A big part of my purpose is to help others to fully love and accept themselves as they are today. This goes a lot deeper than just how a person looks, but how they feel too. I believe that when we are in perfect balance and are doing what we are put on this Earth to do, we are truly beautiful. I love being able to play a part in helping others to uncover their true selves and to love what they see too.
In my personal quest for balance, I decided to give acupuncture a try. I had been driving past Glenwood Acupuncture and Healing Arts for a few years now and remember looking at their sign and being intrigued by the idea of it. I never went in though because I have been afraid of needles in the past and thought I had to have a very specific medical reason for needing the acupuncture treatments such as pain of some type. It was my husband who started going to acupuncture first and over time I saw what a huge impact it had on him. I saw his stress reduced, a much calmer state of mind and longed for this same type of calm. That’s when I decided to make an appointment with Riz from Glenwood Acupuncture and Healing Arts and I’m so glad I did.
What first struck me about Riz, my acupuncture practitioner, was how comfortable I was basically telling him my life story and why I had some of my less desirable internal traits as a result of some traumas I had been through in my past. He helped me to see how far I had come despite what I had been through and told me that I was a, “beacon of light to others with my positive outlook on the world.” This helped me to see that despite my past, I am completely in love with the person I am today. Soon after we started treatments I wrote a difficult blog article about my upbringing called, “Uncovering My Truth” that you can check out here. After sharing this blog there was a huge release of emotions that felt amazing, like I was being honest for the first time in my life. For my next acupuncture treatment, I asked Riz to help me to release more of the emotions from my past and told him that I was open to receiving help from my spirit guides to do this. He arranged the needles in such a way to help me access my higher power and something miraculous happened next…
Not two minutes after Riz left the room, I felt a rush of cold over my body and saw just my legs raising off the table. I saw a cloud that looked like vapor rise out of my legs and immediately following that I felt a warm embrace that to me felt like it was from God himself. It was the greatest feeling of love I have ever felt and a moment I will never forget. I then called on each of my angels that I had known personally on Earth like my grandparents and family friends and felt each of them as they came to embrace me and tell me they loved me and how proud they were of me. After my treatment I told Riz what I had experienced and he said that although it was rare, people like me who are so open to receiving are able to enjoy sensations such as this while having acupuncture treatments. I was curious to learn more about how acupuncture works exactly and how Riz got started as a practitioner so decided to interview him and his responses are below…
How would you explain to others what you do as an acupuncture practitioner?
Some people call what I do “Alternative Medicine”, but I prefer to consider myself a resource for wellness, healing, and prevention. I’m fortunate to be able to practice true healthcare, rather than sick care — which has evolved over time to become our societal norm. My business is to humbly deliver the various types of care and knowledge that I have learned to the community, and spread positivity so that it may have a ripple effect out to the masses.
What exactly is acupuncture and how does it work in general terms?
At it’s very basic, acupuncture is a stimulus to the body that produces an internal response. When we stimulate the body with an acupuncture needle, or even a laser or light pressure, a cascade of beneficial effects begins – increased local blood circulation, reduced inflammation, trigger point release, a shift in the nervous system from sympathetic to more parasympathetic, and more. Scientists like Dr. Helene Langevin have extensively studied what happens when an acupuncture point is stimulated with a needle and found that more than forty separate reactions occur in those few seconds.
What are some of the reasons people first try acupuncture?
Here’s one reason people don’t try it – because they are scared of needles! Everyone should know how tiny our needles are, and I even carry a brochure at my office entitled “Do Acupuncture Needles Hurt?”. Please come by and grab one if this is a concern for you, and also be aware that we can do non-needle acupuncture too! OK so back to the question – most people are curious. They heard good things from someone else, and they may have unsuccessfully tried other things like pharmaceutical prescriptions, or surgeries, or just lived with something long enough and got tired enough of it to try something new or different. Another reason people come is because they discover that acupuncture is an included benefit in their medical insurance plan, which can sometimes make treatment plans more affordable. Others have had acupuncture in the past and did well with it. These days we are even having physicians recommend acupuncture to their patients, which is awesome!
What inspired you to start your business?
I had always wanted to be a business owner since I was a child, but as a youngster I did not know what kind of business would be best for me. I think like most people, I did not know what I wanted to do when I grew up. So, I decided to do what most people do – go to college and get a job. After being in the private sector for several years and enjoying some professional success, I yearned to be able to use my hands to do something more useful for the world. I felt like all I was doing was helping the corporation I worked for to grow larger, and often times the emphasis to increase profits would come at the expense of the customers. On a walk one day, I found a place called Tai Sophia Institute, which has since then become the Maryland University of Integrative Health. I had walked by it so many times, but never ventured in until that serene October day. They taught acupuncture and herbal medicine there, and I discovered that acupuncture was a licensed and regulated profession in the USA. In order to learn it I would need to go to graduate school and earn a Master’s degree, and then in order to practice it I would need to obtain a license from the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. It immediately felt like things had come full circle and that this was my true calling. I was so excited – what a unique way to be able to deliver natural health and wellness to the community! I decided that taking the risk to do something good for the world would be worth the potential cost of abandoning what I had spent most of my life pursuing, and I am so very glad and grateful that I did this.
Whom do you primarily serve?
The tools that i work with allow me to help just about anyone. I have treated my own children as babies, and in the clinic I have treated school age children and even patients in their 90’s! I thoroughly enjoy that I have “something for everybody” and that I strive to turn nobody away. However, it is important to know when it is appropriate to refer to other practitioners who may be better skilled at handling particular cases, so I also value maintaining a network of other high quality practitioners.
What is your “signature” or what sets you apart in your field?
This may be a better question for my patients, but if I had to pick something, it would be open-mindedness. Being receptive to learning about what’s new, strange, and different has exposed me to many types of things that aren’t necessarily a part of traditional acupuncture practice. I use a wide variety of technology – computerized meridian diagnosis, electroacupuncture, PEMF therapy, CES therapy, microcurrent, PBM therapy, HeartMath, and more. I think this lends itself to a very nice blend of mixing old and new, Eastern and Western; which I think is more harmonious and realistic in today’s world.
What does self-care mean to you and how can getting acupuncture and balancing nutrition contribute to self-care?
Self-care is a very broad term that could probably be discussed ad nauseum. It means doing that which keeps one strong and resilient, and balanced. It means not holding on to too much stress. It means getting enough movement and breathing, and social nourishment, and eating nutritious food. It means one takes the time to reflect and ponder and meditate, and unify the heart and brain. Receiving acupuncture treatment enables self-care because it can allow the nervous system to release pent up stress and tension, induce better breathing, and allow one to return feeling more like their actual self. However, acupuncture is not something most people do every day unless you live in Asia. This is why nutrition is key – because we eat every day. The state of health is directly influenced by the quality of the fuel being consumed.
I hope that you found these tips helpful and that you will give acupuncture a try too! To set up an appointment, you can contact Riz at 410-489-9175 or visit their website at www.glenwoodacu.com and you can say that I sent you! 😉