Lauren Aguirre with tools she uses in acupuncture, cupping and facials. 

Downtown Lincolnton will soon have the option to visit an alternative medicine practitioner. Lauren Aguirre, L.Ac, is transitioning from a chiropractic office in Denver to Wellness Day Spa on Academy Street.

Aguirre graduated from the Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine in Boone. As per the NC Acupuncture Licensing Board requirements for licensure, acupuncturists must attend at least a three-year postgraduate acupuncture college accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Students are certified after passing the national exam through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

According to Aguirre, acupuncture is a natural way of treating ailments. Her clients sought acupuncture to treat back and knee pain, anxiety, migraines and sleep issues. Before any treatment, she talks with the clients to learn their health history, including diet and sleep habits.

“I take your whole health into considering when choosing acupuncture points,” Aguirre said.

Considering the patient as a whole is a key tenet of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Practitioners believe that the body’s energy moves through channels called meridians which branch throughout the body.

Aguirre said people commonly think that needles are placed in the area where pain is felt, but that’s not necessarily the case. For example, the meridians that impact lower back pain are located in the feet, according to Aguirre. She uses one-time-use needles that are nearly hair thin to place in acupuncture point, usually around 20. The needles remain in place for about 20 minutes.

Some patients see relief right away, for others, it can take a few sessions. She added that acupuncture can increase endorphins, decrease cortisol and help reduce inflammation.

Alternatively, Aguirre can use a technique called cupping, where a heated cup is placed on the skin to facilitate blood flow.

Aguirre understands that the public can be skeptical because there hasn’t been much research done into its potential health benefits. However, research into acupuncture's effectiveness is underway according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

For Aguirre, she sees proof that acupuncture works when her clients feel better. Results vary from patient to patient. Some may find relief immediately, while others take several treatments. Her ultimate goal is see her patients’ health improve.

“I don’t want people to have to come regularly,” Aguirre said. “I want to get them through their health issue and get them better.”

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