This is the latest in a series of entries meant to introduce you to our talented crew of acupuncturists and massage therapists. Today it’s time to meet Christina Saulle, LAc!
Hi Christina! First off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What made you want to become an acupuncturist?
I actually started out here at City Acupuncture as a patient in 2011 when I came with a friend. I was curious enough to try it myself and it helped me with issues that conventional medicine could not.
As a patient of City Acu, I was treated in a way that was not typical from my experience in doctor’s offices. Have you ever seen the movie Requiem for a Dream?
Then you probably remember the scene where Ellen Burstyn’s character visits the doctor, concerned about the side effects of the pills that she’s taking (which were severe hallucinations). The doctor doesn’t even bother to make eye contact with her, talks over her, and just writes her another prescription of the exact same pills before walking out of the room. Unfortunately, that’s the type of treatment I was used to.
When I went to try acupuncture for the first time, the practitioner asked me a lot of questions and genuinely wanted to know what I had to say. He helped make sense of what was going on in my body, and that meant a lot to me. About a year later, I got hired as front desk receptionist here and it was so refreshing to work with a staff that was equally respectful of everyone. I wasn’t used to that kind of work environment and I found that inspiring. Best of all was how great the patients felt after leaving -- so many people seemed so grateful for the help they were getting. I wanted to be able to give someone else the same experience that I’d had myself and had seen the other patients experiencing.
When I was in acupuncture school I did my clinical internship at the Veterans Administration Hospital in East Orange, New Jersey. It was a rewarding experience because of the type of patients that we saw there. I think the best part about it was how truly grateful the patients were for getting relief with acupuncture. Many of the patients suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). They would come in with anxiety and you could just tell that they were really uncomfortable in their own skin, but they would leave feeling relaxed and with a smile on their faces. They almost looked like completely different people afterwards. We treated a lot of chronic and severe pain conditions there and I think that’s why I gravitate towards treating those types of complaints now.
You gravitate toward treating pain conditions?
I don’t specialize, but I especially love treating any kind of condition in which the patient feels instant relief. If someone comes in with a pain level of 9 out of 10 and leaves describing the pain as having decreased to a 3 out of 10, then I feel as though I’ve accomplished something because I’ve made that person’s day a little better.
I especially like treating upper back pain. It’s one of the most common complaints that we see as acupuncturists, because a lot of people tend to hold tension in their neck and shoulders. New Yorkers also don’t have great posture because of how much time we spend hunched over a computer screen sitting at a desk or looking at our phones. It’s great to be able to give people relief from such a common annoyance. I also like treating headaches.
What do you like about treating headaches? What’s involved with that?
Just a regular headache is one of the most uncomfortable feelings. I don’t personally suffer from migraines, but the way patients describe it just seems like the most uncomfortable sensation I could possibly imagine. I wouldn’t wish that kind of pain on my worst enemy.
There are a lot of different types of headaches. People can experience headaches on different parts of the head. Some people have one-sided headaches, others get frontal headaches (on the forehead and behind the eyes), while others get headaches on the top or the back of the head. In Chinese medicine, there is a different treatment protocol based on where you feel the pain, as well as the type of pain that you feel (throbbing, dull and achy, or sharp, stabbing pain, for example). Headaches might also be related to knots and tightness in the muscles of the neck, shoulders and scalp, and acupuncture does wonders to help fix that.
And there you have it! If you are seeking relief from headaches, neck pain, back pain, or other conditions, come see Christina at City Acupuncture of New York at 139 Fulton Street on Sunday from 10 am until 3 pm, or Monday, Tuesday or Thursday from 12pm until 4pm. Thanks, Christina!