In Huatulco, we have a good selection of alternative medical professionals. As a sufferer of knee pain, I was always interested in acupuncture but had never had the opportunity to try it until living in Huatulco. Once I arrived in Huatulco, I met other people who were getting acupuncture. They recommended a particular doctor and I accompanied them to my first visit at Medicinas Integrativas Bahías de Huatulco.
My first visit
Dra. Paulina Corona’s clinic is close to the center of Crucecita and the atmosphere is surprisingly calm and serene. It feels like a Japanese home – very simple and clean with natural wood and a lovely garden. The garden smells float inside and there is soothing music. Dra. Paulina speaks English so it is easy to communicate. I was told to expect the first appointment to be about an hour; subsequent treatments would last about 30 minutes.
What exactly is acupuncture?
First, she explained that acupuncture is a traditional part of ancient Chinese medicine. Chinese medicine considers that the inside of the body can be healed from the outside. Extremely thin needles are inserted in different parts of the body in order to balance energy that flows through specific pathways or meridians.
The acupuncture points stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue and this releases natural painkillers and other chemicals in your body. It is believed to restore energy flow through the body and activates the body’s own power to heal itself. The process can relieve inflammation and bring the body’s natural functioning back into order. The needles can sometimes be attached to an electric stimulator that increases the effects.
In a private examination room, we discussed my history and she did a short examination that included my blood pressure and pulse, the appearance of my tongue and my skin coloring. I brought along medical records for her to review. Dr. Paulina is a fully trained medical doctor with additional training in Eastern Medicines and homeopathy that qualify her for the acupuncture specialty. Dr. Paulina did mention after my initial blood work that I needed to eat less red meat. I assumed she was joking as I am sure she knows I am a meatatarian.
A typical acupuncture session
After about 30 minutes, she had me lay on a padded exam table. Although you don’t need to take all your clothing off, you may need to remove something that covers a particular acupuncture point. There are sheets to use for modesty and a pillow for comfort. She inserted needles at different depths and sometimes rotated them a bit. I did feel a pinch now and then but it was much less painful than I feared. Once the needles were in place, I was told to close my eyes and relax for about 20 minutes. More of that soothing music played and I felt completely relaxed. When the time was up her assistant came in and removed the needles – a totally painless process.
I should note that the needles they use are your own private set in a glass tube and you can either keep them in your possession or leave them at the clinic for your use during your visits. I chose to leave mine there so I would not have to worry about forgetting them.
After all the needles were removed, I was offered another service called cupping. It is an ancient alternative medical procedure included in the visit. The assistant heats the air inside a glass cup and places it on certain spots on your back. She holds it there for a short while and then releases the suction that has been created. This method is used to help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and a form of deep tissue massage. I had heard some stories about it but found it a really pleasant experience. After the cupping therapy, I was thoroughly relaxed and ready to get back on my board!
Results of acupuncture
The effects of acupuncture can be immediate or it may take a few visits to experience relief for your particular situation. My experience with acupuncture and the supplemental cupping therapy was excellent and I returned each week or two in order to maintain the relief. Depending on the location of my current pain complaint, Dr. Paulina would locate new needle locations each time. She would also send me home with naturopathic drops that are created specifically for your condition. They are herbal and don’t have any flavor and are usually taken under the tongue on the schedule the doctor prescribes.
Cost of treatment
As far as cost, the initial visit with this particular doctor was in the range of $600 pesos; subsequent visits varied to about $300 pesos; and the naturopathic medicines are included in the price. This doctor is able to write prescriptions for you if you need them and she did consult with specialist doctors for more information for me. She is able to make references also. The prices and specific treatment options will vary from one doctor to another so be sure to ask questions and get recommendations from people you know.
5 Reasons Why You Should Consider Giving Acupuncture a Try
If you’re curious about acupuncture, here are 5 reasons why you should consider giving acupuncture a try.
- Acupuncture is personalized treatment tailored to your needs.
An acupuncturist treats you as a person rather than treating a disease. They take into account physical, emotional and energetic planes.
- The needles are tiny. Nothing to be frightened of here. Any fears of hair-thin needles or a small pinch are far outweighed by potential relief of symptoms.
- The side effects are wonderful. It’s extremely relaxing. It relieves pain.
Although we may go for acupuncture for pain somewhere in the body, we may also discover that acupuncture helps with mood improvement, stress level, better sleep and digestion.
- It gets to the source. Acupuncture not only treats the current condition but also aims to treat the reason why the symptom is manifesting.
- Acupuncture works. It is an ancient medicine with recorded use at least a few hundred years before our era.
Besides these general reasons, acupuncture is used for low back treatment, headaches, allergies, osteoarthritis, to regulate menstrual cycles, boost fertility, boost immunity, to improve sleep, to release tight muscles, to quicken recovery after an accident, improve strength and endurance for athletics, improve digestion, and for weight loss.
- Paulina Corona
Speaks English, Medicinas Integrativas Bahias de Huatulco
- Nadia Zubenko
Practices: Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine and Veterinary Acupuncture
Speaks English, Russian, French and Chinese
Located at Chacah 419
(one block away from the Zocalo of La Crucecita)
- Cynthia I. Landa Chavarria
Practices: Homeopathic Medicine, Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine
Located at #509 Calle Colorin
(above Teresina Restaurant)