Monthly Archives: February 2018

Acupuncture and Sciatic Pain

If you have ever suffered the agony of sciatica, you know how much it hurts. My first acupuncture visit was due to sciatica and here I am now as an acupuncturist myself. So, you can imagine that I found it to be pretty helpful!

When I had the sciatic pain, it was not for the first time. I had hurt myself in the same spot several years earlier and I had been stuck in bed, flat on my back for almost 2 weeks. I could hardly hobble to the washroom and back and I was taking huge doses of pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs, which left me barely conscious.

When it happened again, I finally got brave enough to try the acupuncture. I had an experience similar to the man in the video. I had one treatment which almost completely alleviated my pain. I took it easy for a couple of days, but I was virtually cured. Acupuncture really can be that effective.

Check out the video below to see for yourself. The acupuncturist is using a different style than I typically use, but it still works. It is quite a long video, so if you want to skip ahead, go to about 16 minutes to hear the patient offering to kiss his acupuncturist. LOL

Why Being a Healer is Tough, and Rewarding

So, you think you would like to be a healer. A holistic practitioner or something of the like?

I am here to tell you that being a healer is tough. It’s damn hard work, but it is very rewarding.

If you are thinking about heading down that path, let me give you an idea what your life might look like. I have been on that path for over 17 years now. Most of what I am about to say assumes that you are going to be self-employed.

You get to have a flexible schedule

Upside:  You can choose your own hours, work them around your family commitments and work as many or as few hours as you like. You can book your holidays whenever you like.

Downside: Most of your clients have jobs. If your clients don’t have jobs, they won’t be able to pay you! You are going to work a lot of evenings and weekends to accommodate them.

You still have to be reliable and consistent. If you are not available, change your hours around too much, or you reschedule your clients too often, they are going to get fed up with you and go elsewhere. You better be damn sure to provide good, consistent service because most of your business is going to come from word of mouth referrals.

You are not likely to get rich

Upside: You won’t have to pay much income tax or worry about what to do with investments. When the stock market crashes it doesn’t impact you at all.

Downside: Do I have to explain this part?

Well, maybe I will just point out that you may have to put up with people thinking that you are making out like gangbusters. People think that you charge a lot of money for a session, so therefore you must be rich. You always seem to be busy, so you must be making tones of money. They don’t realize that much of that “busy” time is spent on admin, marketing, planning, writing blog posts, making videos, keeping up with social media and paying all of the bills associated with having a business – and don’t forget the professional membership fees and insurance.

It takes years to build a practice.

Many.    Long.     Years.

Banks and lenders do not like you. They say you are not reliable. (I say anyone who can keep their shit together and successfully run a holistic practice for more than a couple of years is waayyyy more reliable than the average Joe, but what do I know?)

Everyone wants a discount. You are making lots of money right? They can’t afford to come and see you.

Honestly, I know there are many who really can’t afford your services. This should really go on the “upside” because when you are self-employed you can decide if you are going to slide your fee to help out those who are truly unable to pay you. If someone is genuinely struggling I am the first to offer a discount.

What gets me pissy is when you find out they have a good paying job. They are sitting on an inheritance, going on vacation, or renovating their house. They just got a new car. They go out for dinner a couple times a week. They get their hair done at that fancy place and they get mani-pedi’s every month. They probably make triple what I do, but I am supposed to give them a discount?

I don’t understand why people value so many other things more than they value their health and well-being. I also don’t understand when someone wants to rip you off for the very hard work that you do.

How would they feel if their boss decided that they were only getting half of their paycheck this week?

If you all just brown-bagged your lunch 2 days a week you could afford a treatment every month!

People don’t understand that you are not booking 7 or 8 people a day. Sometimes you will be lucky to have 7 or 8 people a week! Other times you will be completely swamped, which leads to my next topic!

Your income will fluctuate

Upside: I filled a workshop! Yay! We can have Christmas this year! 🙂

Downside: Half of my clients just cancelled for the week. Better start looking for another part-time job. 🙁

You don’t have an annoying boss or coworkers

Upside: Nobody is bossing you around, telling you what to do and you don’t have to deal with that jerk in the next cubicle. Heck, if you don’t want to work with an irritating client, or with someone who doesn’t respect you, you don’t have to. You get to choose who you want to work with, and if someone doesn’t gel with you, you can just not work with them anymore. Bye Bye!

You can collaborate with other professionals. You can try to work in a cooperative environment like mine. I am lucky enough to have found an office building where we are all holistic practitioners, so we try to support and help each other.

You can promote yourself when you feel you are ready. Want to take another form of training? Go for it. Are you really good at a particular skill? Maybe you can start teaching other people what you have learned. You can be really creative with what you want to offer to the world.

Downside: No vacation pay, no employment insurance, no health insurance benefits, no sick pay, no retirement fund, no IT department, no marketing department, no reception, no customer service rep, nobody to talk to at the water cooler and bounce ideas off of.

That great new idea you had flopped big-time and there is nobody to blame it on but yourself. It’s all on you baby!

You get to deal with critics, skeptics, naysayers and generally not be respected for following your calling 

Upside: You get to develop a thick skin. Who cares what other people think? You know that what you do helps people every day. You will find depths of self-worth you didn’t’ know were possible. There are more studies coming out every day in support of the work you do.

You get to work with positive, open-minded people. The closed-minded people probably won’t be coming to see you anyways. I get to meet the most fascinating people every day.

Every time someone walks in your door stressed-out and in pain, and leaves feeling better, you experience the most amazing sense of joy and accomplishment. How many people get to feel that when they go to work each day?

Downside: It can be tough to feel disrespected. If I hear the term “Flakey Reiki” one more time someone is going to get it!

I am often left wondering if the people who don’t believe in my work think I am an evil scammer or if they think I am just stupid or crazy for doing what I do. If it really didn’t work, why would I still be in practice? Why would people come back and refer their friends and family? Are we all mutually stupid and crazy? I know… thousands of years of anecdotal evidence means nothing at all.

It is physically and emotionally demanding

Upside: You will never be stuck at a desk all day. You will have a variety of work activities. You will never be bored. You will develop strong muscles. You will learn how to push past your own pain and that you can do a lot more than you thought you could. You will learn new skills and become a better healer for every person you see.

You can also trade services with other healers and patch each other up.

Downside: Ouch! Yawn!

Oh, and being empathic doesn’t help. You have to be very aware when you are picking up other people’s emotions and physical pain and spend a lot of time clearing and caring for yourself.

People will tell you their troubles, their fears, their tales of pain, abuse, and suffering. It may just break your heart. You have to learn how to be caring and compassionate without letting it bring you down. It is a huge honour to be trusted with people’s stories.

On the other hand, you will hear a lot of bitching and whining. You may become jaded. You may want to turn around and say, “Really? Is that is your biggest problem? Let me tell you a thing or two!” But you won’t because that would be really mean and inappropriate and everyone has their own experience. It just gets to be a bit much some days.

Unrealistic expectations

Upside: People think you are an angel on earth. They love you. They sing your praises. What an ego boost!

Downside: People expect miracles.

Hey man, how many years have your been abusing your body and you think I can fix all that in an hour?!?!

There can be a lot of pressure to be this holy, perfect, spotless being of light who never has a negative thought or emotion. Who never swears or says anything bad. F that! You are a real, human person and you don’t have to be a paragon of virtue. If you allow yourself to be put on that high pedestal it is going to hurt like hell when you fall off. Trust me, you will fall off.

You don’t have to be in perfect health. You don’t have to have the best diet or the best lifestyle. You don’t have to know everything about health and wellness. You don’t have to read every new book on those subjects.

There is a balance to be found. I am still trying to find it, but I know it is out there somewhere. I actually find it quite grounding to eat junk food, drink too much coffee and go out for beers with my non-healer friends.

You get to pontificate on blogs

Upside: I am saving myself some money on therapy by writing all of this stuff down here. I am lucky that a few people actually seem to care about what I have to say. Maybe some of you are healers too. Solidarity! We rock! We have the best job ever! Ups and downs included!

Downside: If you have read this far, you all have to put up with me, but I love you for it. 😉


Healing the Layers

I have been a holistic practitioner for over 17 years now.

I have often found myself trying to explain how the different services I offer benefit people in different ways. In short, how the varying layers of healing can be addressed with different methods, and why I include energy work as much as I can in everything  I do.

I started out working mostly with energy work, using Reiki and other energy healing modalities, combined with intuitive healing. I worked on energetic and emotional/spiritual healing for my clients.

Over the years I have been continually adding to my toolset. I have added acupuncture, acupressure, laser acupuncture, electro acupuncture, meridian theory, cupping therapy, cosmetic cupping, heated stone massage and other trainings so numerous I can’t even remember them all anymore.

You could say that I  started on the outside and worked my way in, gradually becoming more physical and hands-on with my work.

The theory of starting on the outside and working inward is also a concept I teach in my classes. I explain that this is how the human energy field influences and interacts with the physical body. Disturbances or imbalances start in the energetic field and work their way in, until they physically manifest into illness or injury.

I will give some examples to explain how this can work:

1. You play baseball and you are hit by the ball, leaving a large and painful bruise. The bruise was caused by an external object entering your energy field and then colliding with your physical body. This is a very obvious example.

2. You commute to your desk job each day and sit for long hours. Your neck, shoulders, back and hips become tight and sore. Yes, of course the inactivity, confinement and cramped position is what causes your physical discomfort, but what energies or influences came into play to put you into this position?

Obviously, you need to earn a living. The energies of money and survival are prominent causes of your pain. You probably would work closer to home if an appropriate job was available, but forces (insert “energies”) beyond your control have not made this option available to you.

If you had a few spare minutes in your day, you would probably get up and move around or stretch more frequently, but the boss is over your shoulder, or you have  deadline to meet, so you sit too long and tighten up your muscles even more.

Maybe you have a performance review coming up or you are hoping for a promotion. All of these things can be thought of as circumstances, issues, etc, but they are also energies.

3. You are in a stressful relationship. You are in disagreements and arguments. You feel that you have tried everything to work out the issues, but nothing is working. You think you are going to have to end things. You are anxious, you are getting headaches, stomach aches and you can’t sleep.

In this case, there is no physical cause for the pain. The pain and disharmony is being caused by emotional stressors. This is another kind of energy. In this case, if the energy is not cleared or healed, the mental/emotional stress will eventually cause physical illness, such as IBS or chronic headaches.

Every physical thing, every circumstance, every thought and every emotion carries an energy.

Some energies are positive and energizing and some are more negative or draining.

Energy workers, work in the energetic field to clear negative energies and balance and harmonize the field. Then they invite positive energies to re-energize the field.

This may not bring immediate physical healing. It may not remove the bruise from the baseball, but it will help to remove the energy of the impact from your energetic field or your aura.

In example number 1, the injury is pretty simple and physical right? But is it really just physical? Perhaps being hit by a baseball is upsetting. Perhaps you were running the bases and about to go home and score a point, and the ball hit you making you lose the point.

Perhaps the next time you go out to play, you will hesitate, afraid of being hit again.

Perhaps it just hurts and it is frustrating because it is limiting you in your activities.

That simple, physical injury could be causing a lot of other disturbances.

Energy workers are adept at clearing those energies or stressors out of your field. So in the case of example number 1, an energy session could help alleviate the emotions of fear and frustration around the injury. Energy sessions are deeply relaxing. Deep relaxation eases muscular tension, helps to improve circulation and balance blood pressure. These benefits can help physical trauma to heal more quickly.

In example 2, there is a combination of physical and emotional stressors or energies going on. This person would benefit from physical therapies and energy sessions to work out the tight muscles and to ease the stress of their lifestyle and work life.

Energy work can also ease mental-emotional stress, so who knows? An energy session might just help our commuter to find creative ways to deal with their situation, or find the confidence to pursue a job closer to home.

In example 3, the cause of the disharmony is mostly mental-emotional stress. Physical therapy would still be beneficial. It is relaxing and stress reducing as well as being more direct, but my first response would be to help soothe the mental-emotional stress that started the whole issue in the first place. Supporting the person through the troubles in the relationship is the most helpful course of action. Chances are that the headaches, stomach aces etc may go away with the energy work alone.

In closing, I will reveal that all 3 of these examples are of people that I have worked with.

I feel fortunate that I get to see amazing things happen every day. Perhaps the most surprising things I have seen come from the energy work I started with so long ago.

The person from example 3 (the relationship issue) ended up getting rid of all physical pain in just one energy session, and the person from example 1 (the baseball bruise) and I sat in wonder as we watched the swelling and bruising on her leg shrink before our eyes in just one 20 minute acupuncture and energy session combined treatment.

This is why I always try to address every layer of healing when I work with people. Our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energies are always connected and intertwined and we must try to be open to helping on all levels if we truly want to help people.



Who Is Bonnie?

Bonnie Adam is a Registered Acupuncturist, a cupping therapist and a Reiki Master and intuitive healer. She also teaches a variety of workshops including Reiki and cupping therapy.

"Follow your healing pathway."

More about Bonnie.

Online Appointment Scheduler

Bonnie’s videos!

Health and wellness tips on Bonnie’s Youtube channel!

Workshops and Classes

Check out Bonnie's upcoming classes. Workshops are in Guelph, Ontario, but Bonnie may be able to travel to your area to teach.

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