Community Acupuncture

4 Jun

I was first introduced to acupuncture in an unlikely way: I watched  Heather Frazer, DVM, perform a demo treatment  on Tux, an equine I have practiced horseback yoga with, at the Horse Harmonics festival this past February.


Her demonstration was fascinating–and convincing.  Heather had an extensive power point presentation detailing the history and science of this thousands-of-years-old treatment, which was deeply informative, but once she began showing us the specific points during her assessment on Tux, his reactions were what sold me.  I think it was the best way to experience acupuncture for the first time: horses react genuinely, they don’t have a motive to feel anything at all, and Tux was undoubtedly affected by his treatment.  She showed us his reflexes when she gently touched different points (without needles), and explained that his twitch reaction helps her to know she’s on a sensitive point, or one that could use some attention.  Tux was ancy at the start of the treatment, and once she put needles into some points related to calming, he gradually eased and lowered his head and relaxed.  I would know because I was holding him throughout the demo!


If you are an equine owner and have a horse who you think may benefit from acupuncture (it is my personal opinion that all horses would benefit from acupuncture!), I can recommend with confidence Heather Fraser, DPM.

Heather’s presentation and Tux’s reaction was what convinced me to try acupuncture out for myself.

And I feel so fortunate to have met Hadea Tift, owner & bodyworker at Skagit Community Acupuncture in Burlington, WA.  I want to share her and all the incredible work she does with my community.  I actually learned about Hadea and SCA through one of the patients at the PT Office, who got substantial relief for a shoulder/neck problem after her first visit.

Hadea runs a “Community Acupuncture” treatment clinic, which allows her to offer acupuncture appointments on a $15-35 sliding scale.  Here’s her explanation from her website:

Skagit Community Acupuncture provides a radical and yet sensible solution to feeling better on a budget. We do this by treating multiple people per hour, being succinct and thoughtful about what we do. This allows us to charge just $15 for a treatment. That is pretty incredible when most places have to charge closer to $80 to cover their overhead.  This means that you can afford to come often enough to GET BETTER while not breaking the bank. It also means that we can make a modest living doing what we love.  (read more here)

So back up a minute.  You might be wondering just why one would try acupuncture in the first place.  I tried it because Tux’s calm response and  his obvious improvement in joint pain were measurable after just the first treatment.  I figured it might help with my mild to moderate anxiety, hip pain, IBS, and hypothyroidism.  I’d met Hadea at the CoOp’s Wellness Fair and I liked her frank, honest and healing personality.  At such an affordable rate, I thought I’d give it a try.  But check this out …

Acupuncture is known to help the following:

  • Back pain
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain from arthritis
  • Muscle strains
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Body stiffness
  • Digestion
  • Acid Reflux
  • Sour stomach
  • Gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation
  • Long term conditions like crohns, IBS, and the side effects of food allergies
  • Immune function
  • Energy (less fatigue, more vitality & stamina)
  • Insomnia
  • Snoring
  • Nightmares
  • Night sweats
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • ADHD
  • Allergies
  • Horomone imgalances
  • Adrenal Fatigue
  • Thyroid problems

My first visit began with a complete intake questionnaire.  Hadea sat down with me, took my pulse, and asked a number of questions.  I outlined my three top priorities in getting treated (IBS, hip pain and anxiety/low thyroid), and she set a treatment plan (1-2x/week for 10 weeks).  I decided I would commit to the full 10 weeks before I determined if it was helpful.  I explained that I probably would only be able to make it one time per week because of my busy schedule, which made me consider a source of my heightened anxiety and low thyroid, then strengthened my resolve that I do, in fact, need one hour each week to myself.

pocaWell, I was going to wait until the full ten weeks was over, but I am so impressed with how these 30-45 minute acupuncture sessions are impacting my life, I decided to write about it tonight.  My hip pain was 100% gone after the first treatment.  This may have correlated with my first Structural Medicine treatment with Suzy, but I think most likely they both helped!  My IBS has improved (I am not on my restrictive diet any longer), my anxiety has changed: I have become more aware and use my breathing techniques to control moments I find myself anxious, and I have noticed my thyroid levels are more stable.

The sessions are simple and peaceful: I step into the front office, put my payment in an envelope, walk through the doors into the quiet room full of recliners, pick my spot (usually the massage table because I like to lay flat), and lay down.  I roll up my pant legs and sleeves, close my eyes, and listen to the gentle, relaxing sounds of her water fountain.  Hadea enters the room and checks in with how I am feeling, then she unwraps a new pack of needles and places them delicately into position on my arms and legs (virtually painless, Hadea uses the most gentle method possible for needles).  She asks how long I want to rest for (45 minutes, please!) if I want a blanket (I do!) and a hot pack for my neck (yes, please!), makes sure I am comfortable, and leaves.  Then I either meditate, daydream, or fall asleep for the duration of my treatment.  She comes back in when 45 minutes has passed, takes out my needles (painless), and I slowly get up and make my way out the door.

My last appointment on Friday totally transformed my day.  I feel like it was really a breakthrough session for me.  I wasn’t going to go: the traffic, I was feeling overwhelmed and too busy, blah blah blah, but I did anyway.  I walked in up-tight, stressed and tired, and I walked out like I was floating on clouds.  The calming effects lasted all weekend, and into this week (which, in turn, improve my IBS and thyroid problems!).  I look forward to every Friday when I get to have a treatment with Hadea!

If you are struggling with pain or anxiety, do yourself a favor and try this ancient healing modality!  If you’d prefer to meet Hadea before you decide to schedule an appointment, just come out to the Hayloft on Tuesday nights–she’s there almost every week.



4 Responses to “Community Acupuncture”

  1. Jessie June 4, 2013 at 11:26 pm #

    Reblogged this on Horseback Yoga.


  2. Hadea June 5, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    What a beautiful blog! Funny how we forget how much we help people until someone puts it so eloquently. Thank you for that Jessie. ❤


    • Jessie June 5, 2013 at 11:17 am #

      Hadea I am so grateful for YOU!!!



  1. Sprinkling Happiness | YogAscent: Heighten Your Practice - June 22, 2013

    […] on a bit of a whim, I joined Hadea (my amazing acupuncturist) and her community for my first-ever happiness […]


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