As a parent to two young girls (ages four and one) I am all too familiar with the stresses of parenthood. The sleepless nights, the juggling of scheduls and childcare, the constant awareness of safety, and the dreams of a bottomless supply of patience, I am LIVING it! The struggles are more than worth it and the joy that these two little people have added to my life is immeasurable, but there are days when it can be really tough.
As a licensed acupuncturist and board certified Chinese herbalist with a busy part-time practice in downtown Stamford, CT, I am constantly reminding my patients that self-care is NOT a luxury, it is a necessity. One of my resolutions this year was to commit to following my own advice.
What I love so much about Chinese Medicine is that it takes all of the systems of the body into consideration- from digestion to sleep to mood-and allows us to look at the interconnectivity of it all. Using acupuncture, herbal formulas, dietary and lifestyle modifications, we work towards restoring the balance of qi (loosely translated as energy or function) in the body. From a biomedical perspective, this is the balance of the physiological processes of all of our organ systems called homeostasis. Amazing research in the last decade has proven that acupuncture helps to regulate the body by accessing neuro-hormonal pathways by stimulation our bodies’ powerful self-healing mechanisms and by promoting production of neurotransmitters and natural painkilling substances, and can help to gently pull us out of the “fight or flight” sympathetic nervous system mode and back into the “rest and digest” parasympathetic mode- where our body does all it’s healing.
Many people know about the proven benefits that acupuncture has for general wellness, illness prevention, pain management, fertility support, insomnia, anxiety, digestion… the list goes on (and if you are curious- please ask!) But acupuncture as parenting tool? That’s probably a new one! In my clinical experience as an acupuncturist AND as a regular patient, I can confidently say that regular treatments can make a huge difference in managing all the stresses of modern parenting. I know that I am a better, happier, more energetic, patient and calm parent in the days following an acupuncture treatment. I sleep better and am better able to handle the curveballs that life throws when I am more rested. It is easier to keep my irritability in check when my body is producing proper endorphins (our feel good hormones) . I am happier and more energetic when my digestion is moving properly. I bounce back WAY quicker from the inevitable bugs that my little buddies bring home from daycare when my immune system is functioning at its best. And most importantly, I just feel great and that rubs off on my family.
I feel so fortunate to be one of the people who LOVES their work. I am so passionate about Chinese medicine and I love introducing people to a new way to look at their health. Nothing makes me happier than the emails I receive from new patients exclaiming things like “I slept like a baby every night this week!” or “I prepared myself for my normal painful menstrual cramps- but they never came!” or “I can’t believe it but my hands and feet are definitely not as cold.” (And that’s just a few I’ve received this week alone.)
Acupuncture is being covered by more and more health insurance plans now, and is very affordable when compared to conventional medical interventions and medications. The idea of being stuck full of needles may not sound relaxing, but it really is- most people say it’s the most zen they have ever felt. And while many people come to me as a “last resort” when their other treatments haven’t helped, I like to teach my patients about the strength of acupuncture as a preventative tool, to keep you healthy and strong. If you’d like to learn more, don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-658-7850.
Sarah Swanberg, M.S. L.Ac. Dipl. O.M, a board certified diplomate in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology through the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and is licensed to practice in CT. She holds a Masters of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in NYC. Sarah is passionate about using the time-honored traditions of Chinese Medicine to help people of all ages, from infancy through adulthood, regain and maintain optimal health. She holds advanced certificates in Pediatrics, Pain Management, Fertility, and Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture. Sarah lives in North Stamford with her husband and two daughters.
Fairfield Family Acupuncture, LLC