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Heidi Bruner, L.Ac., M.Ac.

Passionate and compassionate, Heidi is unique in her ability to provide acupuncture in a sensitive, gentle, yet effective way. Her inspiration comes from her understanding of global health and her varied experiences walking with others in their trials and life challenges. She is direct and clear in her approach and always willing to answer questions.

All About Acupuncture

This web content is intended to help you get oriented as you experience acupuncture as a healing modality in your life. It will guide you through your first acupuncture experience if you have never been or will help you understand what you experienced after having received treatment and subsequent treatments. As you experience medicine that is thousands of years old, you might find you have more questions than what is here. There are many resources for you in this journey and we will support you in your efforts to learn as much as you would like to learn in this world of Chinese Medicine.

Why is acupuncture becoming so popular?

As one of my teachers likes to remind us, “Acupuncture helps everything.” Many people seek out acupuncture for pain, both acute and chronic. To name a few of its common uses: Acupuncture can help improve quality of sleep, improve digestion, reduce pre-menstrual symptoms, alleviate headaches, assist in the recovery of sports injuries or post-surgical healing, and induce an overall pleasant sensation of well-being.

Acupuncture is an ancient form of manual medicine that uses thin needles to access your body’s inherent healing capacity.

Your first experience with acupuncture may be something quite different than anything you have experienced before. (It was for me). We will ask you about your lifestyle and your main complaints. You may find that as you look closely at what ails you, there may be more than you initially thought. We will ask about your quantity and quality of sleep, your affiliation for cold or warm beverages, and many other questions that will help us see deeper into the pattern that gives rise to your current condition. We look at your tongue and feel your pulse on both sides to further develop a picture of why certain symptoms persist in your life while others go away. Then we will decide on a treatment that is best suited to your condition and go from there. Needles for most westerners are often associated with injections. However, in your treatment with acupuncture needles, you will find they feel very different and you might just nod off into acupuncture bliss while still having the needles in your skin! We try to make your experience as comfortable as possible so if you can’t do needles, we have other modalities of treatment we can use.

Why do we look for patterns?

Acupuncturists are trained in Chinese Medicine. This medicine has been developing for thousands of years and has been implemented in the most remote of villages and in the most advanced hospitals of the eastern world. Over the millennia, Chinese Medicine practitioners have noticed specific patterns that manifest in some people and not in others. They have learned to associate those patterns with specific symptoms that often consist of things that you and I wouldn’t notice (such as waking up at the same hour in the night every night). When a pattern is identified, there are specific treatments that have been found to be most useful to help treat the symptoms associated with the pattern and eventually stop the continuation of the pattern itself.

What is Qi? (Pronounced CHEE)

Acupuncture is used to access the Qi of the body. Qi is the energy that is everywhere. There isn’t really an equivalent term in English or western society but the Chinese character for Qi is that of steam coming off of a pot of cooking rice. We can feel the steam but we cannot necessarily see it. Thinking of this image might help you conceptualize what qi is. Qi is all around us and is found everywhere. The Chinese have many names for the different forms qi takes. Health is when the qi in our bodies is flowing smoothly and doesn’t have anything preventing it from performing its proper functions. Where the qi is not flowing, there is illness, and we will be clued into where that stagnation is by feeling your pulse, looking at your tongue, palpating the acupuncture channels and talking to you about your symptoms.

What are the other modalities that we might use in your treatment?

Massage and bodywork are frequently part of a treatment.

Cupping is a way to treat local tissue by creating a small vacuum inside of a cup and then placing it on the skin. You will most likely feel the suction form and then a pleasant relaxing sensation.

Moxibustion is the warming of specific areas of the body by burning an herb called mugwort over a point on the skin in order to access the healing capacities in that area of the body.

What brought me into acupuncture? My own testimonial: (Heidi Bruner)

I have seen acupuncture assist me in my life with much of the healing I have experienced over the years. It has been a great support to me as I have walked life’s path. I have also seen it support others and help them heal or feel relief from life’s ailments.

I remember being a kid and running and hiding under the tables at a clinic when we would go to get immunizations and allergy shots. It was such a horrible sensation. And the environment was so different in those clinics from what I was used to at home that I didn’t feel comfortable being there.

When I went to the acupuncture clinic for the first time I felt calm and comfortable there. I was completely mindblown as my acupuncturist felt my pulse and looked at my tongue and assessed my condition. I remember how strange it was to me to get acupuncture in my legs to treat the pain I was feeling in my forearms. I also remember being told that my digestion would need to improve in order for my arm pain to get better. As the weeks went on, fancy that, my digestion got better, as did my arm pain. Acupuncture is an amazing tool and I am honored to have the opportunity to now share it with you.

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is a clean procedure. We use sterile needles that we discard after use. Acupuncture has a low incidence of negative outcomes.

The main complaints after an acupuncture treatment can include soreness (like a feeling after a workout or a deep massage), or perhaps a little bruising from the suction cups. Sometimes a small capillary might be along the needle's path, in which case a small amount of bleeding (a few drops) may occur.

Before you come:

Consider taking some time to think about what things you want to mention on your initial visit. If you just want to start with treating one complaint, that is fine. In subsequent visits, you can decide what more you would like us to address.

Make sure to eat something. If you normally skip breakfast, try and eat a little something. Your body needs qi in order to heal and most of that qi comes from what we eat, drink and breathe so make sure to fuel up the day you come in for acupuncture. If you are coming in on your lunch break, try not to eat to capacity or you might be uncomfortable lying on the treatment table. Speaking of comfort, if you can wear comfortable clothing it may help you relax and enjoy the treatment experience even more.

After your first treatment:

You might be feeling so good that you are tempted to go out and use all the extra energy you feel to accomplish the majority of things on your to-do list. Resist this urge. You feel so good because your body is trying to set a new pattern of health in the way your qi flows. If you disrupt it by immediately going back to your old patterns, the healing effect of the acupuncture treatment might be lessened. Our suggestion to you is that you “take it easy.” This means abstaining from any excessive exertion of energy and from the consumption of rich foods for the rest of the day. And try to get to bed early for a good night’s sleep. If we feel it is significantly important we will discuss with you some options for what you can do specifically to your individual case before you leave. If you have questions about how to optimize your treatment let us know

Heidi Bruner, L.Ac., M.Ac.