Needles don’t have a great reputation. In the hands of a skilled acupuncturist, however, they can lead to long lasting health. Lauren Aguirre has always been interested in healthcare. She started out on the conventional route and thought she’d go into pharmacy and then switched to nursing. While in nursing school, she worked part-time at an assisted living facility.
“I was seeing how sick those people were,” she said. “They were taking a lot of medications and their quality of life wasn’t very good. It prompted me to research alternative ways to help people heal without relying on pharmaceuticals.”
That research led Aguirre to acupuncture and Chinese medicine. She switched from nursing to acupuncture school which is also a four-year program. She went on to obtain a master’s degree in Chinese medicine. Aguirre’s been practicing for three years and opened True Roots Acupuncture in downtown Lincolnton in February.
“There’s more than 360 acupuncture points on the body,” she said. “In our schooling, we study the anatomy of the body to learn exactly where those points are. What we’re ultimately doing is promoting the body to heal itself. There’s been a lot of research lately that’s showing where the acupuncture points lay is at the junction of important nerve branches. When you put a needle in that area, it connects to a certain part of the central nervous system.”
That connection essentially “wakes up” the body’s innate nature to heal itself, Aguirre explained. Acupuncture reminds the body that there’s an imbalance, so it’ll do what it needs to in order to promote healing.
“Here in Lincolnton, I see a lot of fertility patients,” she said. “I have a client coming in this evening who’s going to be having IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) treatments in a couple of weeks. Acupuncture can increase the odds of success of an IVF transfer.”
Aguirre has a couple of clients who are recovering from Bell’s Palsy – acupuncture reverses facial paralysis. She also sees a lot of people suffering with knee, back or other pain.
The needles that an acupuncturist uses are very thin, not like what’s used to give shots.
“Our needles are about as thin as a human hair,” Aguirre said. “Some patients will come in very anxious and when I put the first one in, they don’t even feel it. Our needles are single-use and sterile.”
A treatment lasts about an hour which involves going over an extensive health history. Like many alternative modalities, acupuncture doesn’t treat just one disease or ailment, but treats the whole person to bring everything into balance.
The $2 million question is – does acupuncture cure coronavirus. It doesn’t, Aguirre said, but it can boost a person’s immune system to prevent them from catching the virus. Unlike spas and massage therapy centers, Aguirre is able to remain open during the governmental shutdown due to COVID-19. What she believes she’s doing is providing opportunity in chaos.
“It’s been said there’s opportunity in crisis,” she said. “If we take a step back and look beyond our current circumstances, we can find opportunities to promote growth and change in a positive direction in both ourselves and the community around us. This concept can be applied to how we perceive healthcare in general in our country. Currently, our nation is one that focuses on sick care rather than health care. This means that we often wait until we become ill to seek action instead of focusing on prevention and wellness in order to make sure that we stay healthy.”
As a healthcare provider coming from a school embedded in natural medicine, Aguirre said that she finds this pandemic as an unprecedented opportunity to inform and educate patients and the community around her about the benefits of maintaining optimum health and wellness. She believes that maintaining optimum health and wellness is the best way to combat threats from viruses like COVID-19.
True Roots Acupuncture is located on the second floor of 204 East Main Street in Lincolnton. Aguirre sees patients by appointment only. In addition to acupuncture, True Roots also offers “cupping” which is a type of alternative therapy that also originated in China. It involves placing cups on the skin to create suction. The suction may facilitate healing with blood flow. There’s also an infrared sauna in her suite, however, neither the cupping nor the sauna are available now due to the government shutdown. Aguirre also sells essential oils and partners with Yoga on Main teaching classes. For more information, visit https://www.truerootsacupuncture.com or call (828) 308-6875.