Needle Stress Away

By Michelle Ebbin   |   July 2, 2020

Believe it or not, I’m afraid of needles. In fact, I used to faint every time I had blood taken. Yet despite my fear I’ve turned to acupuncture for decades to help with many common problems, including anxiety, stress, to boost my immune system, and yes, even for “facial rejuvenation.” Acupuncture has been my go-to treatment for both acute and chronic problems, as well as my #1 choice for overall stress relief. Right now, as the COVID-19 pandemic has altered every aspect of life and protests plus political unrest compound our daily stress, acupuncture is a powerful alternative therapy that everyone could use.

Acupuncture naturally boosts your immune system and helps with stress and anxiety, along with offering a multitude of other benefits

For those who haven’t tried it, acupuncture is a 3,000-year-old healing technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine that involves inserting very thin, flexible needles (often no thicker than human hair) into specific points on the skin. Stimulating these points increases circulation, restores balance to the energy or “chi” that flows through channels known as meridians that run throughout the body, and triggers the body’s natural healing response. It doesn’t hurt and the valuable results are often immediate and long lasting. Studies by the National Institutes of Health have shown that acupuncture can help regulate and stimulate the immune system with regular treatments.

If you’re feeling stressed out (and who isn’t these days?), energy depleted, or simply not 100% yourself, I highly suggest trying acupuncture. One of my favorite acupuncturists in town is Laura Schlieske, founder of Downtown Community Acupuncture (DCA) and a 13-year practitioner with a Master’s Degree of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from the Santa Barbara College of Oriental Medicine. For those who just aren’t ready for needles just yet, Laura and her team also provide herbal and nutritional consultations for professional grade herbal formulas to help destroy viruses and bacteria, boost immunity, and balance the body in general. She has specific formulas for stress, sleep, hormone balance, and pain.

Laura says: “I think everyone is aware that extreme stress, poor nutrition and lack of sleep can lower the immune system. Your immune system is your main line of defense to ward off viruses and bacteria. It makes sense to do everything we can to strengthen our immune systems to help prevent any ‘invaders,’ mainly the current coronavirus. Rather than wait until it’s too late and reach for the common over the counter Western medicines that only help with symptoms – often by suppressing the immune system to stop the particular symptom – acupuncture can help you tackle the cause of why you are feeling ill in the first place! It can strengthen your own body’s natural defenses to balance and fight off any invaders naturally so you don’t have the unwanted symptoms in the first place.”

Downtown Community Acupuncture reopened in May with lounge chairs more than six feet apart and 50% lowered capacity

In California, acupuncturists are considered Primary Care Providers and Downtown Community Acupuncture was able to reopen in May strictly following Santa Barbara County Health guidelines. This clinic is in the unique position to offer safe, community acupuncture with lounge chairs in the treatment area spaced more than six feet apart, a spacious high ceilinged, well-ventilated building, and 50% lowered capacity to ensure proper social distancing. I personally love community acupuncture because there’s a soothing, visceral energy that fills the room when several people are being treated at the same time and everyone is focused on healing. According to Laura, “Studies have shown that when a patient ‘rests’ with the needles and with one other or more people in the same room, it enhances the healing process.”

Downtown Community Acupuncture is open Monday through Saturday, with pricing based on a sliding scale: $25 – $50 (plus $15 fee for the initial visit). As acupuncture is meant to be done frequently, the affordable pricing makes it easy for people to fit in regular, consistent sessions, and for first timers who are curious about Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Whether you choose needles or herbs or both, you’re in good hands at DCA! (And yes, the acupuncture facial was fabulous.)

For more info:
Phone: (805) 845-8878
Downtown Community Acupuncture
209 West Sola Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101


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