Hello! I would like to introduce myself to you.

Wendy Stedeford

 

I am an L.Ac, or Licensed Acupuncturist. In 2001, I graduated from Bastyr University in Bothell, Washington just north of Seattle. I completed the University's 4 year MSAOM or masters program of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. I organized and participated in the University's first preceptorship of TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) in Wakayama, Japan. In the fall of 2001, I finished my studies in a hospital in Shanghai, China. I did rounds in the internal medicine, gynecology and traumatology departments. The hospital is known for its integrated use of both Western and Eastern medicines.

Before finishing my schooling at Bastyr, I took and passed the national test for licensure. I then decided to relocate to California where I passed California's exam and now practice in the foothills between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe.

What started me on the path to practicing TCM? Personal experience of course! One day I suddenly realized that I had become part of a statistic: I was one of the 80% of Americans who have lower back pain. I had no history of any long-term, chronic health imbalance and I couldn't remember any trauma which might have explained why I "suddenly" had this pain.

After thinking about it for awhile though, I had to admit that there had been prior contributors to the problem. My pain had finally gotten strong enough to show up on what I call a person's "radar screen of awareness" but the problem had been growing long before the pain.

I had worked at jobs which could've helped lead to the pain, plus I had fallen in a skiing accident, years earlier. At the time I believed it hadn't affected me much but later I realized it did have a long-term impact on my pain. Also, after spending 4 years learning about Chinese medicine I could look back and know that there were other contributors to my chronic pain.

By the time the pain had grown enough to have a negative impact on my activities of daily life, I was about 3 weeks away from moving to Japan. I didn't know it at the time, but I was about to start my education in complementary medicine. I started chiropractic visits and boy did that feel great! But because of the looming deadline to move and all the time and effort required for that, there wasn't enough time for the adjustments to "take".

When I arrived in Japan I had no idea whether they had chiropractic medicine and I didn't feel entirely comfortable getting adjustments from someone with whom I couldn't yet communicate. The cousin of the family who "adopted me" happened to be an acupuncturist.

With the help of my bi-lingual Japanese friend I started going to Akio, my acupuncturist. At first I went twice a week. I would feel so blissed- out that it was hard for me to navigate my bicycle home. Not only did my back begin to feel great but I had an overall feeling of being balanced and at times being almost euphoric.

It took about two months of bi-weekly visits which eventually went down to once-a-week, to once every other week, down to me looking for excuses to go because it felt so good (although my back had long ago returned to normal).

And there you have it- the old story of inspiration- it worked great for me, so let's share the wealth!

Wendy Stedeford Acupuncture

• El Dorado Hills
907 Embarcadero Drive
916.933.1221

• Folsom
990 Riley Street
916.355.1250

 

ABOUT THE PRACTICE...

Because Japanese-style acupuncture was my first experience but most of my training is in the Chinese tradition, my style of acupuncture is a mixture of both approaches. The first time you come into the office be prepared to answer many questions. Some questions will be about your chief concern(s) and some might leave you scratching your head wondering why they were necessary.

All of the questions are to develop a complete constitutional picture of you. Your constitutional picture is like a stew. Your chief concern(s) may be the carrots but you can't have a stew without the other ingredients too. Each ingredient impacts all the other ingredients so if we're going to try to balance the carrots with the other flavors we need to know about the whole stew! And just think how no two stews are ever exactly alike! That's why acupuncture is geared towards treating the individual.

Just like when you visit other healthcare practitioners, when you receive acupuncture, your acupuncturist makes a diagnosis and then decides on a treatment plan. In part, this happens after your acupuncturist reads your tongue and pulse. 2,000-4,000 years ago there weren't the tools that we have today to look inside the body, like an x-ray machine for example, but the early acupuncturists recognized a relationship between what the tongue looks like and what the pulse feels like and what is happening inside the body (as it is described by traditional Chinese medicine).

Once we have a treatment plan put together that's where the needles and all the other "tools" (see: About acupuncture) are used. Sometimes one visit is enough. Sometimes more are needed. Without trying to sound vague, it all depends on what is needing to be changed. Even if it is a longer, rather than a shorter process, you should begin to feel better sooner rather than later.

After the first visit and its many questions, the exam portion of the following visits move more quickly. I ask how you did after your last visit, how you are feeling today, has anything changed for you and are we still focusing on your original chief concern(s).

What we do in your treatments (for example needling and which points are chosen) may be the same or different from visit to visit. Communication is the key and I always am happy to answer questions. Your treatment may be a few minutes long or up to about an hour. I usually schedule about an hour in case we need that time.