I feel like I am 10,000 years too late on the acupuncture bandwagon, but nevertheless, I finally jumped on. Up until very recently, I had never tried acupuncture, not because I didn’t want to or didn’t believe in it, I just literally never made the opportunity happen.
Then one day, Ballard Acupuncture Center found me. I had the chance to interview owner, Avigail Cohen, and then I made an appointment and experienced this holistic health technique for myself for the first time. And then I went again. And I plan to go again, and again. For those who have yet to try acupuncture and have asked me if it works, I tell them, “Yes and insurance covers it.” Throwing that little insurance tidbit in there seems to bewilder the non-believers and I always get the, “Oh….really??”
I don’t know if all acupuncture offices are like Ballard Acupuncture Center, but I basically am a client of Avigail’s now forever. Before appointments, you are asked to fill out some responses to questions online. The questions are fairly in depth and ask everything from what you eat, sleep cycle, periods (for girls of course), life stressors, work environment, what hurts now or in the past, etc. This helps Avigail get an initial sense of who you are and what she can do to help you.
Now first I must mention one thing about Ballard Acupuncture Center – PARKING. As those who live in the Seattle area know, unless the parking gods shine down and a magical spot on the street suddenly appears, we have to pay for parking, unless you want to take public transit and walk, but I don’t do that. This should sell you right now – it costs me $4 or less to park across the street from Ballard Acupuncture Center. Four dollars and there is always a spot. I don’t know about you, but I say a little “hallelujah” every time.
Upon entering Ballard Acupuncture Center, you just feel a calming and comfortable presence, which makes you feel at home immediately. By nature, I am pretty loud and extremely talkative, but when I enter the office, I suddenly feel the need to just relax.
Avigail herself also has the same calming presence as she takes you into one of the two rooms where she performs the acupuncture. She brings her tablet with her that includes responses to all of the questions you answered before the appointment and then for your first appointment she goes over them much more in depth and asks a lot of questions. As I told Avigail during my last appointment, I feel like she is also my therapist. I always seem to have a lot going on in my life and in my brain, and she has helped me talk through some of the jumbled mess that hangs around up there. And all of that is before any needles!!
After discussing life and telling her what is going on mentally, emotionally, around me and if I am in any physical pain, she has me lay on the table and relax as she starts inserting the thin needles into my skin. As an avid CrossFitter and obstacle course racer, I always have something that seems to be hurting. In fact, two days after I had completed a 10 mile Spartan Super obstacle course race, I had an appointment with her, and it was the best decision ever.
For my appointments, she has had me lay on my back and she places the needles in my shin area, on top of my foot, my hands, chest and one between my eyebrows. I asked why Avigail why she puts the needles where she does.
Avigail’s selection of acupuncture points:
The points are chosen on an individual basis depending on what is going on for that patient at the time of the visit. It will vary week to week because things change for the patient week to week. For example, some weeks they may have more trouble sleeping than others or they may have PMS or headaches or high stress. I cater the treatment depending on what is showing up for that patient. If they are experiencing pain, then I look at exactly where the pain is so I can see what energetic channels are being affected. I then treat other energetic channels distally from the pain that connect to the painful area. Sometimes pain will move week to week or even during the acupuncture treatment, and I can adjust the treatment accordingly to ensure maximum relief and benefit.
Between the eyebrows:
The point between the eyebrows, known as “yintang” is used for a variety of purposes, such as bringing general ease and peace to a person, helping with insomnia or difficultly falling and staying asleep, easing irritability caused by lack of sleep, harmful environment factors and stress, and treating overall pain issues, typically in conjunction with other acupuncture points on the body.
The only needles that hurt just a little, are the ones on the top of my foot but even then, the “pain” lasts for less than a second. The first time she placed the needle between my brows, it did bleed, but subsequent times, it did not. Otherwise, the placement of needles is relatively painless.
After Avigail is finished, she places a warm light over your feet, dims the lights and you basically just relax/sleep for 20-30 minutes with the needles in your skin. Soft sounds are playing on a speaker in the background and there you are, without your phone, without anybody trying contacting you. Its your time to relax and enjoy this “me time” for yourself.
Its always sad when your time is up and Avigail comes back in to remove the needles. The needle removal is just as painless and very quick. Pretty soon its time to go back to your $4 parking spot across the street and back to normal, hectic life. I always leave Ballard Acupuncture Center in an incredibly relaxed state and I have found that my treatments have helped ease some of the pain I have been feeling from CrossFit (mostly from my tight hip flexors).
I highly recommend you checking out Ballard Acupuncture Center and seeing for yourself what Avigail can do for you to make your life just a little better. We all need to care for ourselves and take a little time out of our day to just be one with our mind, and Avigail’s acupuncture therapy can definitely help!
Lesley is the founder and editor of What’s Up NW. Prior to creating WhatsUpNW.com, she was the Seattle city editor for AskMissA.com. For both publications, Lesley has covered fashion shows, openings, and local charity events. She has written numerous articles shining the light on local businesses, encouraging readers to always shop local.