Kimberly Salshutz is a Manhattan-based Acupuncturist and Healer with over 20 years of experience. A visit with her is more than just an acupuncture session. Kimberly tailors her treatment to each individual patient, which may mean adding energy work, cupping, or crystals. She wants to know what is going in your life, especially the problems or stresses, so she can treat areas of the body associated with specific issues. All of her treatments have a common objective: to align people within their hearts so that their own truth and inner voice becomes the key to understanding and healing within themselves. Not everyone can keep an open mind when it comes to alternative medicines like acupuncture, but it has really helped me a lot. I have now been seeing Kimberly for eight years, and she has become a vital part of my overall wellness routine. Read on to find out more about Kimberly!
What is acupuncture?
KS: Acupuncture is a valid medical system that can integrate well with “Western” medicine and often can stand alone in treating various medical conditions. It has its origins over 3,000 years ago in Asia and India. Acupuncture uses the insertion of sterile needles into the skin. The specific areas along the body are called meridians and are connected to our organs systems. It’s the acupuncturist job to determine a specific set of points that work well together to have an energetic healing effect.
The acupuncture points act as a key that opens the body’s innate healing response. This creates a natural regulation of your body functions, relieves pain and calms the mind and emotions.
What inspired you to become an acupuncturist?
KS: I was in an entirely different profession and found that it didn’t fulfill my need to give and find higher meaning in life. At the same time, I went through a personal loss which was a huge catalyst for me to recreate myself. It was then that I found my true calling and connection to spirit. One might say it was a real initiation.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are the perfect combination of treating the totality of a person. The process of selection of acupuncture points investigates both physical and mental/emotional patterns within someone. It truly gives much purpose to my life and have the honor to assist someone in their healing journey.
What is an initial visit to Healing Hands like?
KS: It’s important to explore who each individual patient- person- is, and have enough time to answer any of their questions. The session is open ended and I allow the patient to share as much or little as they want regarding their health(concerns) and their life in a broader sense. There is a set of traditional intake questions that I always ask, for example: how is your sleep? your menstrual cycle? what about your emotional well- being? Any life challenges either present or past? Pulse and tongue assessment are always part of the intake assessments.
Once all of this information is gathered, I create a treatment protocol of acupuncture points and essential oils. The patient then changes into a gown and relaxes on a heated table to receive my treatment, which lasts about 45 minutes.
How do you incorporate energy work into your treatments?
KS: My first introduction to energy work was reiki back in 1995. (Author’s note: Reiki is a hands-on technique by which a “universal energy” is said to transfer through the palms of the practitioner to a patient in order to encourage healing). It has become the catalyst to other energetic healing modalities that are akin to clearing your energy field and aligning you to your higher self.
After the acupuncture points are set, I stay in the room with you and place my hand on your chakras (energy points) and allow the universal, divine energy to flow through me, out of my hands and into your system. In my opinion this is the purest expression of healing. It connects you to the essence of pure love that knows exactly what is needed at a specific point in time. No words are needed, it connects you with SOURCE and your spirit. The energy work and acupuncture combination enhance the effectiveness and interact like several treatments at once. Most of my patients prefer this combination because it provides an intensely peaceful, soulful experience.
Cupping and Gua Sha have become very popular. What are the benefits?
KS: These are both ancient healing modalities that are designed to create local suction on the skin. This effect promotes an increase of oxygen and blood flow to a specific part of your body. Pain relief and a greater sense of peaceful well-being generally result from this process. Many people report a better night sleep with increased energy for several days after a cupping or gua-sha treatment. (Authors Note: Cupping involves applying suction to a piece of skin/area of the body; Gua sha treatment entails scraping the skin to produce light bruising. Both treatments are typically performed on the back).
Swimming legend Michael Phelps brought heightened awareness to the pain management benefits of cupping during the recent Rio Olympics. These modalities release toxins and lactic acid that naturally build up within our tissues and muscles as a result of intense exercise or repetitive stress injuries. The advantage of both gua- sha and cupping is that they literally release and unblock toxins and lactic acid through the pores of the skin. That is why there is lingering redness seen on the surface of the body, sometimes lasting for up to 10 days after the treatment. When techniques like massage, chiropractic, or acupuncture do not bring sustained relief to tight muscles and body pain, the body may require a deeper, localized detox of pathogens via one of these methods.
Cupping and gua-sha also relieve stress. The increase blood flow along the spine relaxes the nervous system and clears energetic heat. The body feels gently decompressed.
How can acupuncture help woman over 40?
KS: First of all, acupuncture delivers support from the constant multitasking roles that women now face in the world. Maintaining a healthy balance between motherhood, career paths, and a marriage/significant other is very challenging and stressful. Whether or not you are a mother, the constant pulse of intensity and sensory overload can rob one of inner peace and vitality. Everyone needs a time out a place to reboot their systems.
Women in their 40s often seek me out (initially) because of hormonal imbalances. Issues such as infertility, dysmenorrhea, migraines, insomnia and perimenopause. Digestive issues are also a big concern as well. Bloating, weight gain and bowel irregularities are all common complaints that I see on a daily basis. Acupuncture and energy work calm the nervous system and reboot your natural energy. Often “on the table” a patient will experience an “a ha” breakthrough where they are able to let go of their distractions and connect with their own inner guidance.
Currently how has acupuncture changed you?
KS: Throughout my career I have had the pleasure to work with so many great patients, I am truly humbled and amazed at how we are All so alike and connected. My work reminds me to be grateful for the simple things in life and to have gratitude to God and all the love in my life. It pushes me to become a better person by maintaining high standards, and to facilitate the clearest healing channel for my patients. I have seen many people transformed by their own healing process- its truly a gift to witness. My patients are great teachers to me.
What are your services at Healing Hands ?
KS: My patients will often book a session I call “The Works” which includes acupuncture, energy work and tiny infusions of medical-grade essential oils which are placed on top of specific acupuncture points.
When necessary, moxabustion, cupping, gua-sha and herbal medicine are also prescribed.
I will occasionally incorporate acupuncture with a guided meditation or a healing ritual.
Back in 2014, Robert Porembski and I created music that heals your mind and body as you listen. The album is called “Awakenings.” This can be heard or purchased on my website www.healinghandsnewyork.com. All proceeds go to JDRF for funding a cure for type 1 diabetes.
For more on Kimberly and Healing Hands, go to www.healinghandsnewyork.com