MEET RACHEL // We are excited to offer Acupuncture at both the #IOsf + #IOmarin locations. Rachel Schaefer is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist in the State of California. She is also a National Diplomate of Oriental Medicine and specializes in Endocrinology, Women’s Health and Fertility. She received her BS in Biology from Mills College in Oakland, California, and a four year Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches Institute in Santa Cruz, California. To match her belief that “Food is Medicine,” Rachel completed a two-year apprenticeship in Nutrition and Functional medicine.
You feel Rachel's warmth and care as soon as you meet her, and we sat down with her to ask three introductory questions. As always, find more info at her profile!
Q&A with IO Marin’s new acupuncturist, Rachel Schaefer.
How does Acupuncture work for the body?
While acupuncture works in many specific ways in support of the body's own inherent healing mechanism (reducing inflammation, improving hormone metabolism, supporting detoxification pathways, balancing neurotransmitters and reducing pain signaling), in more general terms, acupuncture works via the nervous system. When an acupuncture needle is applied, it stimulates the travel of nerve signals from the body to the brain, relaxing the nervous system from a fight-or-flight dominance (called sympathetic) to a "healing" nervous system (the parasympathetic which is mediated by dopamine, where the body is most effective at restorative tasks like digestion, tissue repair, and balancing the endocrine system, to name a few). This is part of why acupuncture is so broadly effective at treating so many types of pathology in the body-- it instills the body its own proper balance to heal itself.
What changes have you seen in your clients?
Having been specialized for some time in the endocrine system and women's health, I've seen remarkable things occur for patients under acupuncture and nutritional care. In total, I can say that the diagnostic and care approach of traditional Chinese medicine put patients back in the drivers' seat of achieving their optimal health. That is because our approach is keyed to personalization, which allows me to translate to the patient what we are learning from the body and also provide specific feedback for their every day self-care which allows them to stay aligned with our treatment, even outside of the clinic. I have seen patients previously assumed infertile become mothers, patients with digestive distress have come to assimilate a broad diet with little effort and without discomfort, patients have tackled anxiety and insomnia to achieve relaxation which had been elusive, and patients have moved through perimenopause with grace not originally available. Patients have felt held, supported and seen in our work, and their body's have shown remarkable endurance under the care of Chinese medicine to heal what ails them.
Who is a good candidate for Acupuncture?
Anyone who would like deeper access to their most vital self. Patients with specific goals, like hormonal balance, metabolic improvements, pain reduction, better digestion and a desire to undermine anxiety or depression are excellent candidates. Patients who desire a personalized plan for their ongoing good health, and a partner in achieving that.