Below is a lightly edited conversation between Katie Duffy and Doug Peterson. Both are licensed acupuncturists at the Fulton Street and East Village branches of City Acupuncture in New York City.
Katie Duffy, L. Ac: So Doug - how did you get into acupuncture initially?
Doug Peterson, L. Ac: I lived in Japan during high school and my mom found an acupuncturist who would treat her, my brother and me in our home. sometimes for 6, 7 hours treating all of us for an hour and a half each. I would get treated for sports injuries, especially ankle and knee injuries when I played football, and I really saw the benefit.
Then I came back to the US for college, graduated and started doing event production and started feeling anxiety for the first time in my life. Normally you have stress and problems but not an anxiety attack - I didn’t know what it was, so I started going to an acupuncturist here. I would be floating when I left the office and it was amazing. I thought I would love to offer that to other people, especially when it’s so simple to treat, and the benefit is so immediate and powerful.
KD: What is your favorite thing to treat? What are your interests in the field at this time?
DP: I wasn’t a big fan of treating trigger points in school, because of how we were taught (with other students working on your muscles, which feels vulnerable, especially when you don’t have any real trigger points to treat).
But now, being in the clinic and seeing the benefits of trigger point therapy makes that my favorite thing, because it’s so therapeutic for the patient.
KD: What other conditions do you have a special affinity for?
DP: I really like to treat anxiety and depression, because I have also gone through that, and that is something I have seen disappear in my own life through using acupuncture and meditation and things like that. And the treatments for that can be very simple, just a couple of points, so it’s amazing because it’s one thing which can make such a big difference in a gloomy, dark depression. Acupuncture can really break through blockages to the heart, emotionally speaking. I like when I can get a response right away, for example last week, I had a patient burst into tears on the table, which is really sweet because it’s such a good emotional release for those patients.
KD: What are some things you’d like to learn or another direction to take your practice in the future?
DP: These days I’m wanting to learn more sports acupuncture and trigger points and be in that space where people are driven and motivated, and to help them excel even more.
You can make an appointment for acupuncture with Doug on 7th street in the East Village by clicking here, or right off the Fulton Street transit center in downtown Manhattan by clicking here.