When Holiday Stress “Hits You from Behind” 5/5 (20)

holiday stress

It’s the Holiday Season

Is it just me, or does everyone get REALLY busy at the end of the year? The holidays stress seems to affect every area of life. I try to stay available for my patients during this busy holiday season. Sometimes my schedule is extra full, which means in order to fit everyone into my schedule, I don’t have time to waste. My diagnostic and treatment strategies need to be precise and effective. 

I’d like to share a case study of a recent patient who’s holiday stress ‘hit her from behind.’ Let me give you a little bit of history…

When she walked through the door on December 12th, I could tell that something was off. I could sense that she was carrying an extra load. Everything about her seemed heavy–her shoulders were slumped, she was walking a bit slow, and I could tell that her breathing was a bit shallow. She had a very slight smile on her face, but you could tell that it just wasn’t all there. From a traditional Chinese medical diagnostic perspective, you could say that she was lacking in shen. When I asked her what she was feeling in her body that day, she said: “Graph me, then tell me what you think has changed.” 

NOTE: Do your patients like to play this game with you too? When there is something really big going on in their lives, they want me to graph them first to see if AcuGraph will recognize their problem.

AcuGraph Knows.

Well, I did as she asked and graphed her. AcuGraph was spot on. It was obvious that something was really “off.” A lot had changed within the last week. We were in the midst of a series of visits. She had been progressing quite nicely. Today things were different. Her average dropped A LOT within a week…from a 67 to a 21. 

holiday stress graph

When the patient’s average drops significantly from one treatment to the next, there is usually a reason.  Typical reasons include: 

  • Not enough sleep.
  • The patient is burning the candle at both ends.
  • The patient has been sick.
  • They are undergoing chemotherapy.
  • They are experiencing something that is very emotionally draining.

Case Study

68 year-old Female

Previous chief complaints: Migraines, inflammation, digestion, incontinence, and anxiety.

Today’s chief complaints: Rear-ended in a three car pile-up, exhaustion, emotionally drained.

The car accident was six days ago, which was one day after her previous visit. Since the crash she had been suffering a terrible migraine. She had been to her chiropractor, had lymphatic drainage massage, and caught a cold. X-rays with her chiropractor showed that she did not experience significant structural damage.

She was a bit frustrated as she explained to me that she had been trying to follow my holiday de-stress advice. Before the car accident, she had gone to the store to prepare for a relaxing evening.

“I was headed home with a great big bag of epsom salts to get in the bathtub.”

I told her that I was glad she was here and that we would do our best to put her body back into balance so she could heal.


The graph showed obvious deficiencies: 8, 10, 12, 14… Those are really low numbers. When I palpated her body she felt very full, heavy, thick, dense, and congested. This isn’t the presentation I would typically feel on a very deficient patient. To me it felt as if her energy was “frozen”.

Imagine sitting in a car, looking in your rear view mirror, holding a cup of coffee, and seeing an accident unfold before your eyes. She sees one car getting hit as she looks in the mirror. It slides forward. She sees it coming. She panics, then all of a sudden the coffee cup leaves her hand and explodes into the air in slow motion. Then, she feels it. Her body is thrown forward. Her muscles tighten, and then she is thrown back into her seat. There she sits. It’s only 20 degrees outside. She sits in the dark, waiting for the police and paramedics to arrive.

It was almost as if the qi in her body was forced out upon impact. The only thing left was the fear and tension in her muscles.

Treatment Plan

Remember what I said above about holiday stress, a full schedule, and the need for a quick effective treatment strategy? I didn’t have a lot of time. I had to think quickly.

What could I do to build enough qi to balance her body, resolve pain, regulate emotions, and enhance healing quickly and effectively? 

Here’s what I came up with…

1. Jade Vitality Heating Pad

NOTE: The Jade Vitality heating pad is made with special jade and tourmaline stones, which are heated to create far-infrared heat and negative ions to promote circulation. Having your patients lay on the mat and enjoy the warmth supplements the acupuncture treatment, and improves results.

I needed to warm her body so that her muscles would let go. I had her lay on her back first. The far-infrared heat warmed the Urinary Bladder channel, helped to begin creating circulation, and helped to jump start treatment by stimulating each of the Back Shu points on her body. It was a gentle reminder to her body that it was okay to relax and let go. 

Click here to learn more about the Jade Vitality Heating Pad >>

While she lay face-up on the pad, I treated her ears with auriculotherapy. 

2. Pointoselect Ear Treatment

NOTE: The Pointoselect is a sophisticated auriculotherapy tool which helps to locate both positive and negative polarity acupuncture points on the ear, and allows you to immediately treat with the exact Nogier auricular frequency.

  • Because she had so many symptoms, I needed a treatment plan that could address the whole body. 
  • She was already in a lot of pain and distress. She was also deficient. I didn’t want to add a lot of needles to her body. 
  • Because of this, I scanned both ears for negative and positive points and treated with the correct Nogier frequency. 
  • Then, I let her body tell me what the priorities were. The body knows. If the points are electrically active, then they need treatment.
  • The entire ear treatment took about six minutes. 

Click here to learn more about the Pointoselect Digital >>

3. Kidney Return Protocol

holiday stress graph

NOTE: The Kidney Return Protocol involves treating specific acupuncture points with ion pumping cords to do a quick transfer of energy in the body for extremely deficient patients.

  • Her energy levels were so deficient, she didn’t have enough qi to have an effective treatment.
  • They Kidney Divergent Treatment is designed to boost qi and energy levels in order for her to heal.
  • After treatment I palpated her body, and she had more life in her muscles.
  • If the patient’s average is below 40, you will find this treatment option under the “Expert” treatment plan in the bottom left corner of your screen.
  • Treatment includes the use of ion pumping cords.

Click here to learn more about Ion Pumping Cords >>

Whew… Glad I had tools!

That was a busy day in the clinic. I had many patients who all had extreme needs. Luckily, this simple yet effective three-step approach to an amazing treatment was quick, easy, AND effective. Why? Because I had the right tools!

I never know when my patients are going to walk in with extra needs for the day. Even during a season of intense holiday stress and busy-ness when my schedule is REALLY full, I’ve got what it takes to give my patients exactly what they need.

To see all of our acupuncture technology tools, click the link below:


I hope your holiday season is filled with great success stories!

~Dr. Kimberly 

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Dr. Kimberly Thompson, DACM, L.Ac.

Dr. Kimberly Thompson, DACM, L.Ac. is a US licensed acupuncturist in the state of Idaho and certified in the treatment of acupuncture, Oriental medicine and Chinese herbology by the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Kimberly wears multiple hats in the acupuncture community. She owns her private clinic, Meridian Family Acupuncture. She has spent the last 10 years working for Miridia Technology as an acupuncture Research Analyst–where she helps plan, develop, and integrate modern diagnostic and treatment tools for the ever-evolving scientific world of acupuncture. Kimberly is a world-renown teacher, blogger, columnist, and mentor in the acupuncture community.

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