Acupuncturist’s patients a varied bunch

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The health and wellbeing industry is increasingly at the forefront of people’s consciousness. Ashley Smyth will be speaking to industry providers of all modalities in the Waitaki district, in an effort to demystify some of the ways they help people to help themselves.

Acupuncture appealed to a young Elise Blundell because it sounded ‘‘like magic’’.
She first came across the ancient form of Chinese medicine when her aunty gave her a book on horse acupuncture as a child.
‘‘I thought, ‘that’s pretty cool’, ’cause I had a horse at the time, and I thought, ‘if I just stick a needle in him here, it’ll fix this and that’. Luckily I never did or he probably would have run away.’’
Miss Blundell completed her bachelor of health science (acupuncture) degree in Wellington and returned to Oamaru about four years ago, running a clinic in Community House, before moving to her own Acupuncture Oamaru premises in Thames St.
She mostly treats people with musculoskeletal issues, and other forms of pain. She even has people come in who are afraid of needles.
‘‘I think once people get to a point where they’re so fed up with something, they don’t care.’’
Q If you could offer people one piece of advice to help improve their health or wellbeing, what would it be?
Get stuff treated as soon as it happens. Quite often, people will have something little happen. They think ‘oh, it’ll come right’, and it slowly gets worse and worse. Then it’s so much harder to treat. And other things start going out of alignment and compensating.
Q One thing people might not know about what you do?
I suppose some don’t really have a clue what I’m doing, to be honest. People just don’t know how it works, really.
Q Any misconceptions about your industry?
I think people think it’s going to hurt.
Q What do you like about your job?
Probably my favourite thing is seeing people being able to get back to doing what they want to do. And, this might sound bad, but working with people who might’ve only bent over and picked up an empty bag or something, and then hurt themselves. For me, it’s inspiring to be like, make the most of your body while you can, because you don’t know when you might end up with a tiny injury that could cause lots of problems. For me to keep doing what I want to do, while I’m fit and healthy, but also to help getting people back to doing what they want to do.
Q How does acupuncture work?
The easiest explanation . . . is, your body is constantly healing itself, but sometimes it forgets, or can’t quite work a problem out. So you pop the needles in, and that’s kind of a reminder to the body ‘hey, come over here and do the job’. And that’s through improvement of blood circulation and nerves, as well.