While inserting needles into someone’s body to relieve pain may seem backward, the practice of acupuncture is effective and can help with a variety of problems, said Bea Hammond, a licensed acupuncturist and owner of Harmony Acupuncture. Many people use acupuncture in place of other, more traditional methods, and some use it in conjunction with other medical practices, she said.
“It can be used for so many different services,” Hammond said. “The insertion of the needles can help your body release chemicals that can be used as pain-killing agents, and it can be used to help relieve stress.”
The most common use of acupuncture is to treat headaches, migraines, chronic pain, regulate hormones, menopausal symptoms, infertility and even help with cancer treatments, Hammond said. It is also used to treat mental problems, such as stress and depression.
“I have seen some people that have gone to doctors and nothing has really worked, until they try acupuncture,” Hammond said. “It also helps to reduce the amount of medication that people have to take.”
Hammond received training at the Five Branches Institute in Santa Cruz in 2001. She has been practicing since then, and she is also a certified massage therapist.
“Most people don’t know that there is formal training involved to become an acupuncturist,” Hammond said. “It takes years of training where we learn all of the skills needed.”
She is welcoming to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and wants everyone to feel welcome.
“I like to remind people that we’re a lesbian-owned business,” Hammond said. “It really is my community and my home.”
For more information or to schedule an appointment, go to HarmonyAcupunctureClinic.org.