Helping to initiate the body’s natural healing capacities
By Barbara Allen, Contributing Writer
Northborough – There is an old saying that “prevention is the best medicine,” and Melissa Stein, licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, and Kim Flaherty, Director of Business Operations, the co-owners of Open Circle Acupuncture and Healing, Northborough, agree with that statement.
“Our mission is to educate people about the importance of having acupuncture as a way of preventing illness, staying healthy and well, and relieving stress as it arises,” explained Stein. “Most people are trained to wait until they are having health issues before they decide to come in and take care of themselves.”
“You don’t need to have something wrong to experience acupuncture,” agreed Flaherty.
“People think of acupuncture for pain and chronic health issues, but one of the most powerful benefits is how much it helps with stress,” Stein observed. “Ninety percent of all chronic diseases are associated with stress, and so we feel that this is such an important way that everyone can benefit from acupuncture.”
“Acupuncture is good at ‘multi-tasking,’” Stein continued, adding that every acupuncture point on the body has both a physical and emotional aspect. A patient might come in with a headache, but there may be stress or emotional issues, such as anger, which could be contributing to that pain.
Acupuncture, Stein explained, helps increase blood flow through the body, bringing oxygen and nutrients to areas in need. It also “turns down” the nervous system’s “fight or flight” response, which puts the body into “survival mode,” a state which is counterproductive to healing.
“Your body doesn’t know if it is in peril or traffic,” Stein said. “Acupuncture helps initiate the body’s natural healing capacities.”
Although the general public has become more knowledgeable about acupuncture as a treatment option, Flaherty noted, there are still some misconceptions, the biggest one being that it might hurt.
“People associate pain with needles,” she said. “But once they experience it, they realize it is so relaxing and a great way to reset the body.”
The clinic embraces the care model of community acupuncture, a less expensive way for patients to receive treatment. Acupuncture appointments are provided in a group setting; the treatment area, although shared, is large, with patients positioned a good distance apart from each other; the space itself is warm, softly lit, and welcoming. Appointments are staggered to ensure that each patient receives individualized attention to their care.
Cupping is another treatment option offered by Open Circle Acupuncture and Healing; an ancient form of therapy in which suction cups are placed on the body to assist with circulation and detoxification, it has proven helpful in relieving chronic pain and stiffness.
The clinic also offers therapeutic massage services and has two licensed massage therapists on staff. In addition, they offer workshops on different self-care topics, such as nutrition and diet, herbal supplements and sleep health.
Open Circle Acupuncture and Healing recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. As with any new business, “getting the word out” is always an initial challenge, but Flaherty said that word of mouth has been great.
“We make sure everyone has the best experience we can offer them, they get results, and tell all their friends, family and co-workers about us,” she said. “Our biggest joy is getting referrals from our patients who have only good things to say about their experience with us.”
“We’re both passionate about providing affordable quality care with an emphasis on educating the general public about acupuncture as another therapy for maintaining health and wellness,” Flaherty continued. “Consider us part of your wellness equation.”
Open Circle Acupuncture and Healing is located at 411 W. Main Street, Suite 2R, in Northborough (around the back of the building). They can be reached at 508-393-1212. For more information about the services they offer, visit their website at www.opencirclehealing.com.