envision on their own
  • Tracey’s experience of exceeding her doctor’s expectations following a major abdominal surgery following the birth of her son and the role crossfit played in this process
  • Kelly Brogan, MD and her podcast interview with Joe Rogan
  • Medication as one tool amidst many tools available to us for healing and transformation
  • Problems with access to healthcare for those who often need it most and the failure of insurance to cover mental health therapy, acupuncture and other bodywork
  • And more!

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Today’s animal spotlights from the Pixie Project:

LUNA, a 7 year-old maltese/shih tzu mix weighing in at 12 pounds. Luna is completely blind and recently had both eyes removed. She’s an amazing little creature who does great in new environments given the opportunity to get acclimated first. Let’s find her a home, huh?

COUSETTE, a 12 year-old kitty whose owner recently passed away. Cousette is great with kids and other animals, and is a self-proclaimed low maintenance pet. She’s a total sweetheart.

Please help us spread the word about these two adorable creatures!

And, finally, if you’d like to support the Pixie Project but aren’t able to adopt an animal at this time, visit Fetch Eyewear in NW Portland to purchase your next pair of glasses. They donate all profits to the Pixie Project, which is pretty rad, if you ask me.

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