Written by Liana Simon

The first time I received Acupuncture, I was nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. My knowledge was limited and I didn’t know of anyone personally who received treatments. I was aware that I would be pricked by needles and that the energy I am comprised of would somehow generate healing. However I didn’t know to what extent and if there would be pain. I was hesitant.

I first learned about Acupuncture from a friend many years ago. She did not try it, but she knew of the benefits it could yield to individuals struggling with trauma. I have a trauma background and have explored different types of energetic modalities in search of healing like Ayahuasca, yoga, meditation, and therapy. Although these experiences facilitated support, I knew I needed something stronger.

Upon walking into the main lobby of the Academy clinic, I was received warmly by the staff and interns.  I could immediately tell that there was something special about Five Element Acupuncture. The eye contact from the supervisors and interns struck me in a way that I had not experienced before; I felt seen and a sense of acceptance for who I was. That level of presence was rare in my life and so when I learned that the interns and staff received treatments regularly, I quickly surmised that Acupuncture must be more powerful than I at first thought!

Once I was laying on the table and the interns had marked out the points, I was ready to receive my first treatment. I was anxious and tense; however, being offered multiple ways to receive the first needle helped ease my fear about what to expect. The practitioner was so gentle that I didn’t even feel the first prick. What a relief! There were a few spots that were slightly sensitive like my toes and fingertips, but the pain was so slight, I knew it would be manageable for future appointments.

What struck me the most about my first session was the rush of energy I felt in my body. I was still able to feel my anxiety, but from a place of security within myself. I had never experienced such an anchor whilst facing my fear and trauma head on. I could sense that continuing treatments would open me up in ways that would not only heal me but also enable me to thrive, and to truly be able to interact with the world from a place of safety and acceptance.

Since that first treatment, I have scheduled multiple appointments and spread the word about just how transformative the medicine truly is. Contrary to how it might seem, it is not painful, and more importantly, it’s comforting and enlightening. I am grateful for the clinic at Academy for Five Element Acupuncture and, in the time since my first appointment, have been happy to continually experience its healing power at subsequent treatments.