Updated: Jan 16
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are powerful healing modalities for anyone seeking a holistic approach to their health and well-being. This is true for individuals who identify with their original gender as well as those who identify with a non-binary gender.
Chinese medicine, under which acupuncture is one modality, looks at the unique accumulation of symptoms an individual experiences to better understand what may be at the root of those symptoms. The analogy of a tree is often used in reference to Chinese medicine. Likening a body to a tree, we as practitioners want to address any dis-ease or symptoms in the branches of the tree, as well as what may be originating in the root system of the tree. Typically, we will work with an individual to ease symptoms in the branches before addressing the well-being of the roots in the hopes of providing more immediate relief or resolution of symptoms. Sometimes we opt to use an approach that addresses both the branches and the root.
In Chinese medicine, what is true for individual A is not necessarily true for individual B. There may be similarities, but there are also differences. Chinese medicine takes into account these differences, curtailing each treatment to the current presentation of an individual, while taking into account their unique life experience and health history.
As practitioners, we want to understand your symptom and how it is affecting your life. We want to know how you perceive, feel, and relate to your physical body as well as how you perceive or relate to your mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. What does this look like? We want to know whether you feel at home in your body, whether you experience any pain or discomfort in your body. We want to know if your digestion has changed, how sleep may be affected. We want to hear about past trauma, or surgeries. We want to know if you are on any medications or supplements, taking vitamins or hormones. We want to know the stress level you experience and whether symptoms tend to get worse with increased stress. We are curious about your work and living situation and how this impacts your health and well-being.
We often inquire about your predominant emotion and how your mood or emotions may have changed. We want to know whether you feel connected with other people and how you experience yourself in the world. These are all typical questions which inform how we diagnose and treat.
As an East Asian Medicine Practitioner (our official title in Washington state) with extensive experience within the international LGBT community, I find Chinese medicine a ‘natural’ fit for supporting trans health. The ability for Chinese medicine to address the unique symptoms of an individual and to take into account the whole picture lends itself beautifully to supporting individual authenticity and well-being.
At GoodMedizen Acupuncture & Herbs, we strive to offer an environment that welcomes and supports individuals of all genders and those who do not identify with any gender. If you are in Seattle, you can schedule a complimentary consultation to find out how Chinese medicine may benefit your health and well-being at this time.