Meet Your Acupuncturist: Christina Bird

Book a private session or come to our Community Acupuncture sessions on Wednesday afternoons from 3-5pm. (Last appointment available is 4:30pm, treatments last 30-45 minutes, cost: $20.) Check out our Acupuncture FAQ for more information on this incredible healing modality.

CBWHeadshot1. Why did you decide to become an acupuncturist?

My undergraduate major was Athletic Training, which dealt with injuries and their related examination, assessment, and physical interventions – basically, injury rehabilitation. After I graduated, I worked as a personal trainer for three years while I was figuring out what my next step was and that’s when acupuncture found me, in a way.

In the span of three months, I met over a dozen people who were graduates or current students at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. One was the mother of a close friend; a girl from a weekend workshop; three students in a Mandarin class I was taking at a Buddhist temple (because “why not?”) and several other friends of friends.

As soon as I enrolled in the 11 semester master’s program, I knew that I was in the right place. Through my education and beginning my practice, I have been able to see the beautiful and profound way that acupuncture can change lives. I get to help people, day in and day out, and that’s why I became an acupuncturist.

2. What benefits have you or your clients received from regular acupuncture treatments?

Every patient has a different treatment plan and set of goals, but there are several things that most patients will experience with regular acupuncture treatments. There is an overall sense of calm, relaxation, and de-stress that comes from acupuncture – it is felt during and after a session, and can carry on into the rest of the week.

Whether it is headaches, back pain, muscle soreness, or menstrual cramps, most patients notice an alleviation of pain in their body. Acupuncture can improve digestion and establish greater regularity of bowel movements, especially the morning after a treatment.

Many patients experience improved sleep patterns: falling asleep easier, staying asleep longer, and waking feeling more refreshed. Better sleep often leads to more energy and a greater ability to “get everything accomplished” on a day-to-day basis. There is often a more clear sense of mental clarity and ability to focus at work and at home.

Overall, every patient gets up off the table and walks out, “feeling really, really good right now.”

3. Describe what acupuncture means in your life using just 6 words: My purpose in helping other people.

4. Something interesting your clients might not know about you is:

I have been an athlete all my life, through several sports and many different acute and chronic injuries. I’m grateful to combine my personal experience with an acupuncturist’s extensive, detailed knowledge of the body in order to better treat patients experiencing pain, injuries or other physical ailments.

5. What would you say to encourage someone who has never tried acupuncture?

For starters, acupuncture is safe. The FDA approved acupuncture needles for use by licensed practitioners in 1996, and requires that sterile, single-use needles be used only by qualified practitioners. To become an acupuncturist, one must attend an accredited Acupuncture college (3000-4000 hours of study – approximately 4 years, full time study) and pass a licensing exam which includes standards of hygiene, clean needle technique, and anatomical knowledge.

Christina BirdAcupuncture doesn’t hurt. Receiving an acupuncture treatment is nothing like getting a shot or having blood taken. An acupuncture needle varies in diameter from 0.16 mm to 0.46 mm, which is just a fraction of the thickness of a typical hypodermic needle. You may feel a slight prick as the needle enters the skin, but there shouldn’t be an residual discomfort.

You can be a skeptic! In fact, I more than welcome hearing your questions and doubts – acupuncture doesn’t require belief for efficacy. The modern study and practice of acupuncture combines thousands of years of empirical knowledge about how to treat the body with western medicine’s current understanding of how the body works and functions. And acupuncture does work!

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