I suffered from severe depression for five years without finding relief; often, I couldn’t even get out of bed! The Western medications prescribed for depression didn’t work for me; I was also worried about the trial-and-error approach to finding a medication that would control my symptoms. I had always considered chiropractic and acupuncture sciences to be too “hocus-pocus”, but I had read several articles that identified acupuncture as a way to help with depression. Although a bit leery about this science, I was so desperate for relief, I Googled “acupuncture, wilmington, nc” and discovered Acupuncture Associates. When I saw that the website address was actually www.happyacupuncture.com , it felt like an answer to my prayers.
I called to schedule an appointment and immediately started crying. Renee was kind and sensitive, and she told me not to worry—help was on its way. When I went to see Robert a week later, he spent almost three hours with me, pouring over my background to learn the details of my lifestyle. His compassion was incredible; as I shared my history and my frustration, his eyes welled with tears of genuine empathy. At last I had found someone who truly cared! When Robert told me that he could help me, I felt hope for the first time in years.
Acupuncture was neither an overnight fix nor a cure for my depression; I liken my journey to weight loss—the process has been gradual with occasional dips and plateaus, and I still have to maintain and manage my depression just as others do their weight. But when I look back on my mental state then compared to where I am now, all I can say is: “Wow! I can’t believe the difference!” I still get depressed sometimes, but the feelings are not nearly as “low” as I was when I first visited him. Having Robert on my “team” has been a huge help. I used to feel alone in my fight against depression, but not anymore. Robert has taught me that if my mood ‘dips’, I should call him for a treatment instead of waiting until my regularly scheduled appointment.
The wisdom and the tools Robert has given me help me to manage my depression. Throughout my healing process, Robert has taken the time to talk with me for at least a half-hour during each session, always giving me a few lifestyle changes to work on between our appointments: sometimes it’s a tip like: “When you’re feeling down, press right here on your ear”; other times, he recommends things like eating a whole grain in the morning or drinking my water at room temperature. The herbal remedies he prescribed have also made a difference in my well-being.
I consider myself to be Robert’s biggest fan; I have even brought my parents and my family to meet him so they can thank the man who gave me my life back. I truly believe that Robert is more than just an acupuncturist; he has a special gift for healing.
Initially, my appointments were once a week. Then, they tapered off to once every two weeks, and finally, just once a month. The ultimate goal is to use acupuncture as a preventative measure to ensure well-being just like how you get your teeth cleaned on a regular basis to ensure healthy teeth and gums. I look forward to each appointment just as I would a trip to the spa. In fact, the environment is just as relaxing: during my session, I have a lavender eye mask over my eyes and a warm blanket wrapped around my body. I don’t even realize that the acupuncture needles are there!
Robert has provided me with a level of care that is beyond what I ever could have hoped for. Although acupuncture has not cured me nor completely healed me of my depression, it has allowed me to manage it successfully without resorting to prescription medications.
If you are suffering from depression, I encourage you to try acupuncture, and if you’d like to speak with me in more detail about my personal experience, I’d be pleased to do so. Thanks to Acupuncture Associates, I can enjoy my life once again. There is no better gift. Happy acupuncture, indeed!— S.J.