We sat down with Tribe member, Morgan Gaskin, L.Ac and discussed her work in GI health, particularly helping others who suffer from gastrointestinal complications. To learn more about Morgan and her offerings, click HERE.
1. What are some key things you share with people who have never experienced your work before?
I love when people haven't had acupuncture before, because I can be the one to show them that it's not scary to let someone put needles in you. Because it's such a new thing for those people, their reaction after their treatment is also great. I just treated a new patient last weekend, and afterwards she could barely put into words how she was feeling--she said that she felt energy moving through her body (including in areas she had old injuries), and she felt calm, but energized. She was really excited and so was I!
2. What inspired you to do this work?
For a long time I had the feeling I should be helping people. I had been looking into ways to practice medicine, but the Western approaches I explored didn't seem like a good fit. Then I attended an open house at Pacific College, and it just clicked. I signed up for their program that month!
3. How has this work influenced your life personally?
I have become a lot more aware of my own health, including times when I'm technically healthy, but my emotions are affecting my body. I've learned to eat better foods and I've seen firsthand how my body feels and operates better when I feed it quality nourishment. I've learned a lot about talking with and listening to people, because so much of a successful acupuncture treatment relies on communication and trust.
4. How might others benefit from experiencing your work for self-care?
Acupuncture should be a cornerstone of self-care. You don’t have to feel ill or be in pain to visit your acupuncturist. Receiving a treatment is almost always relaxing and provides a reset for your whole body, including your nervous system, digestive system, and your emotions. Far from being an indulgence or a treat, having that hour of relaxation and reset is a necessity in this age of smartphones and productivity.
5. Provide a description of any particular aspects of your practice that relate to gastrointestinal health.
I practice traditional Chinese herbal medicine, using raw herbs cooked by the patient at home to treat a variety of conditions. The right herbal formula can really change the life of someone who has been suffering from chronic gastrointestinal illness. It could be Crohn's or colitis, or it just might be someone who has always had very loose stools, maybe chronic constipation, or even a lot of acid reflux. I've seen herbs successfully treat all of these types of people, and it's amazing how not having to worry about their GI health all the time reflects positively on the rest of their lives. Acupuncture can also help with an acute stomach bug or a short-term GI disruption--results are usually seen the same day!
6. Provide a link to at least one article/ resource/ blog related to gastrointestinal health and a brief description of why you’d like to share it.
Here is a really good article by a California acupuncturist that talks about using Chinese herbs to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The reason I wanted to share this article was that it illustrates one of the things I love about Chinese medicine--it treats the patient, rather than the illness. There is no one “IBS formula” in Chinese medicine. You can see in this article how understanding a patient’s pattern in terms of our medicine will lead to a unique treatment strategy. Seven different patients could visit an acupuncturist and come away with seven different formulas and acupuncture treatments, each one tailored to how their IBS manifests.
7. Provide 3 health and wellness tips that pertain to gastrointestinal health.
8. When and where do you offer your modality?
I see patients at Tribe on Friday and Saturday mornings. I have flexible appointment times available outside my normal hours by special arrangement.