Many people choose acupuncture as a last resort.
No wonder, says acupuncturist Stefanie Bennett of Bennett Acupuncture. Most of us associate the acupuncturist’s tool of choice – needles – with pain. “With acupuncture, you are really jumping across some mental barriers,” Bennett acknowledges. But the needles she uses are much smaller than the typical hypodermic needle we’re all accustomed to. “It doesn’t feel like you’re being penetrated by a sharp object,” Bennett says.
Bennett explains that acupuncture alters brain chemistry: It stimulates the release of dopamine and serotonin, or what Bennett calls the “feel good” hormones. “Even if you feel OK, acupuncture can make you feel better,” Bennett says.
The results are often astounding. “It’s pretty significant when people can come and get a treatment and do things they haven’t done in a long time, like pick up their grandchildren or work in the garden,” Bennett says.
Bennett knows that patients often come to acupuncture as a last resort. She believes the acupuncturist should be the first medical professional you see. “What acupuncture can do and can’t do is clear to an acupuncturist. If acupuncture isn’t indicated, the patient can be referred to another medical professional.”
Bennett is also an herbalist. But she believes that less is more when it comes to herbal supplements. Most people don’t need a whole gamut of supplements. “Your body will tell you what you need,” she says. She also cautions that not all herbal supplements are created equal. “You get what you pay for,” she says.
Her top tips for choosing an acupuncturist:
- Get a referral from a friend or family member.
- 2. Check the State of California’s Acupuncture Board to make certain the acupuncturist’s license hasn’t been suspended or revoked, or that lawsuits are pending.
- Make sure you find a practitioner who’s easy for you to communicate with.