This week we welcomed Nicole LaFountain to our Blue Heron family! She just moved to Charleston from upstate New York. Her approach to healthcare is to find and treat the root cause of symptoms, and help her patients learn to take an active role in their healthcare. She will be offering acupuncture, massage, luxury acupuncture + massage treatments, herbal medicine consultations, and nutrition consultations. We hope this virtual meet-and-greet helps you get to know her!
How did you become interested in Acupuncture and Massage?
From an early age I have had a passion for massage and helping others. I feel so fortunate to have known from a young age where my passions and interests lie, even though I had never had a massage until required before entry into the program. My introduction to traditional Chinese medicine came as I began my studies in massage therapy. I was amazed at the intricacies of the medicine as I learned the basics of theory and points. Though I took a detour on my journey to acupuncture school, I eventually found myself coming back to Chinese medicine as I knew it had the power to help so many people when used appropriately.
Can you tell me a little about your background?
I first studied massage therapy, where I learned so much about healing, therapeutic touch, boundaries, and fell in love with the mechanics of the body. I then went directly to SUNY Canton, studying to become a Physical Therapist Assistant which would complement my massage skills and give me a greater knowledge of the body, during which time I also worked in a spa as a massage therapist. Once I had graduated as a PTA I worked in outpatient, inpatient and nursing home/ rehab facilities, helping people get back to their lives. I soon found myself missing that piece of holistic healthcare and wellness and found my way back at school for Acupuncture and Chinese medicine. I love having such a wide array of modalities in my toolbox to help my patients!
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Knowing I am giving my patients the time they need and deserve to tell their story, and a place to decompress is a substantial part of the healing process. The fact that I can help people get relief from their pain, ease anxieties and help get answers brings me great joy and gratitude for this medicine.
What is your favorite acupuncture point?
Gall Bladder 20 or Feng Chi is one of my favorite acupuncture points because it has such a wide application, from neck pain to the common cold. The location of this point is also my favorite area to massage on the head and neck, it feels so delicious!
How did you become interested in Chinese herbal medicine?
Growing up in upstate New York in the woods, I loved spending time outside, walking in the woods and learning about nature. I was always curious about plant medicine and how they would use food, herbs, and other wildlife as medicine before modern medicine advanced. I could not have imagined when I began, how intricate and complex herbal medicine is through the Chinese medicine lens. It was such fun learning how to identify the herbs in their dried form and working directly with them in the dispensary. This training also made me realize how many food items are used medicinally as well, and it’s why I am a strong believer that food is medicine!
What is your favorite herb/formula?
My first ever favorite herb was Sheng Di Huang, mostly because it tasted like beef jerky to me, and because of that it helped me remember it vividly. Ba Zheng Tang is one of my favorite formulas because it is a meld of two, simple, but powerful formulas.
What are some of your favorite conditions to treat?
Chinese Medicine is so powerful, and having witnessed what it can do, some of my favorite conditions to treat with herbal medicine are menstrual disorders and fertility, as well as gastrointestinal complaints. These issues are fairly common in today’s day and age, and many have had great success with treating them with Chinese medicine!
What are your hobbies?
In my spare time, you can usually find me reading, cooking or going on an outdoor adventure.
What are your favorite health and wellness tips?
Over the years studying and practicing, I have learned that everybody is different. Meaning what works for one person or groups of people, may not work for you. My advice is to listen to your body for what it needs, as our needs are ever changing and will be vastly different from others. In healthcare and life, we often have professionals and others telling us what we need to do, but not often asking us how it makes us feel. When we connect with ourselves, we are able to help heal ourselves.