An Integrative Approach
to Acupuncture at
S.B. Family Wellness
Jetta Harris Also Offers Cupping, Gua Sha, Moxibustion, and Lifestyle Counseling
By Rebecca Horrigan
As a believer in the powers of yoga, meditation, and breathwork, I’ve toyed with the idea of acupuncture. However, there’s a tiny problem — I’ve struggled with a vasovagal reflex, i.e., I’ve often fainted after shots, so using needles in order to relax had seemed like a contradiction. However, thanks to those handy-dandy practices listed above, I’ve mostly gotten it under control and was cautiously excited for my visit to Santa Barbara Family Wellness. It also didn’t hurt that acupuncturist Jetta Harris specializes in treating those who are nervous around needles.
Walking in, I expected to have a consultation and to be poked. I did not expect such a thorough interview about my sleep habits, menstrual cycle, nutrition, emotions, family history, etc. Thankfully, Harris approached each question in a nonjudgmental way that made it easy to open up, and I was delighted to receive a full spectrum of individualized advice on everything from the importance of eating a warm breakfast to winding down at night with a mint tea.
“I provide an integrative approach to acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) through a lens of compassion and empathy,” she said. “While I specialize in reproductive health, fertility, and perinatal care, I am happy to care for all members of a family. My services include a consultation, acupuncture, cupping, gua, sha, moxibustion, and lifestyle and nutritional counseling depending, on what the goals of the session are.”
Harris also took my pulse and examined my tongue to get a full picture of where balances may need to be restored before beginning. “Points are chosen based on an individual’s needs. The needling of these points supports the body and spirit by signaling where and what they may need a little more or less of, to stop pain, calm the mind, increase circulation, and so on” Harris said. “By supporting the parasympathetic nervous system activation and signaling to the sympathetic nervous system to turn off, the body will also better be able to rest, digest, and heal.”
I appreciated Harris’s gentle approach using thinner needles, and the fact that she asked when placing one in more sensitive areas, such as between my eyes. I was able to relax and left feeling pleasantly sleepy, but also strong. She likened it to a buildup on the freeway. Once those traffic blocks are removed and things are flowing in the right direction, we feel more centered and clear.
25 E. Arrellaga St.; (805) 455-6534; sbfamilywellness.com