What to Expect with Acupuncture

what to expect when receiving acupuncture
Denise Groothuizen, Acupuncturist at Marconi Chiropractic and Wellness

Recently, we sat down with Denise Groothuizen, the new acupuncturist here at Marconi Chiropractic and Wellness, and talked about what acupuncture is, how it can help people, and how she became involved in performing acupuncture.

“Acupuncture,” Denise explained, “is a Chinese medical practice that uses needles at certain nodes within the body to create relief from pain and other symptoms, based on the theory of Qi.” Denise reassured patients that, despite involving needles, acupuncture is supposed to be generally painless. “With acupuncture,” Denise said, “a patient should not bleed or feel pain. They may feel a dull, pulling sensation that occurs as a result of their Qi being drawn to the needle.” Denise advised that, if an acupuncturist is using the proper skill, placing the right sort of needle in the right location, and using the right angle on the needle, then a patient should be able to experience a painless procedure.

what to expect with acupuncture
“With acupuncture, a patient should not bleed or feel pain.” – Denise Groothuizen

While acupuncture is part of centuries of tradition in China, it is a relatively recent addition to healthcare in the West. “Acupuncture first became popular in the US when Nixon went to China,” Denise said. As Denise explained, acupuncture gained interest due to an appendectomy, specifically, the appendectomy of a member of Nixon’s press corps. While in China, the reporter suffered severe appendicitis, requiring immediate medical treatment before the organ burst. In China, for this surgery, the typical opioid-based anesthesia is not used; acupuncture is used. When the press pool – and, subsequently, the US medical community – learned that the reporter had a painless appendectomy without anesthetic, acupuncture received a great deal of interest.

Denise, an experienced practitioner, has been performing acupuncture for over seventeen years and has a Bachelor of Health Science and a Masters of Science in Acupuncture and Eastern Medicine from Bastyr University. “I enjoy being exposed to a lot of different healing modalities,” Denise explained, “I enjoy being integrative because the body is a system, not just a collection of unrelated parts.”

what to expect with acupuncture
“In the end, acupuncture can help people feel resilient and be able to deal with their symptoms.” – Denise Groothuizen

Denise said she was so drawn to acupuncture because it is results-oriented. She cited the use of acupuncture by hospitals, such as the Johns Hopkins Medical System, and cancer centers to treat pain associated with chronic illness and the side effects of chemotherapy. Denise smiled and explained, “My favorite thing about acupuncture is giving patients relief. If someone is snoring before I finish putting in the needles, it is because the person trusts me enough to be relaxed.”

Denise made recommendations for those new to acupuncture for their first visit. “Always have a snack and hydrate well beforehand.” Denise advised patients to wear loose, comfortable clothing, and be prepared to share fully why they are seeing her. “We are treating the whole system,” Denise explained, “so no detail is irrelevant. In the end, acupuncture can help people feel resilient and be able to deal with their symptoms.”



What is the Clean Fifteen?

non-organic fruits and vegetables with low cancer risks

In 2010, President Barack Obama’s Presidential Cancer Panel issued a report on how people can reduce their environmental cancer risks.  This report detailed a number of useful findings regarding how we create environmental risks for cancer based on our modern lifestyles.  In particular, it showed that the pesticides we use on our crops are major risk factors for cancer.  Based on this research, a non-profit known as the Environmental Working Group came up with a list of twelve fruits and vegetables most likely to contain traces of carcinogenic pesticides (the “Dirty Dozen”) and fifteen fruits and vegetables (the “Clean Fifteen”) least likely to contain traces of carcinogenic pesticides.  While buying only organic fruits and vegetables would solve the problem of having to worry about cancer-causing pesticides in our food, that can be expensive.  So, for those in Tacoma concerned about the health risks of non-organic food, the Clean Fifteen is a list of those fruits and vegetables we can buy without having to make sure the produce is organic, helping us save money and still eat safely.  This article will take a look at the Clean Fifteen, including what fruits and vegetables are on that list, and give you some options as to where to find quality organic produce while shopping locally.  Be sure to take a look at the related Dirty Dozen article, which contains the list of those fruits and vegetables most likely to include trace cancer-causing pesticides.

The Clean Fifteen List

The Clean Fifteen includes the following fruits and vegetables:

  1. Sweet corn;
  2. pineapples;
  3. avocados;
  4. cabbage;
  5. frozen sweet peas;
  6. onions;
  7. papayas;
  8. asparagus;
  9. mangoes;
  10. eggplant;
  11. honeydew melon;
  12. kiwi;
  13. cantaloupe;
  14. cauliflower; and,
  15. grapefruit.

While this list of clean fifteen items is excellent for avoiding pesticides, it should be noted that this list does not take into account genetically-modified foods (GMOs).  Corn, in particular, has been subjected to substantial genetic modification, and if you want to avoid GMOs, you should still consider purchasing organic produce.

Where to find quality organic produce in Tacoma

The Pacific Northwest is an outstanding region for those looking to shop organically.  Here in Tacoma, there are a number of excellent options for those seeking organic produce, even with the loss of the Tacoma Food Co-op.  Here is a list of the best options for organic produce in the area:

The Tacoma Farmers Market (Seasonal)

A seasonal option, generally available from May to October (at its Broadway location), the Tacoma Farmers Markets are located throughout the city and offer organic produce at accessible prices (and offers special benefits for those shopping organic with EBT cards).

Wild Hare Organic Farm (Farmstand is seasonal; CSA is year-round)

Wild Hare Organic Farm offers organic produce from its 20-acre family farm on River Road at the produce stand it operates every year from June to October.  It also offers a year-round Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, where you can purchase regular bundles of fresh vegetables straight from the farm.

Early Bird Farm (seasonal CSA)

Early Bird Farm is a newer farm located in Tacoma, providing organic produce and eggs from its Puyallup River Valley location.  Along with being at local farmers markets throughout the Seattle-Tacoma corridor, the farm offers a seasonal CSA for people who wish to support local agribusiness and get fresh, organic produce.

Terra Organics (year-round food delivery)

Terra Organics is the food delivery service started by Tahoma Farms founders Dan and Kim Hulse in Enumclaw, Washington.  Terra Organics offers not only organic produce, but also coffee, tea, and bakery items.  Terra Organics delivers to residents in King, Pierce, and Thurston Counties.

Marlene’s Market and Deli

Marlene’s Market – located in Federal Way and Tacoma – a Pacific Northwest staple, offering not only organic groceries and health and beauty items but also a full-service organic deli.



Hello world!

Hello world!

Welcome to the Marconi Chiropractic and Wellness blog!  This blog is currently under construction, but expect to see great new things here that can help you:

  • manage chronic aches and pains;
  • improve your nutrition;
  • increase your fitness levels; and,
  • improve your overall well-being!