Move Energy with Acupuncture & Heal with Chinese Herbs
Interview with Nena Watkins
Dallas Yoga Magazine is a huge supporter of holistic approaches to health and medicines. This is one of the many reasons why we asked Nena Watkins to take the time for an interview with us. All of us here at Dallas Yoga Magazine go to Nena for acupuncture on a regular basis for a variety of reasons. The experience is always beneficial, and we keep going back for more of her magic touch (pricks:-)
DYM: Tell us about yourself, did you grow up in Dallas?
Nena: I grew up in East Dallas. I attended Booker T. Washington High School and I graduated from The University of Texas in Austin. Then I received my Master Degree in Acupuncture from Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.
DYM: Can you give a brief overview of what acupuncture is for the people who know very little about it?
Nena: Acupuncture is part of Chinese Medicine, which is a complete medical system that treats non-emergency conditions using acupuncture and Chinese Herbs.
DYM: Tell us about the first time you went to acupuncturist? What was your first impression?
Nena: Good Question! I was 23 years old. I went to an acupuncture school clinic in Austin, Texas. It didn’t seem scary or weird, or remarkable really. My feet felt different after, less cold. (Laughing) I went back for a second treatment and then applied to acupuncture school.
DYM: That was a quick decision! What lead your desire to become an acupuncturist?
Nena: My desire to help people and herbal medicine. I wanted to be able to help people in the moment. Not run tests and prescribe medication to wait a few weeks to see if it works. I like that people leave acupuncture feeling better than when they came in an hour before. I was pre-med in college. I took a Biochemistry class which taught us about how many pharmaceutical drugs are copied off of naturally occurring herbs, but when reproduced in a laboratory, they breakdown wrong and cause side effects. I was originally drawn to Chinese medicine because of the significant use of herbs, the acupuncture grew on me very fast though.
DYM: Many people don’t realize the intense training you have to undergo to be an acupuncturist. Will you explain the education process to become a licensed acupuncturist?
Nena: Acupuncture school is medical school, we study Chinese Medicine. It is very comprehensive. It lasts 4 years, we study herbs too. The Herbal training includes over 800 hours and several clinic shifts to be proficient to prescribe herbs. We have to pass national board exams as well, for both acupuncture and herbs, also biomedicine, which means we are proficient at understanding western diagnosis and emergency symptoms. In Texas, we are licensed through the Texas Medical Board.
DYM: Very impressive. That’s a lot of experience and training. Explain the different ways acupuncture can help someone. Why does it work?
Nena: I don’t really know how or why it works but I know it does work! It accesses the energy inherent in a living being and helps it function properly. It treats the energy that is life. People are healthy when the energy of life circulates properly through the body. From there, it is basic physics. The acupuncture needles are metal for a reason, to move the body’s energy. Once the life energy is moving through the body, symptoms are reduced and people feel better.
DYM: What are the most common reasons why people come to see you?
Nena: Mostly people see me because of pain (low back, sciatica), digestive issues, allergies, trouble sleeping, and anxiety.
DYM: How can acupuncture help children?
Nena: It helps them feel better. It is often used for colds, diarrhea, bedwetting, ADD, and eczema seen in children.
DYM: What can someone expect when they come to you for their first visit? And what is the most common misconception people have about acupuncture?
Nena: They think it will hurt. It does not. It is not like a shot or having blood drawn. People rarely feel the needles and most the time they fall asleep.
DYM: What do you say to people who are afraid to come to acupuncture?
Nena: Acupuncture is very good to reduce fear and apprehension. Also, Chinese Herbs can be used for most conditions. Chinese medicine is more than just acupuncture.
DYM: Does acupuncture work immediately or do people have to see you for a period of time?
Nena: It works immediately, however, it can take a few treatments to resolve an issue. We recommend 4 visits. Most people feel significant relief within that time. Chronic issues can return or take longer to resolve. Sometimes as long as a month for every year you’ve had the problem. Most people come for a few treatments, feel better and come again for a treatment or three when it or something else pops up.
DYM: What herbs do you recommend for overall health and why?
Nena: That depends on one’s constitution. In this case, what’s good for the goose may not be good for the gander. It is best to take herbs for one’s particular pattern. People go out of balance differently. That’s why they have different symptoms. We give herbs to get people better and balanced, and we also give herbs to maintain that balance.
DYM: How would someone take the herbs?
Nena: Herbs are taken as a tea. I use a powder form that can be stirred into hot water. We also have pills for patients who prefer that approach.
DYM: We appreciate you so much for taking your time for this interview. We are huge fans of acupuncture and love you personally and professionally.
Nena Watkins can be reached at the following: