Until writing this story, I was an acupuncture virgin. Something about the idea of being stuck like a pincushion just didn’t excite me. But an interview I could handle. After all, the only pointy thing involved would be my pen for writing notes.
So I meet Chris Power, R.Ac, at his office location, a 1-bedroom condo in the Marketplace area. The space is really relaxing, with the fireplace roaring, a massage table in the middle of the living room and some Eastern medicine-looking pictures on the walls.
We sit down at the table and start chatting. Turns out Chris is a relocated Newfoundlander (huge plus in my books) and got interested in Eastern medicine after his mother, a registered nurse, started studying homeopathy. He attended the International College of Traditional Chinese Medicine of Vancouver and is a registered acupuncturist (you can search for registered practitioners here).
Although he’s been practicing in Whistler for almost seven years, Chris started out in Vancouver. I ask him about the difference between the city and our little ski town and he says there are two big ones. First, in Vancouver, about 98 per cent of his clients were women. And second, his city clients mostly wanted help with internal medical issues, while in Whistler, he sees a lot of muscular and skeletal pain issues from people who are injured and want to get themselves “fixed” as quickly as possible – so they can go right back out and break themselves again. Chris is a huge proponent of taking the proper amount of time to rest and heal, in combination with acupuncture treatments – advice that many Whistlerites choose to ignore.
By now I’m intrigued and Chris has put to rest all of my needle concerns. After all, his mantra is pain and sharpness are unacceptable. I set my notes aside and he starts his normal assessment procedure, which involves a tongue diagnosis, looking at my nails, taking my pulse and asking me lots of questions. I don’t have any injuries but my jaw has been making this annoying clicking sound and Chris assures me he can do a short session in the time we have left. Before I know it, there’s needles hanging off my face and arm, and some pretty cool tingly sensations zipping around those areas.
Although I don’t have a spiritual or emotional healing experience like some people do, my jaw definitely feels better. So I book another session and have a feeling this will become a regular thing. Lucky for me, most health insurance companies cover acupuncture. And if you don’t have coverage, Chris is open to charging a lesser rate.
So for all of you aching riders and skiers out there, book an appointment. Be a pincushion. Experience the tingly sensation. And don’t forget to rest, because there are lots of pow days left.
You can contact Chris by email at chris at drpower dot ca