Acupuncture with Erin: Meet our newest practitioner!

Big news: acupuncture appointments are officially available on Saturdays with our newest practitioner! We are thrilled to introduce the addition of acupuncturist and herbalist, Erin Kennedy, LAc to the Five Seasons family. We’re equally excited to announce that our business hours have extended to Saturdays as of June 2022! You can book Fridays from 8:30 AM till 2:30 PM and Saturday appointments between 10 AM and 2 PM with Erin. In an effort to help our patients connect with their practitioners, we sat down for a chat with Erin. Read on to learn what inspires Erin’s interest in acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

Five Seasons Healing Acupuncture Treatment Room
Book an acupuncture treatment with Erin here

Q&A with Erin K.

 

Q: What piqued your interest in Eastern medicine?

Just before a silent meditation course, I strained my back while surfing and a friend sent me to her childhood acupuncturist. By quite a mysterious process I was again able to sit comfortably, which certainly helped sitting in silence for 10 days. When silence was broken at the end of the meditation course, I escaped the noise of the cafeteria and took a walk with a student who was finishing his last year of acupuncture school. He explained some of the mind-body theory that was behind the healing that I had just experienced, and it just made so much sense after observing my mind and body so intensely and quietly. I didn’t realize it was the start of a new life path at that point though.

Q: What inspired you to explore acupuncture and Chinese medicine?

While working in horticulture, and studying western plant medicine on the side, I started treatments with an acupuncturist to help resolve a pain condition. She really opened my mind to the holistic approach of Chinese medicine, and the deep history of Chinese herbal medicine theory.

Q: Do you have a belief, mission, and/or philosophy related to health and wellness?

I believe our bodies have an innate ability to heal themselves. My role as an acupuncturist is to use our special tools to remind your body how to reconnect and return to health. I don’t “fix” my patients, but rather help remove obstacles to healing, and empower patients to take control of their health so they can achieve their goals and enjoy life without suffering.

Q: Aside from your profession, how has Eastern medicine changed your life?

Some time after that first introduction to acupuncture, I was in a car accident; although I was young and seemed to recover quickly, I developed chronic pain that recurred months later. The acupuncturist who guided me through that healing process really helped me understand the connections between stress and pain, between my body’s ability to heal from injury and seemingly unrelated body functions like my menstrual cycle and digestion. Her treatments and my later study of Chinese medicine taught me how to bring my whole self into better balance, and how to recognize the interconnections and interdependencies so I could nurture my own vitality.

Q: What is your background prior to being a practitioner?

I was, and still am a gardener. Though I gave up being a professional horticulturist to pursue Chinese medicine, I still garden, and nurture my dream of establishing my herbal medicine garden on our land outside the city.

Q: Do you have any specializations and/or prior clinical experience?

I previously worked at a practice that specialized in women’s health and fertility, supporting women from menarche through menopause, through conception with or without assisted reprudoctive therapies, through pregnancy, and postpartum. Through a clinical internship at NYU Langone’s Initiative for Women with Disabilities, I gained experience working with patients with severe orthopedic pain and neurological conditions. My continuing education has focused on Chinese herbal medicine, neurofunctional acupuncture, pregnancy care and pediatric treatment.

Q: Do you have any additional certifications or licenses?

I took a doula training course when my sister asked me to be one of her support people at her first birth. I never pursued the work professionally, but the training gave me a deeper knowledge of the experience of pregnant and birthing patients. It really influenced how I hold space for any patient’s experience of their body, and how we can shift narratives to alleviate suffering, even when there are challenges or pain.

Q: Aside from healing people, what are some of your other skills?

I studied architecture and design in college and although I knew I never intended to pursue it as a career, I think it helped me develop certain skills that still apply in my work: a way of seeing and moving between the details and the big picture, and the practice of systems thinking. I’m a very visual and spatially oriented person, so in acupuncture school, I drew and diagrammed endlessly in my studies.

Q: Could you share an awesome moment or success story?  

One of my early successes, from when I was a student, still stands out in my mind. A patient, possibly due to complications from Lyme disease, had developed both physical pain and psychological symptoms of disassociating to the point of not realizing when she was wailing in public places. Over the course of treatment she started to become aware of and able to control her behavior, and saw dramatic changes in her pain conditions. Gaining control of her mental health was life changing for her. It also really opened my eyes to how much we can treat beyond pain, and how pain so often is tied to conditions of the spirit/mind.

Q: What are a few of your favorite hobbies or interests?

I am water person. I swim, and when I have the opportunity I love to surf, snorkel, or kayak. I love strategy and word games, and puzzles. It’s part of why I find my work so fun; I find a lot of joy in puzzling through a patient’s case.

Q: Which moments in life bring you the most happiness?

Lately, watching the personalities of my two little children emerge, and witnessing their exploration of this magical life around us.

Reach out to Erin directly with any questions via email at erin@fiveseasonshealing.com. Book with Erin through our site here.

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