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Ep 109 Acupuncture & Holistic Empowerment for Women in Menopause with Stacey Degen

Interview with Stacey Degen about blending Eastern philosophies and Western knowledge to provide drug-free wellness care for all her clients and how her passion for health supports women during their menopausal transition.

Stacey Degen is a Licensed Acupuncturist, Empowerment Specialist and Health Advocate conveniently located in the Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis. Her practice includes acupuncture, therapeutic movement, herbal medicine, and nutrition.

Stacey has spent the past 25 years as an empowerment specialist and health advocate inspiring people to live their best life possible regardless of their current physical and emotional health. She has built a loyal and expansive base of clients who value her background and ability to help them gain relief from pain, support their emotional health, and integrate healthy lifestyle choices into their daily lives.

Stacey is dedicated and committed to inspiring her community to live their best lives by applying safe, natural, and drug-free health and wellness care. Her practice blends traditional Eastern philosophies and practice with modern Western knowledge and experience to provide the highest level of care and professionalism.

Her recent personal life journey through menopause has fueled her passion to support women through this transition. Her accomplishments to support this work include a master’s certification on menopause and women’s health during the mid-life transition from the Eastern medical perspective, as well as a certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition on hormone health.

Stacey and is now one of a select few practitioners in the country certified to perform pelvic floor acupuncture to address many of the chronic pelvic floor conditions that naturally occur with the aging process. Her continued advance study of these areas positions her as a leader in the industry to offer natural health care solutions, inspiration, and support to her community.

Stacey complements her acupuncture practice with the continued study of various disciplines of nutrition, hormone health, yoga, and nature therapy.

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Ep 109 Acupuncture & Holistic Empowerment for Women in Menopause with Stacey Degen

[00:00:00] Cynthia: You are listening to the Well Connected Twin Cities podcast. I’m your host, Cynthia Shockley, and I’m here to learn alongside you through meaningful conversations with health and wellness practitioners. This is your time to experience some mindset shifts, learn practical tips, and get excited about what is possible.

[00:00:22] We want you to own the power of choice in your personal wellbeing journey. Let’s discover what’s possible right here in our Twin Cities community.

[00:00:33] Hello and welcome to the Well Connected Twin Cities Podcast. Today we’ll be talking about a topic that I think tends to get pushed under. The rug doesn’t really get a whole lot of attention, which is menopause. And so today we’re speaking with Stacy Deegan, who is a licensed acupuncturist empowerment specialist and health advocate, conveniently located in the Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis.

[00:01:00] Her practice includes acupuncture, therapeutic movement, herbal medicine, and nutrition. Stacey has spent the past 25 years as an empowerment specialist and health advocate, inspiring people to live their best life possible, regardless of their current physical and emotional health. She has built a loyal and expansive base of clients who value her background and ability to help them gain relief from pain, support their emotional health and integrate healthy lifestyle choices into their daily lives. Stacey is dedicated and committed to inspiring her community to live their best life by applying safe, natural, and drug-free health and wellness care. Her practice blends Traditional Eastern philosophies and practice with modern Western knowledge and experience to provide the highest level of care and professionalism. Her recent personal life journey through menopause has fueled her passion to support women through this transition. Her accomplishments to support this work include a master’s certification on menopause and women’s health.

[00:01:59] During the midlife transition from Eastern Medical perspective as well as a certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition on Hormonal Health. Stacy is also now one of a select few practitioners in the country certified to perform pelvic floor acupuncture to address many of the chronic pelvic floor conditions that naturally occur with the aging process.

[00:02:23] Her continued advanced study of these areas positions her as a leader in the industry to offer natural healthcare solutions, inspiration and support to her community. Stacy compliments her acupuncture practice with the continued study of various disciplines of nutrition, hormone health, yoga, and natural therapy. And here we are with Stacy. It’s such a pleasure to have you on this episode.

[00:02:50] Stacey: Thanks so much for having me, Cynthia. It’s wonderful to be here.

[00:02:53] Cynthia: Yes. And before we hit the record button, we were able to connect on so many levels, just understanding where we are as women and being able to have wisdom and access to all the different chapters of life, right?

[00:03:10] While I personally work with a lot of women in that metros entering motherhood phase we’ve got Stacy here transitioning and helping with women in. Just a whole nother chapter, and so I’m excited to dig in and learn from you along with our listeners today.

[00:03:28] Stacey: Great. I’m excited too.

[00:03:30] Cynthia: Yeah. Before we dive in, I want to ask you just what has been bringing you joy in your life lately?

[00:03:38] Stacey: It’s such a great question. Thanks so much for starting out with that. Recently for me, I’ve made a really big transition in my career and in my practice, and I. It is just, anytime we’re faced with a huge decision in our life there can be a lot of turmoil and a lot of self-doubt around it.

[00:03:59] And when you come to the other side it really feels good. So I recently made the transition from shifting my practice where I split my time half the time at the University of Minnesota physicians working on integrating acupuncture into their system. And private practice. And I did that for about six years and I had no plans that would go on for that long.

[00:04:24] But there were so many exciting projects at the university and exciting educational opportunities to work with staff to during the pandemic. And it was exciting. But during that time I was pulled in two directions. All the time. And I think as we will discuss in more detail when we get into the conversation as you change and move into different spaces and places and times in your life, your priorities change and me moving into this space of a deeper set of.

[00:04:58] Ideas and wisdom on what my life looks like and what I want it to look like. I just made that transition into going into practice, private practice full-time again. So I’m now able to pursue, passion projects that I’ve looked over for the past couple years. I’m able to really cultivate.

[00:05:20] Care plans and new and exciting ideas on natural healthcare for specific populations of people. So I’m really excited about that. And what else, personally I think we just talked about, I just got back from co-leading a retreat in Croatia and it was a yoga and kind of adventure retreat and it was amazing.

[00:05:42] Traveling is always something that brings, a ton of new life to me and then stuff that I can share with my community. So that’s what I’m excited about. And of course, summertime in Minnesota, it’s great.

[00:05:56] Cynthia: Oh gosh. Always something to be grateful for here.

[00:05:59] Stacey: Absolutely. Absolutely. And Croatia

[00:06:02] Cynthia: is gorgeous.

[00:06:03] I actually got engaged there a couple years ago, and it’s just Coco National Park with the waterfalls. Oh wow. So amazing.

[00:06:12] Stacey: Yeah. That’s an incredible place to have such a big milestone in life happen. Yeah, now we’re like, now we have to go back. Obviously you do. You absolutely do. And as we both know, we’ve been there.

[00:06:25] Croatia is a place to go back to over and over again. It would never get old

[00:06:29] Cynthia: yes. Yeah. It’s, I’m so grateful that you were doing the work you did at the U of M, which I didn’t even know about. But it’s so important to bring in that integrative approach. And I’m so glad that the U is.

[00:06:42] Creating that opportunity for physicians to learn this type of modality, to get that familiarity. But I know also for you personally, in your private practice, you do emphasize that you promote natural and drug-free wellness care. So I’m curious for you, what inspired you to lean into that Eastern model after being really immersed in that Western medical system and also just.

[00:07:08] Our western medical life that we have as human beings in the United States.

[00:07:13] Stacey: Yeah. I think when I think about how I my career has always been, even before I became an acupuncturist and really started embracing the Eastern medical paradigm as I’ve always worked in health and wellness and I.

[00:07:30] Curiosity for me is just I think what really drives me to understand what the word integration means. How can integration in the healthcare system really work to the benefit of all of us? And I think we are so blessed with this incredible opportunity to live in. A world where we have the healthcare system that we have for traumas, for emergencies, for surgeries, diagnostically.

[00:07:59] It is absolutely mind blowing how blessed we are to have access to the Western medical system that we have here. And there’s also a whole nother side that we know with the pressures and the stress of the healthcare system right now that’s missing. And Western medical providers have a huge responsibility, and it’s only in increasing in the intensity and.

[00:08:25] To be able to integrate the theories, the paradigms of the Eastern medical approach and kind of the Eastern medical, Ayurvedic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, all of it. There’s such a huge place for it, and I think that, We’re really stepping into a space where there is an openness and there is an opportunity to start looking like, how can we really support each other?

[00:08:51] And that’s my jam. That’s what I get excited about because it’s not one or the other. It’s at any given time, which one’s the most appropriate. And how can we really support each other and intersect in a space that’s gonna give our patients, our friends, our family members, ourselves, the best care we can possibly find.

[00:09:13] And sometimes that is literally a stress reduction treatment. Because we’ve just been, we have a family member that’s just been faced with a terminal diagnosis or a really serious accident of some sort. So I think there’s space for both of it. So to circle back around, I think, my whole career previous to being an acupuncturist was working in a space with people that did have severe disabilities due to trauma, accidents, injuries.

[00:09:43] Cognitive disabilities, people that were I worked a lot with veterans that had come back from Iraq and Afghanistan that were dealing with P T S D, and I saw the care they were getting, but I also saw what was missing. And sometimes medication is not the answer. And sometimes, increasing the most basic vital nutrients is the answer for better sleep or better digestion.

[00:10:08] And that is something that the Western medical system just cannot constantly address because there’s so much else to do.

[00:10:15] Cynthia: Yeah, beautifully said. And that is, I think the heart of the integrative care movement is, there is no better way to handle each situation. It’s not Western versus Eastern. It’s how can we approach each patient, each individual, each symptom in a way that.

[00:10:39] Really understands there’s a level playing field and let’s actually access and allow access to all these different areas because we have, we won’t know what works for one person doesn’t work for the next, because of so many different factors.

[00:10:53] Stacey: Absolutely. Absolutely. And taking into consideration, all the spaces that any given person comes to find care, what are their current symptoms, what are they currently concerned about?

[00:11:04] What’s their past? What traumas have they suffered? That’s just like you said, so well, it’s gonna look different for everybody and to have the opportunity for more. Integrative providers, eastern medical providers, health coaches, movement therapists, physical therapists, all of it has such an important space in where we’re at today.

[00:11:25] So it’s exciting. So I think integration is an incredibly powerful word that can take us really far when we think about what’s possible.

[00:11:37] Cynthia: Absolutely. And it’s wonderful that you are now providing that. Another lens, another pathway for women who are going through menopause. Because I know, I’ve definitely worked with people who are going through that and they aren’t getting the help that they need from the Western medical system. And they can feel stuck. They can feel frustrated. They can feel like I guess this is, I just have to suffer through it. And I think that’s the pervasive storyline in.

[00:12:10] A woman’s journey is, yep. Menopause is gonna just stink and you just have to suck it up and deal with it. That’s right. That is, and so I’m like as a woman myself, I’m like, I don’t want that to be the story. Please. And no.

[00:12:25] Stacey: Or should you have that be the story? Let’s rewrite that story.

[00:12:29] Cynthia: Yes, please.

[00:12:30] Please. Yes. And I know in your bio, you share that you have your own experience with menopause that inspired you to support other women through this transition. Can you tell us a bit more about that experience and how that informs how you support women today?

[00:12:46] Stacey: Yeah. So I think for me, menopause, and it’s such a big word, and it’s even a word that we don’t even understand totally.

[00:12:54] Because there’s so many different there’s perimenopause, there’s menopause, and there’s post menopause and there’s different levels and variances within even those three quote unquote periods of time. I really just dove in during the pandemic.

[00:13:08] It was a blessing in a way to have things be quiet cuz I was able to take a year course, a master’s course in the Eastern paradigm and how we look at menopause through that lens. And then I was able to take a course through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition on really hormones, midlife and beyond, and so learning more of that in depth pathophysiology of what’s.

[00:13:30] Actually really happening. It just blew my mind because when I started my menopausal quote unquote journey, I didn’t even know it was happening. And I do this for a living, so I just chalked it off. We had moved from Portland, Oregon to Minneapolis. So I, was a transplant here and I thought I was just under a tremendous amount of stress.

[00:13:56] I was starting my practice over, just all the things. I grew up in Minneapolis, but I had not lived here for a long time. And I just chalked it off as stress and I didn’t even know what was happening to me until literally one moment I woke up in the middle of the night, and I’m not kidding you, I’m not even embarrassed to share the story screaming cuz I was just outta my mind.

[00:14:18] I was like, what is happening to me? And my husband was terrified. so at that point I thought, It is time to figure out what this is and what’s going on with me. I don’t even feel like myself within my body, and I think that’s a very common thing that I hear from a lot of women.

[00:14:34] I. And so that really started my journey on finding an integrative provider here in the Twin Cities. So women’s health provider that could really help me understand what was going on. Find care that I was comfortable with, which in included a vast amount of not only therapy, just really diving back into some past things that were going on with me, but also.

[00:14:59] Hormone replacement therapy, which I know women hear that. And it’s a terrifying concept because of a lot of misconceptions in the past and a lot of information that is not correct. And a just a lot of misconceptions that women deal with at this point in their lives. And so once I really dove in and found a therapeutic approach that worked for me, it was life changing.

[00:15:25] All of a sudden I realized, oh my gosh, there’s actually a way to do this and do it well and feel okay. So when women go to their gynecologist their ob, their gp any of their primary doctors there’s a certain subset of symptoms that are, it can be anything.

[00:15:45] Depression, anxiety, things like that. So I think sometimes when we’re in the perimenopausal moving into menopause, it’s very difficult to identify what that is, and that’s what I found. So I think. When you have integrative providers that can dig deeper into what those questions are, how are you sleeping?

[00:16:07] How is your digestion, what is your cycle actually doing? Are you on birth control pills? Because that’s also gonna dictate what your symptoms are moving into menopause. So I think when you have a trusted team of people around you during this phase in a woman’s life, It’s much easier to identify what’s happening and what your options are.

[00:16:31] Cynthia: Yeah. So instead of maybe approaching it symptom by symptom and then just putting that bandaid on the symptom as we, it is just a stereotype at this point with Western Care. Actually, you have to look at the whole person. You actually have to see and hear all the layers of the story.

[00:16:50] And I get that the system might make it hard where you only have 15 minutes with that ob, or they can only glance at your chart real quick and be like, okay, what’s the cause? What’s the, okay, here, let’s fix that. Whereas I know with integrative providers, you get a lot more time because they do want to understand the whole person, the whole story, and and that can lead to a much clearer diagnosis and treatment plan.

[00:17:16] Stacey: Absolutely. And I think that’s where the word integration comes back in, right? Because any of the providers, Western providers out there, they have the same desire and the same wants. They’re just, it’s a different way, it’s a different system and it’s a different way to approach care and they don’t have the time and they want their patients.

[00:17:36] To feel better and be better just like anybody does. Again, that’s where I think we can be a huge support of each other as different types of providers because the system’s just not set up for them to do that. But someone in my position can, I can take, my first initial appointment with any new client is 90 minutes and I have 90 minutes to go through all those details and figure that out.

[00:18:02] And then also to piggyback on that would be then anybody coming for that type of care has so much more information about where they’re at to then bring to their primary or their OB or their gynecologist. So that’s actually mutually beneficial as well.

[00:18:21] Cynthia: Yeah, wonderful. And I know when we were emailing you were, I can sense the passion behind this statement.

[00:18:30] I can sense the passion behind this concept of ageism playing into the field that you are in, the client base that you work with. Can you tell us in your experience, how does ageism play into the care that women going through menopause may receive, and how do you address that in your practice?

[00:18:53] Stacey: Yeah, it’s such, it’s a really important topic and one that is, it’s so heartfelt and very emotional I think, and until you really start to walk that path of feeling like you’ve hit kind of midlife, it’s very hard to understand what that feels like or what that would look like. And, as women, we have so much pressure as women to do it all, be it all, and look good doing it.

[00:19:27] And I see every single day in my practice, women that come in that are absolutely exhausted there. They’re burnt out in every way possible. And to even imagine that most women have time to put the care into going through menopause well is even a crazy concept within itself. So I have a lot of women that come into me that have been absolutely just pushed aside by provider after provider.

[00:19:58] Oh, you must be depressed. Yeah, you’re probably going through menopause, but I don’t have any solutions for that really. You’ll get through it. All those things, and with each one of those messages sent to any one individual woman, it’s so depleting and it’s heartbreaking.

[00:20:15] And what we really need to be doing is empowering women and reminding them of how beautiful they are and that they’re stepping into this space of wisdom and that they have a collective. Experiences in life that bring them to this really beautiful space that they have to share with the world, and all these lines and these scars, and these nooks and crannies and stretch marks and everything.

[00:20:39] Those are all our life. That’s our story. And why is that bad? It should be celebrated. It should be congratulated. And so I think my biggest goal when I have a new client coming into me is just to remind them of those things. Ageism it’s a very lonely place to be in.

[00:21:00] And, we just need to continue to have conversations that remind us all this is not different for anybody. None of us get to avoid this. So when you start working your way into that space, let’s really do it well and support each other while we’re doing it.

[00:21:16] Cynthia: And I have to just commend you, Stacy, because for you to be able to be in that position to remind women of their beauty, of their power, I.

[00:21:28] It means that you have done that work yourself, because no one’s gonna buy it from you, right? If you aren’t actually believing it. And I just wanted to acknowledge that you have clearly done the work and you exude that confidence. You exude that, that light that other women can see.

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[00:22:46]

[00:22:48] Cynthia: And I just, I have such a strong memory being at this this class for U through U of M.

[00:22:55] It was an intro to shamanism course, and there’s this woman, Marie, and she was just auditing the class because she wanted to have a shamanic experience and she was probably in her like mid sixties, late sixties. Bright white hair in just like this, like fabulous bun.

[00:23:15] And she.

[00:23:17] I forgot what she said exactly, but it was something along the lines of, I’m a wise crone.

[00:23:23] I don’t call myself an old lady. I’m a crone. I am full of wisdom. And I just, it just flipped something in my head of

[00:23:31] that’s

[00:23:32] how I want to age. Yes,

[00:23:34] Stacey: absolutely right. And there’s the inspiration and it’s true. She is a crone. She is a wise, wonderful woman who has so much to give us and so much to give the world.

[00:23:49] So I love that. Thanks for sharing that experience. Yes, of course. Yeah. And I’ve had so many women like that in my life where I’ve just been like, What? Wow. Who is that? How, and so that absolutely has given me the courage and the tenacity to embrace what I want that to look like for myself.

[00:24:11] Yeah. And I think every woman that has walked that path in front of me, that’s brought me that inspiration.

[00:24:19] Cynthia: And it’s, there are actual scientific studies on how aging affects you and the effect of being surrounded by positive examples. Because I know growing up, the older people in my life, all they did was complain and all they did was say how terrible it was to age.

[00:24:37] They tell me to enjoy my youth and just, there was like a bitterness, there was a resentment. And so then to have new examples before me is. Such a gift because now I know that is possible for me and now that’s a new model that I can chase after and align

[00:24:53] Stacey: with. Absolutely. Absolutely. Cuz I think as much as they’re, we have these positive lights, those are the ones we hang onto.

[00:25:00] But you’re right. More commonly, we hear about the negative and Oh, and almost like shunning, the younger people for being young and you’re, yeah. So it’s a great, it’s a great. Great example of how combating the concept of ageism is just vital for our wellbeing and it’s medicine for our soul.

[00:25:22] In Chinese medicine we talk about chi all the time. It’s the vital energy of our bodies. It’s what helps us do everything right. And so that type of inspiration and motivation is medicine. You know it, it is medicine. It gives us that vitality. It gives us that light, that confidence to move into our best self.

[00:25:45] So it’s important.

[00:25:47] Cynthia: I love that, just having those right relationships is medicine. It is concept. Yeah. And speaking of chi, So I know that the one of the modalities that you use is acupuncture and working with Chi, and this totally caught my eye in your bio, but you are one of few practitioners who provide pelvic floor acupuncture.

[00:26:12] So I’ve got questions. Okay. A, how did you hear about this?

[00:26:17] And then b, what does this

[00:26:20] address in a woman who’s going through menopause or just a woman’s body in general?

[00:26:25] Stacey: So I originally, I, there’s a really amazing group of acupuncturists. Also I, I think a chiropractor, they run a bunch of seminars up in Canada and New York and.

[00:26:39] They’re just an incredible group of very gifted providers who are really paving the way forward in some really unique modalities of acupuncture within the acupuncture world. And then one specifically there is a doctor of Chinese medicine. Her name is Jamie Hampton and she’s from San Francisco and basically has self-taught.

[00:27:00] Herself, this modality of acupuncture which is very focused on pelvic floor rehabilitation. And again, with my curiosity and I’ve been practicing for over a decade now, and there’s certain conditions that I hear over and over again that with the traditional approach to how we learn acupuncture we go through.

[00:27:27] You have to have a bachelor of science to get into acupuncture school, and then you go through four years to five years of training, depending on which, and there’s a system that you learn. And then as we move into, 2021, a lot of these symptoms or systems were designed thousands of years ago.

[00:27:45] So there’s a lot of things that are missing. And so I think this group that I learned study from they really are starting to pave the way into these new ways of doing acupuncture. So to circle back, noticing conditions over and over again that I would think. With how I can do acupuncture and the protocols I would use would help them and they don’t, was always very curious to me, why isn’t this person getting better?

[00:28:13] Why is this low back pain so fixed, like it won’t change? I. And then for an example, when I do their intake, they also have troubles with their bladder. They feel like they have to go to the bathroom too much, or pelvic pain with different positions of sitting or, I feel this weird sensation when I’m running and I don’t understand it.

[00:28:32] There’s nothing wrong. I’ve had every exam. This is where pelvic floor acupuncture really highlights these specific conditions that are difficult to diagnose. So some of the main things that I treat and see with pelvic floor acupuncture, urinary incontinence, pelvic floor pain, with no known reason or cause.

[00:28:55] So they’ve had everything else ruled out. Definitely for men that experience different post post prostate surgery. Prostate cancer is becoming a very common cancer in obviously the male population. And that’s a very extensive surgery with a lot of trauma to the pelvic floor.

[00:29:14] So there’s a lot of scar tissue. There’s a lot of things that are happening and again, years and years of pelvic floor pain that is just. Absolutely demolishing their quality of life and knowing now what I know with this type of acupuncture and the protocols that you can use that are incredibly helpful to combat these signs and symptoms.

[00:29:36] It’s crazy. I’ve seen results that I’ve never experienced before in my career. Low back pain that never went away. Working into now these new areas that I did not have experience working with before is completely eradicated back pain on clients that I’ve been working with for five years.

[00:29:56] Cynthia: Wow.

[00:29:57] Yeah.

[00:29:58] That’s amazing. It’s so great that there’s a community of people out there who are doing work to further the field to explore new avenues. I know, so you saying that you also can, pelvic floor, acupuncture, something that can also support men? I guess in my head, when I visualized pelvic floor acupuncture Yeah.

[00:30:19] I was like imagining leg spread.

[00:30:23] Oh. Speculum.

[00:30:25] Yep. Is that the whole okay, so it’s an internal acupuncture.

[00:30:28] Stacey: So no, it’s actually not. So this is really good question and super important to describe how it works. It’s actually not internal. So there are just to be totally honest, how acupuncture pelvic floor acupuncture works, you’re working into the external.

[00:30:45] Part of the anatomy, but working internally to stimulate some of the big muscle groups that are in the pelvic floor. So one of the big muscles that sits at the base of the pelvic floor is the levator anai. Okay? So that is right at the very bottom and it’s a very uncomfortable place. And I’m sure a lot of people that will listen to this will be cringing thinking about it.

[00:31:08] But there is a very safe. Very respectful way with draping and the proper training to do this. So it’s the least amount of discomfort for not only the patient, but also the provider, because these are very sensitive topics, very sensitive areas, and most of the people that come for this type of acupuncture have tried everything and gotten no results.

[00:31:33] And so there’s a lot of trauma around it. And but to dispel that idea of like leg spread, we’re at a gynecological appointment. It’s not that way. It’s very you’re draped, you’re usually laying sideways and there’s ways to access the base of the pelvic floor from the front and the back.

[00:31:53] Ok. So it does not go internally through the vaginal canal. Or the anal canal. That’s not how it works. It’s just on the outsides around the muscles and the structures that surround the pelvic floor.

[00:32:08] Cynthia: Got it. Okay. Thank you for explaining that. Cuz when I read that, I was like, oh, okay.

[00:32:14] Like needles going up where?

[00:32:18] Stacey: Exactly. So to clarify,

[00:32:20] Cynthia: yes. Perfect. Yeah, I’m sure listeners if they heard that or read that in your bio too, they’re just like what?

[00:32:26] Stacey: Yeah, and I think that’s why it’s really important to say the words and have an open conversation about it because again, this is a really effective, really valid form of treatment for people who have some really long-term uncomfortable life-changing things that can be addressed, of course, and not always with a hundred percent success, as I always have to say that disclaimer.

[00:32:49] There’s a good chance that we can affect some change.

[00:32:52] Cynthia: Yeah. And how many treatments would you say it has taken based on your experience for people to start to feel that relief or notice the changes in their symptoms?

[00:33:03] Stacey: Yeah, I would say everybody’s really different. And of course how I always like to define, progress with.

[00:33:09] Acupuncture can definitely be, when you’re dealing with something acute, you oftentimes can affect change much faster. When you’re dealing with something chronic that’s been 1, 2, 3, 5, 10 years, it’s a lot of times it’s gonna take a lot longer to peel away the layers of the onion a lot more to break through, adhesions and scar tissue that’s just been developing over time.

[00:33:31] So I think that it varies, I’m the type of provider that It is the most important thing to me to have constant assessment and communication with my clients so they realize what progress they are making. Oftentimes insidious little, tiny changes really are what hit home. That’s what we really see in the end.

[00:33:53] Make. The most long-term lasting results. So it is a process. But I think with a typical pelvic floor treatment, I definitely say I need to see you once to twice a week for four weeks. And then we really assess what progress we’re making and then we go from there. How much more do you need to be seen?

[00:34:12] Cuz my goal for any of my clients is to always get them to maintenance. Can we really get you to the quality of life you’re looking for? And that doesn’t always mean completely eradicating the problem, but it means decreasing it and it’s severity, it’s occurrence and the disruption of life. And then hoping that from there we can do maintenance to keep them where they need to be at, to enjoy their life.

[00:34:37] Cynthia: Yeah, exactly. Wonderful. And I know that acupuncture is just one tool that you utilize one practice. And so you also mentioned in your bio that you use therapeutic movement. Can you share more on what that is and how it supports your clients?

[00:34:57] Stacey: Yeah, we have to move, right? And here we are, all of us living in this very, sedentary requirements that we have in our life.

[00:35:07] A lot of us have to work and we have to sit, or we have to hold ourselves in positions that are very compromising for the structural integrity and the wellbeing of our bodies, and. I think there’s so much misconception, and of course a lot of who I work with are the aging population.

[00:35:24] That is my passion to support the aging body, to continue to do I. Their life’s choice. Golf, tennis, walk, play with their grandkids, whatever that looks like. When I was younger in my career I worked with a lot of professional athletes. That is not where I’m at now, but I think there’s misconception on what movement looks like.

[00:35:45] We do not have to be in the gym. Six days a week, working out for an hour or two hours at a time walking movement. In general, there’s a lot of therapeutic movement that actually cultivates our energy instead of depletes our energy. So again, with the aging process, we have less access to that abundance of vitality that we had in our twenties and thirties.

[00:36:12] We have to start looking at life differently. And so therapeutic movement is any type of movement that’s appropriate for that person at any given time based on their signs and symptoms. It could be Qigong, it could be Tai Chi, it could be chair yoga because that’s where they’re at. They’ve had a hip replacement or a knee replacement or something.

[00:36:38] It could be. Something huge. I have clients all the time that are trying to accomplish their life’s dreams of I wanna climb a 14,000 foot mountain in Colorado. Okay, let’s get you there, but let’s do it right. Let’s do it by making sure that you’re cultivating some of that energy that you need to do that instead of constantly depleting it.

[00:36:59] Cuz I don’t know about you Cynthia, but I definitely spent a lot of my life thinking. Oh my gosh, I’m so tired right now. Okay, I gotta go go for a run or go for a bike rider. I gotta pump up my energy. And until I really started in the field of Chinese medicine, I didn’t understand that was really not supporting my wellbeing.

[00:37:18] It was depleting my wellbeing. So how can we cultivate that energy? And that’s always my question to my clients. What are you doing now? What does that look like and how do we need to modify that to best support your health and your wellbeing goals?

[00:37:35] Cynthia: What a beautifully grounded approach where it’s about not.

[00:37:42] Being driven by ego and saying I wanna do this, so I’m just gonna go for it. But instead, pausing, reflecting where you are, and then either cultivating that energy to get to where you wanna be, or accepting where you need to be and moving from there. So I love that. That’s beautiful. Yeah. And I know you also use nutrition and that’s another tool that can support your clients.

[00:38:06] For anyone who’s listening, who might be going through menopause, who knows someone what would you say are some high level tips or advice that you typically give to people who are going through that transition when it comes to nutrition?

[00:38:21] Stacey: Yeah. I think it’s about figuring out where someone’s at.

[00:38:25] And then really assessing where the deficiencies are and really commonly for we could talk for hours about, nutrition and food and how heady and how confusing and how everything’s constantly changing. And how this, this approach, keto, paleo, vegan, this, that, and, I’m not putting down any of it.

[00:38:49] And I support, I. Anybody who comes to me with anything they’re doing with food. Overall, especially when we’re going through massive hormonal changes in our bodies, protein is so important and so many of us lack the proper amount of protein and how we’re actually getting protein healthy fats, Oh my gosh.

[00:39:10] If there’s anything that can support, women’s health more, it’s healthy fats. And also I think the big, bad word that so many women are so scared of is carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are incredibly important. When it’s identified, if there’s a carbohydrate sensitivity, if there’s blood sugar levels that are spiking and like all that stuff is, it’s super overwhelming and confusing, but important.

[00:39:35] And I think when you work with a provider, like when I did my. Certification through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition on Hormone Health and Wellbeing. I did it through them for that reason, because food is always first. Always, it’s before acupuncture, it’s before any type of supplement medication, herb, whatever it is.

[00:39:58] Food is first. And we have to look at not what do I want, what sounds good, but what does my body need to be nourished? And a lot of times that’s protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates. And finding the balance between them that can actually fuel. Our body, because again, food is one of the things that cultivates chi, that’s what makes energy, so we have to have the right food to fuel our vitality. So when I work with clients that are, I don’t understand, I think I’m eating really healthy. They are, and they need more protein. To keep the motor running. So it’s just about assessing, what intake is and figuring out what those little nuances are to support that individual person.

[00:40:47] Cynthia: So eating a salad every meal isn’t necessarily a healthy, like the best way to go about having the right energy for a transition like

[00:40:54] Stacey: this. Yeah. It’s not and funny, Cynthia, I just have to say that because salads, that’s the one thing that we’re told is so amazing.

[00:41:01] And in Chinese medicine and the eastern medical paradigm, the approach to cold raw food, cold, raw food, In Chinese medicine takes so much energy chi to warm it up, break it down, and turn it into something that if you’re already depleted and you’re eating salads every day, it’s just coming right out the other end.

[00:41:22] Sorry. But it’s true. It, you’re losing a lot of your body’s ability to create that nourishment that it needs. So actually, someone who’s really deficient should be eating stir fries. A little bit of warmed up rice with some just warmed up vegetables. That’s a much better choice in Chinese medicine in that approach than a cold salad.

[00:41:42] Again, everybody’s different.

[00:41:44] Cynthia: I know. I actually recently got advice from an Ayurvedic practitioner who said, if you like salads, like just heat it up, add some oil, it’ll be so much easier for your body to truly digest.

[00:41:56] Stacey: Absolutely. And there’s your sa, just put something warm on it. Warm up some, if you eat meat, warm up a little chicken, warm up some of the vegetables, and then you’ve got a much more digestible.

[00:42:08] Energetically sound meal that’s going to, nourish your body.

[00:42:12] Cynthia: Yeah. So now

[00:42:14] you know it takes support sometimes, right? Some people, they can get the information, they could run with it and make the changes, and some people need that support. So if someone were like, yeah, Stacy sounds like she knows through Steph and I wanna work with her, what does that look like?

[00:42:31] How do they get in touch with you?

[00:42:33] Stacey: Yeah, you can visit my website and I’ve got two different spaces. Second Spring by Stacy is one of the tabs, and that’s a menopause specific group I’m cultivating within my practice, which is true North Acupuncture.

[00:42:47] But just send me a Contact. And I will get that and then reach back out and we can have a conversation or I’m on social media too and I know those links are there, so you can send me a message on Facebook or Instagram as well. And those are the best ways to get ahold of me.

[00:43:04] Cynthia: Perfect.

[00:43:06] there’s been so many nuggets of wisdom that I know I’ve learned along the way, but if there was just one takeaway that you’d hope that listeners walk away from this conversation with what would you hope that would be?

[00:43:20] Stacey: I would say, Just, it sounds so cliche, but, and I’m laughing right now because one of my nephews always says, you do you, and, but, and that’s a funny term in today’s world, but I think it really is just showing up as you, and whatever the you at any given time is, reach out, find support, because I know that with.

[00:43:46] All of the trials and tribulations and where we feel stuck, there are solutions. And a lot of times they’re really practical and they’re not as hard as we think they’re gonna be. So show up, ask for help. Reach out. Find the type of provider who can support you on your journey to find wellbeing at any given time in your life.

[00:44:09] Cynthia: I love that. And yeah, that’s something my I know my niece says all the time. You do you. It’s a popular phrase

[00:44:16] Stacey: and I love it. I love it cuz it gives us all permission just to be who we are. Exactly. It’s a good one.

[00:44:22] Cynthia: Oh. Thank you so much for your time today, Stacy. It’s been really eyeopening and I think just a nourishing conversation to just be reminded how important it is, how important you are, how important I am, and that we’re worth taking care of.

[00:44:38] So thank you.

[00:44:39] Stacey: Thanks for having me. It’s been really wonderful and thanks to all the listeners out there and yeah, just you do you right?

[00:44:48] Yeah.

[00:44:48] Cynthia: Thank you so much for listening to the Well Connected Twin Cities podcast. Did you learn something new? Did you feel that spark of hope and excitement for what is possible? Because so much is possible. Tell us about it. In a review on Apple Podcast, not only would we absolutely love hearing from you that these reviews help our ratings and help other curious minds like you find this resource.

[00:45:14] We are always better together. Thank you again and see you next time.

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