To The Point PDX

Mar 6, 2017|

Sarah Hammer, Acupuncturist at To The Point PDX, tells the story of how she went from skeptic to Chinese Medicine Practitioner.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

910 ESPN Portland presents northwest business a weekly one hour local business wildlife. If you would like your business to be featured on north was business please call 503535035. Million point. Or email NW business said Now here's zeroes for northwest business Luke Anderson. Thank you for down on the podcast for northwest business this way interview with Sarah. The acupuncture as from to the point pediatrics this interview originally aired on March 4 2070. On 910 ESPN Portland. Sarah hammer welcome to northwest business. These things are haven't made it is my pleasure you are the owner of to the point he acts and you are and acupuncture this is that right yup. I am night for for a living I put needles into people. Is that weird to say for you. It's very weird for just it's very weird for me to say yeah share with the people listening how did you get your start. Doing what you do well I was training for a marathon I worsening for my first marathon and I got up to about fourteen miles and then my knees started to hurt. When now I tried to do the fifteen mile an hour. And I really really wanted to run this marathon and so I wasn't gonna let anything get in my way so into my primary care provider. And I said doctor my knee hurts I can't run she looks at it she says that small and but there's really nothing wrong with you and I senate can't walk and she said take some Ibuprofen you'll be fine. That didn't work for me so that I went to the fancy sports medicine doctor and I said sports medicine doctor. It can't run more than fifteen miles without Maine knee hurting can you help me so he did all of the tests. And it turns out there was nothing wrong with mine it and he said take some Ibuprofen here's a brace and that didn't help either. I was not going to let anything get in the way of my marathon that it was training or because when I put my mind to something I do it how long was. The process from when you're knees started hurting through these to diagnose her. And non diagnosis this assistance. It was about six weeks and I was getting more and more just because every week that you miss the running. You get behind and I was on a really strict plan so I was swimming in the meantime aim and doing the elliptical machine. And doing everything else but running but I was. Feelings really anxious that I wasn't going to be able to get to the 26 point two miles. So I was telling my aide Cuban made Cassie about best. And she simple got to try acupuncture. And it looked at her and I was like Cassie you are a crazy person I am not going to look. Go in half needles stuck into might need that doesn't work I'm from Minnesota that the and I don't believe in these things these alternative holistic medicines you are nuts. But she said given a try if you really wanna finish as marathon it can't hurt anything. So I knew very anxious that that points boom. Nearly to the point road try any thing yeah obviously you're. Yeah I it was it was the last resorts. So I looked up my insurance who was what acupuncture is Suzanne my insurance panel and I found on that was a block from my house I made the appointment ends. And walked into the acupuncture clinic and I felt weird because again I wasn't holistic I was an alternative IA. You know drink a lot of line and worked in PR I didn't really feel like my thing. And it's high winds and she asked me a bunch of questions and he still looked like this is weird and I don't like getting laid the blood drawn at that point I still don't. I don't like needles I don't really like needles now I'll. So I was nervous. But she worked MI need to acupuncture didn't hurt which was surprising to me because I'm pretty sensitive to needles. And the knee pain was gone after one visits. And it blew my money and so I went back for second visit as a acupuncture is my knee pains batter into civil tell me about your anxiety in your stress and how it was cold sort things going up work. And I said actually pretty gray it's my job is pretty high stress and I was having not a stomach aches and headaches stomach aches and headaches. Until you've been putting up with that yeah I didn't know that I could actually feel better I thought that was just. What it was like to work. Had a stomach aches and headache I have a job site of the stomach ache and having rallying right right. And I said I actually felt really come it's so as I was going to her mom I think I went for about six weeks in a row. I noticed that I was. Like my press releases were more engaging I didn't take as long for me don't write something as it did before because I was clear headed. It really was out or opened my guy is to look. How great I could feel and I was. Running faster because I had more energy which was greats and I didn't finish the marathon and I even though I lost those six weeks and I really do retreat back to the regular acupuncture. Why did you decide to go back if the knee pain was gone with had just kind of a curiosity. Or what was it that. Kept you coming back the six weeks and around well my acupuncture is to really great at educating means she said that the Madison is a holistic medicine so you might feel great after the first visit but that's. We're not really getting to the root of the problem we need a number of visits. Like Q train for a marathon you have to train for it to you can't just run the marathon same thing with acupuncture. You need to train your body to get acupuncture to stick so she doctor she's sort followed what she had just thank. For anybody just join the program we talk with Sarah hammer she is the doctor that's two point PD ax. They are located in downtown Portland 510 southwest third avenue. How you can give her call 5037056637. Where you can go to to the point PX dot com and check out more. You go when you get the treatment she needs better he finished a marathon mission accomplished. Why did you decide to give in to acupuncture verses just being a patient. Well I knew after I had my stints in PR that I wanted to start my own business and I also knew that I was really passionate about health care. And I experimented with doing PR and marketing for other health care clinics or for health organizations and decided I wanted to do something. With my hand he can write to but I wanted to have a a trade I wanted to be able to do something to someone. And looked at medical school I looked at massage therapy school I looked into nursing. But when I was looking I was a huge it I was very very excited about acupuncture and I was looking acts. That state of acupuncture are aware is that ad as an industry it was starting to explode really there was a lot of research coming out about it. And their Portland actually has to acupuncture schools so there was a lot of support if I wanted to start my own business and acupuncture. I'm so I just a really decided that I wanted to be excited about what I dead. I was excited about acupuncture. Spent my life savings and acupuncture school in just took a risk and started started graduate school. You mentioned there was a lot of research coming out about acupuncture and I was reading something today on it that I found very interesting. Science has proven that it works they're not quite sure how right. Explain that's been well there are a lot of acupuncture is tear in the city that are acupuncture researchers so if I were to speak about acupuncture research I eight I I I don't think I can speak. Educated about that your actual acupuncture research but we do know that acupuncture works because insurance companies pay for the. And that's the measure in the United States. Like I said there is a real research that wanna talk about when people ask that question is acupuncture works. That's the first thing nice I tell them is that your insurance company covers that they're not gonna cover things that don't work. There's a huge apprehension over the needles and just kind of the visual of acupuncture app how do you get past. That hurdle and go on as a PR person so that he. He picked. Well I'd like to start and you'll ask that question. Like to start by saying acupuncture. Is an entirely different system of Madison. We look at the body totally differently than your doctor looks at the body. So when your doctor looks at you they take your polls that count the number of times your heartbeats or take temperature. They do acts or days. And that's how they diagnoses. In Chinese Madison. It's which acupuncture is one part of a whole Chinese medicine. Way of thinking modality. They look at the we'd look at the body as. Mean as a as if it was made up of twelve different channels and those channels run from your head to your taco. So when there's pain like there was pain in my need. In acupuncture we think that there is a traffic jam for a lack of a better term in your knee so what the needles into you is that they. Take away that traffic jam. So when things are flowing smoothly just like when 26 is flowing smoothly you feel good and happy but when it's jammed up your angry and Matt I thought. So that's what's happening in my knee so. Knowing the theory of acupuncture. And knowing how it works is a big parts obviously is the biggest part of acupuncture school. And we actually don't separate start putting needles into people until the second year until we are clear about how it works and the theory behind it. When I first started needling an acupuncture school I didn't like it. It took me about four weeks to become comfortable putting a needle and someone because it is a completely rational. Fear. For something to be put in your Skelton institute to someone and not know what the reaction will be I'm sure is just as terrifying. Yeah yes and so it's a practice it's a practice to become comfortable putting needles and someone it's also a practice for someone to be comfortable. With having Eagles put in them which is another reason why my acupuncture has told me and I tell my patients. When you start acupuncture it's important to remember a year and it's about four to six weeks once a week because were training your body. How to. Properly get rid of those traffic to us when your acupuncture school who is your patient who's that other students. Yes we've practiced on each other and I think the last portion of acupuncture school the last year we actually do have patients so it's much like Ali Jesse where you have residents. We are on practicing under the license of our professor is but for the first two years. We're practicing on each other things. So it's it's a three year program it is a three a four year program for edit the accelerated programs I didn't three and most people do for. And so for anybody that thinks that maybe this is kind of a whimsical you know go out and get some sort of hokey license that saved probably another reason that it's covered by insurance. Is that there's a fairly intensive training program. And you practice Chinese medicine as well. Yeah so that is a common misconception that I even had when I was going to acupuncture. Actually had 21. With that acupuncture was learned in a weekend and no it's not it's a three to four your master's program general where are licensed by the organ medical board. The second. Misconception people have is that. Acupuncture is the only modality that people use in Chinese medicine so I consider myself a Chinese medicine practitioner. People normally Colleen acupuncture is switched also works. The Chinese medicine is made up before a different modalities one is the acupuncture which is the needles. The second is herbs I'm an herbalist. A prescribe a lot of Chinese medicinal herbs. For people who have headaches digestive upset are even need problem what type of herbs comment Chinese herbs and so at lake. We think of western herbs now when you go to new seasons you can go to the big herb part of its. And you can get one herb that helps for one thing in another herb that helps for another. The difference between western herbs and Chinese medicine herbs is that there are large formulas that have ten to twelve different herbs. That are working altogether for a particular reason. So it's not just like taking. Saint John's wart the Chinese medicine herbs are a combination of a bunch of them together that would work synergistic. So we got the acupuncture impact the herbs we have diet therapy nutrition therapy. And then we also have. Mocks. What is mocks mocks is smuggler to know much about Clancy. And no I don't I am hardly about this I don't know anything about act upon these matters that's why I'm talking to you. So mocks is also a smuggler and mug worked grows I think it's a good decision views mark says the word is at an awards dinner. Well that plant grows and unforced park it's there is month month worth that grows all over the northwest. So when Chinese medicine we color mocks up. And mocks is. Like I said a plant that we use in the far pariah in a a variety of different forms so most of the time we burn them mocks us and we hovering over the skin. And mocks in Chinese medicine. The theory is that it penetrates deep down into those channels of our highways and we were talking about. And can gently remove the traffic jams so it does so what's that acts like in needle but it's a little march until. What does your family back in Minnesota thank you view being a I'm sorry what was the term that you not Chinese medicine practitioner didn't coming in acupuncture study Chinese medicine practitioner what does your family think of that as as your profession. Oh they still think I'm compass Lee lean not so it's they don't understand. I mean I run my own company here in Portland and they still they think it's a matter of luck in what they do his magic and it's not it is a school I didn't possess magical powers before I started acupuncture school. It's a trade that I learned it's a form of medicine that I learned how to deal. Yeah and in Europe patient before you were a practitioner yes I was a patient approach petitioner. So you go back to Minnesota that I read that you didn't quarterly and you go back and if you treated any members of your family or friends that were skeptics. Yes I have been they have noticed that their pain has gone away they're back pain feels better they feel more relaxed. I actually on hand at age. Ongoing quarterly. Engagement at a fitness center in Princeton Minnesota where I go and I energies acupuncture to people from the small town. And they love and it is the next best thing and a white bread someone told me I thought it's very midwestern compliment if I was so excited in jeopardy casserole so I am. Really passionate about bringing acupuncture to people who had never tried it before. Okay we'll cycle. A bit about your practice because you actually have some elements of doing that in the way that you. Do these pop up acupuncture. Sessions you'll either go into an officer republic location. Explain exactly how how that works. So like I said I may want everyone to try acupuncture and the number one theory here I hear from people as to why they haven't tried it. Is not. Is is not because they think it will hurt it's not because they're afraid of needles it's because they don't know how to find an acupuncture so they don't know how to find someone that they trust. So because I worked in the corporate America I knew how stressful it was I had the headache to have the stomach upset. So I wanted to go into businesses and be able to provide this to them actually businesses will sometimes have massage therapist come in and do some. Neck and shoulder massage I wanted to bring acupuncture to them so I treat these public clinics in these tech companies all over the city. And I set up my little around Mitt and people sign up. They come in most of them have never had acupuncture before but they've been curious and they say I didn't nowhere else to go. And I induce an acupuncture on them they leave feeling great and we we cut how Q land there feeling just. Wonderful. And relax and their pain and gun and they you'd love it that at that work how intrusive is an acupuncture session. It is not intrusive but keep your clothes on so when I'm doing it in the office in the pop up clinics have people come and we sit in these amazing anti gravity chairs they take their shoes and socks off but some needles and ears Milton beach and angel's hands. And the militants are about forty minutes and weak I call it cooking that. And after the forty minutes a taping needles out to your clothes again are still on and then you go about your. Explain what the needles are. They're thinner than they're not the whole needles that you would use for a syringe or that you would get in the doctor's office is there any. Just clean sterile needles what exactly are the. Yeah that's a great question I hear that question a lot. The needles are as stand or if not to thinner than a than your hair. And their hope their stainless steel so they aren't hollow. The reason why hurt so much need it shocked when you've your blood taken. That's because those meals are meant to puncture your skin and to. Extra late something not a fit in acupuncture needles are solid. And they're not meant to cause bleeding our bruising their dismay and says it very specific points on the body and we only used them once they're single you sterile needles. I put them in you I take them out I put them in a sharp container. For anyone just joined the program were talking with Sarah hammer she is a Chinese medicine practitioner or acupuncture it's whichever you prefer to color she will accept both. She is the owner of to the point PX they're located at 510. Southwest. Third avenue in downtown Portland you never call at 5037056637. Com or you can email Serra with NH assets to the point PDX dot com. If someone wanted to call you and set up an appointment at your office or if they wanted to call you and set up one of these pop ups could they do both. Yes so if you're again accompanied Eric you feel like this is he one like to energy use your coworkers are you are employees to this yet called give me a call we create programs that are specific to your. Your situation. And again those statements are kind of introduction treatments they're meant to be in a group so you'll be doing having acupuncture done with four of your friends. Remember you don't take your clothes after your shoes and socks off a so what if you really have a problem up your ball back hurts or if you have a if you chronic headaches digestive upset. Knee problems elbow problems we have something very specific going specific going on. It's probably best to calling it a private appointment. Because those appointments are nine DE sixty to ninety minutes and you have me for that entire time and we are talking about your whole body because acupuncture and Chinese medicine as a holistic medicine. We're not just fixing your need were fixing. The entire body so when we actually. Take away those traffic jams the traffic jams don't come back. You've been doing this five years spread. What's your favorite success story the scene from one of your patience. I think it was a patient I was seeing recently. Total skeptic and people are dubbing me the acupuncture risk for skeptics and I still am pretty skeptical. Total skeptic I hughes' training for Iron Man he's an engineer. Wonderful wonderful man. And Hewlett I don't there isn't gonna work I've done physical therapy I genocide. Mission here is how about this fancy equipment studies using a home. And he was like I dare you to make this work for me and has led okay man hearing go and I cleared up. He was having some calf problems and some. Problems and as an Achilles heel little bitter planter by Shiite as I cleared it up at one time and he's like I can't believe this is working dairy to make it it. And theory to make the other side feel better sweet when he came back and it cleared up so let's look a skeptic the saloon engineer or somebody that isn't. Magic bat isn't hip BJP is someone that saves and wears deodorant and found it really did work for him. Starting your own practice how scary was that moment when you decided to go from both career that you're having success in. I'm gonna give up everything amateur action punish acupuncture school animus star a completely new career how scary the moment was was that for you. It was. It was terrifying. Especially coming from the midwest so calling homes saying I'm quitting my job MI in corporate America and I'm gonna be an acupuncture wrist. Get a whole lot of supports. But I like eight Saturday did their research I knew that it was an emerging industry I knew it was the right place for it to happen so it was I guess a leap of faith. And couldn't I've done those things in the past they moved to organ on a whim from the University of Wisconsin Madison just because I was sick of Madison closed my as the main finger on a map and it ended up and essential organs without an important and so this is not and totally unheard up for me to switch careers are his to make life decisions on a whim but going from. PR to acupuncture was the most drastic thing I've ever done and I'm so glad I did it. You know I kind of agreed off fair that I will allow you to have we infer an acupuncture session and then come back on the show. And we'll talk a little bit about how that Lance is a sound like we still have a deal yes. All right it's over the next few weeks Sarah and I will find the time won't go in mound it's needle stuck in me. And we will report back for all of the listeners so Sarah Expos won here for now. Thank you so much for joining north with business ain't you for having me absolutely we'll talk to you gives you very soon and now I'm nervous my phones are a little moist. But we'll move on. If you'd like your company to be featured on northwest business called 5035350358. Or email NW business