My Experience with Acupuncture and an Interview with Dr. Saima Bhatti
I had my first acupuncture experience close to four years ago. I wish I had experienced it even earlier, but shockingly (or I guess not), none of my doctors ever mentioned it as an option during my treatment. Instead, they prescribed hydrocodone, naproxen, tramadol, and muscle relaxers to combat pain (all of which did nothing other than make me sick).
I’m serious. All of those pills combined didn’t even TOUCH the pain.
However, at the time, downing the prescribed cocktail everyday seemed like my only option. So, every day, twice a day, for almost a year, I did.
Regrettably, it wasn’t until much later in my recovery process, that I stumbled upon acupuncture.
What comes next may be hard to believe for most people, but I SWEAR, I walked into my first appointment with a “12 out of 10” pain and I walked out with a “2 out of 10.” Crazy?? I know!?
And no, one appointment didn’t magically fix my problem. The pain did come back shortly after but that was the first time I experienced such drastic relief. I was in disbelief, and to be frank, so freaking angry. Why had no one suggested acupuncture before?!
I started doing acupuncture twice a week. I know that sounds aggressive and expensive but most of it was covered by my insurance and my body needed it! The treatment started working wonders from day one. By the second week, my body was literally craving it. I can’t explain it, but it’s true. Not only was the treatment significantly helping with pain management, I also believe it helped with my mental state too. Acupuncture gave me hope that one day maybe I could live pain free again, which was HUGE.
When I mention to people that acupuncture helped heal my body and that I 100% swear by it, I always get a flood of questions. 9 times out of 10, people express their concern with the needles and of course hesitation on the whole “Eastern Medicine” thing.
I’m telling you right now, acupuncture works (for much more than just injuries). I think you’ll be surprised after reading this interview to find what it can help treat. And another thing, I’m terrified of needles, hospitals, blood… you name it! But I’ll waltz right into Dr. Bhatti’s office and HAPPILY await my session.
I no longer suffer from the sciatic nerve pain like I did a couple years ago, so now I get acupuncture to help with the occasional dull pain left over from my injury and for overall wellness. If something’s off, I try acupuncture first.
When I leave, Dr. Bhatti’s office, I feel like I’ve just flowed through the most amazing restorative yoga class AND had a full body massage. I can’t really explain the post-acupuncture feeling but I’ll just say it’s pure bliss.
Disclaimer: I am simply sharing my personal experience. My blog contains my opinions and doesn’t reflect the opinions of The Salt Room. I am not a professional, so my experience with acupuncture shouldn’t be seen as professional advice.
If you live in the Central Florida area, you’re seriously in luck. Dr. Bhatti is one of the most grounding, compassionate, and intelligent souls I’ve ever met. And if you think my story is crazy, listen to hers.
Dr. Bhatti suffered from Mesial Temporal Sclerosis, a chronic seizure disorder. Before acupuncture and Chinese medicine, 12 years ago, she was having 3-6 seizures a day, in pain most of the time and unable to go to school or do any of the things she was committed to that made up her life. Since incorporating what she learned on her own and was taught while in school (as her condition improved with acupuncture), over time she progressed and her seizures have vastly lessened. She now experiences a seizure on average about 4 times a year. She believes that this would never have been possible without the intervention of Chinese medical herbs, food therapy, lifestyle adjustment, acupuncture and homeopathic remedies in her life.
Now, Dr. Bhatti is a Licensed Acupuncture Physician and a Diplomate of Oriental Medicine with board certification from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Saima acquired her first Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from Florida State University; she later graduated from Everglades University with a Bachelor of Science in Alternative Medicine. Saima then attended the Florida College of Integrative Medicine where she acquired a Bachelors in Professional Health Studies and a Masters of Oriental Medicine. Saima holds office in a local chapter, Acupuncturists of Orlando Florida for the Florida State Oriental Medical Association and she is a member of Acupuncturists Without Borders, a global organization that has mobilized to provide care and services for communities affected by natural disasters and related first aid and trauma events. Saima’s main objective is to be of service to all people requiring care, be it long term or immediate, as well as to maximize exposure of the many benefits Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine does provide.
That being said, what better way to answer your questions other than asking Dr. Saima Bhatti?
So without further ado, let’s get started.
INTERVIEW WITH DR. SAIMA BHATTI
Obviously, the biggest question, “How does acupuncture work”?
Dr. Saima Bhatti – “Acupuncture is a treatment that uses the body’s energy system. We each have a micro current of electricity that runs through a solid circuit throughout our bodies – it’s what moves our blood, facilitating energy and nutrition distribution. When there is a fundamental imbalance (root cause of any disease or disorder NOT caused by an external known source such as trauma from an accident), the first place the imbalance presents itself is a break in this circuit. Instead of flowing naturally, there is a break and acupuncture assists to reconnect the circuit. That’s what practitioners refer to as acupuncture “channels” or “meridians”, they are simply referring to this electrical energy circuit. When our energy regains its proper flow, the body can repair and heal with immense velocity and correct the imbalance; sometimes as immediately as in one session, depending on variables, like, how long the imbalance has been in place, or lifestyle factors maintaining the out of balance.”
The second biggest question, “Does it hurt?”
Dr. Saima Bhatti – “There is no short way to answer this. Because without anything to compare the feeling to, some people would initially relate to the experience as pain. However, when performed correctly and as long as the person is not too malnourished and has ample nutrition levels and energy, there is a noticeable sensation when the acupuncture needle is inserted in to a point and interacts with the micro current of electricity. There is an immediate sensation and then it dissipates. MOST people describe it as a slight vibration/electric feeling, others describe it as warm and tingling.”
“What conditions can acupuncture help?”
Dr. Saima Bhatti – “Eye, ear, nose and throat disorders, circulatory disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, gynecological/genitourinary disorders, immune disorders, addiction, emotional and psychological disorders, musculoskeletal and neurological disorders, respiratory disorders, dermatological disorders, adrenal fatigue and chemo/radiation side effects…”
“Who would you recommend acupuncture to? (Is this something “healthy” people should incorporate into their lifestyle?)”
Dr. Saima Bhatti – “Anyone with an existing condition intending to manage it responsibly as well as anyone intending to prevent disease and maintain good health.”
“How many treatments do you recommend to see results?”
Dr. Saima Bhatti – “One.”
“What should someone look for when choosing an acupuncturist and their practice and what should they expect at their first appointment?”
Dr. Saima Bhatti – “Choose an acupuncture physician who focuses on determining the root cause of every sign and symptom, choose someone who you experience a connection with, someone who is looking to make an actual difference in the quality of your life – who has specific measures to track your healing progress (i.e.. before acupuncture I slept 2 hours uninterrupted throughout the night, now I can go 5 or 6 hours without interruption)”
“What should someone expect after their treatment?/ Do the needles only work on contact or continue working off the table?”
Dr. Saima Bhatti – “It takes 24 hours for electricity to circulate through the entire circuit in the body. So, disappearance of symptoms can take as long as that after a session. Still, follow up sessions are necessary for reinforcement and maintenance.”
Thank you Dr. Bhatti for this interview.
If you have any questions, comments, or your own acupuncture stories, leave them below!
To request an appointment with Dr. Bhatti, call The Salt Room Orlando at (407) 965-3065 or visit their website. When making an appointment, mention @thefreshscoop for a free salt lamp with your first session!