It's August 2020 y'all! It's hard to believe summer is ending and now we're getting ready for the start of another school year!
Effective August 16, 2020, our Autumn 2020 clinic hours will be:
We hope our new hours will help make it easier for you to come in for much-needed relief.
If you haven't already made an appointment, give us a call at 512-686-0777. We look forward to seeing you soon!
We treat patients suffering from long-term pain and illness.
99% of our patients come to us as a last resort after trying physical therapy, injections, prescription medications, painkillers, injections and/or surgery without relief.
We offer clinically-proven treatments that have been time-tested over 2,500 years. Every treatment is customized to give you exactly what you need. The most common side-effects are better sleep and increased mental clarity.
Give us a call at 512-686-0777 to get started!
Indigo Healing Acupuncture Selected by GlobalGiving As Red Backpack Fund Recipient, Receives $5,000 Grant From The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation To Combat COVID-19 Crisis
June 12, 2020 — GlobalGiving announced today that Indigo Healing Acupuncture has been selected to receive a $5,000 COVID-19 relief and recovery grant from The Red Backpack Fund, an opportunity for small businesses and nonprofits made possible by The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation.
“My hope is that this gift will help alleviate some of the pressures caused by this horrible pandemic. Twenty years ago, I started Spanx with $5,000 in savings, and I see this as a time to pay it forward. Small business is the backbone of our culture. I know what it’s like to be a small business owner, and I want to provide some relief to these entrepreneurs during this time,” said Spanx Founder Sara Blakely.
The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation donated $5 million to support female entrepreneurs in the wake of COVID-19 and teamed up with GlobalGiving to establish The Red Backpack Fund.
Thousands of business owners and nonprofit founders from across the United States and its territories applied to receive a grant from The Red Backpack Fund to combat economic hardship caused by COVID-19. Indigo Healing Acupuncture was selected for the grant based on its outstanding application, its urgent need for COVID-19 relief, and its demonstrated capacity to overcome COVID-19 setbacks.
GlobalGiving, a 501(c)(3) organization with nearly two decades of grantmaking experience, will award grants to at least 1,000 women entrepreneurs from now through September 2020 through The Red Backpack Fund. GlobalGiving has assembled a 100% women-led team to lead the grantee selection process. The team includes grant specialists, social workers, female entrepreneurs, analysts, and monitoring and evaluation experts.
"We're proud to announce the grantees of The Red Backpack Fund. They have successfully undergone GlobalGiving’s rigorous vetting process, and we believe this grant will help them continue to thrive, despite the shifting economic circumstances brought on by this crisis," said GlobalGiving CEO Alix Guerrier. "The world needs more women-led organizations who are a key force in overcoming COVID-19 and establishing a better normal."
Learn more about The Red Backpack Fund at www.globalgiving.org/redbackpackfund.
About Indigo Healing Acupuncture
Indigo Healing Acupuncture provides clinically-proven solutions for chronic pain/disease, headaches and infertility. Dr. Michelle Wendt, L.Ac, DACM is a Dripping Springs healthcare provider offering effective and comprehensive solutions to adults and children. Her treatment strategies naturally encourage homeostasis in the nervous system, cardiovascular system, endocrine system, and immune system leading to long-term relief.
About The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation
Since its inception in 2006, the Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation has donated millions to charities around the world, focusing on charities that empower underserved women and girls. In 2013, Sara Blakely became the first self-made, female billionaire to sign the Giving Pledge, created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, promising to give at least half her wealth to charity. In 2020, Sara and the Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation launched the Red Backpack Fund in partnership with GlobalGiving. Back by Sara Blakely, the $5 million fund supports the recovery and revitalization of female-owned businesses in the U.S. impacted by the coronavirus crisis. While many of the world’s resources are being depleted, one is waiting to be unleashed: Women. The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation is on a mission to support women and help them SOAR through education, entrepreneurship and the arts. Learn more at www.spanxfoundation.com.
GlobalGiving is a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit that makes it safe and easy to support important causes around the world. When a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic strikes, GlobalGiving quickly delivers funds to vetted organizations that are best-suited to lead immediate and long-term relief and recovery. As part of its mission to accelerate community-led change, GlobalGiving provides tools, training, and support to help nonprofits, donors, and companies increase their impact and make the world a better place. Learn more at www.globalgiving.org.
This week has brought a wave of heavy hearts to the clinic. In this time of overwhelming transformation, our clinic is a place of security, healing and serenity. We do not tolerate any racist beliefs, attitudes, or behavior from our staff or our patients. We support the Black Lives Matter movement. We are a safe space for the people of Dripping Springs and beyond.
"Speaking out against white supremacy and race-based violence does not make you
anti-white, anti-police, right or left.
It makes you pro justice.
Pro black life.
And pro racial equality.
Caring about the life of another isn't political.
- Shannon Griffin
June is our second month of seeing patients after temporarily closing in March-April for COVID-19 prevention.
Caitlin and Dr. Michelle continue to follow all CDC and Texas Medical Board protocols for patient care. This includes wearing medical face masks during treatments and physically distancing patients with specific appointment times.
At the beginning of June we launched new summer clinic hours on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. We expect Saturday hours to resume in late August when school is back in session.
Please give us a call or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request an appointment.
If you're a new patient, please give us a call at (512) 686-0777 to request an appointment. We have friendly folks answering the phone 24/7, 365 days a year. Our online scheduling tool is also active, but often fills up weeks in advance due to our COVID-19 scheduling policies. Your best bet to get in quickly is to call us directly.
We wish y'all a wonderful summer full of sun and fun!
We have relaunched in-clinic services for Dripping Springs!
Give us a call at (512) 686-0777 to schedule an appointment.
For May 2020, we are open 4 days a week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday.
Here's what to expect as we operate in the new normal:
To ensure the safety of our clinic for all patients, we reserve the right to re-schedule or cancel your appointment if we feel it is not safe to provide a treatment.
Please give us a call if you have any questions about our new clinic policies. We look forward to seeing you!
"There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn't matter anymore."
- Laurie Halse Anderson
The entire modern world is at a standstill.
Streets are empty.
Playgrounds are eerily quiet.
Music venues are silent.
Sport fields are barren.
Going out in public is a risky adventure.
Alarm clocks are unset.
Dogs enjoy company all day.
Neighbors help neighbors.
Hitting a collective pause button has never happened in our lifetimes. It was inconceivable.
So much was lost when we hit the pause button. Big games, weddings, birthday parties, family vacations, grand openings, anniversary celebrations, graduations, baby showers and countless other special occasions.
When external activities disappear from our calendars, what's left? What are the side-effects of this crisis?
In the midst of a pandemic that has disrupted our daily lives, this is where the magic resides.
We can choose to focus on the moments that matter.
We can embrace the surprising side-effects of our lives on hold. We can graciously accept that aspects of our former lives will undergo a transformation beyond our control. We can linger in the unknowing of when our new normal might begin. This pandemic will pass. We will all have new beginnings. There is no going back.
Embrace the magic because we'll never have this time again.
In a TedTalk this morning, author Elizabeth Gilbert urged us to pace ourselves, because this pandemic is a marathon, not a sprint.
What else is like a marathon?
✅ Maintaining a long-term relationship
✅ Raising a family
✅ Building a business
✅ Earning a degree
✅ Writing a book
Every human on Earth is a participant in this marathon. We are more connected and dependent on each other now than ever before. It's already clear this pandemic is not going to last weeks. At best, it's going to last months. And it is going to fundamentally change every aspect of our lives as we live in the new normal.
Some families will grow closer and some families will self-destruct. Some businesses will stay afloat, while others sink. On a personal level, we can gradually adapt to today or exhaust ourselves trying to live in yesterday.
Today's TedTalk was full of strategies to pace ourselves through this experience. The truth is we won't be able to emotionally/financially/energetically/physically help each other if we prematurely exhaust all of our resources with 25 miles to go in a 26.2 mile trek.
Slow down. Practice self-compassion today so you can adapt and be stronger tomorrow.
COVID-19. A mysterious, yet deadly respiratory virus. This thing that has brought our so-called modern world to a halt. The invisible enemy that cancelled over 200 appointments when my clinic abruptly closed. The virus that...
Threats of the virus shuttered dozens of small businesses across town. At least half of my friends and fellow business-owners are out of work (for who knows how long).
As I saw the COVID-19 storm approaching, I said to myself, "I’m not closing until I’m forced to. My community needs me."
Well, as it turned out, the Government did not force us to close down the clinic on Monday. As the Doctor, I had to make that heartbreaking decision. I spent the previous weekend up all day/night, weighing the evidence, wondering if I could beat the odds of contagion with constant sanitizing and preventative measures. I would wash my hands 1,000 times a day if I needed to. I even hatched a plan to perform drive-through acupuncture in the fresh air of our parking lot.
However, by lunchtime on Monday, I reached a breaking point in my thought process. I realized the most beneficial action I could take for my community was to shut down the clinic. Be socially-responsible. Stay at home and practice social distancing. Isolate myself and my family. Flatten the curve as the popular hashtag says. An altruistic maneuver for sure. I didn’t come to this decision without tears. I spent hours imagining how I would feel if I was unknowingly an asymptomatic vector for COVID-19. How would I feel if I unknowingly transferred it to one of my immune-compromised patients? How would I feel if my favorite 80-something-year-old patient ended up in the emergency room without an available ventilator? How I would I feel if I brought it home to my family? The thought of all those scenarios was too much to bear. I made the call to cancel everything. To pull the plug. To temporarily close the business I’ve put my whole heart into and worked tirelessly to build. To discontinue providing the magic healing power of acupuncture to patients I adore and love as much as my own family.
My heart goes out to my fellow business owners also in the position of having to decide for themselves. I pray you’ll find the path that is right for you.
To our patients, we will be back when this all ends. I promise.
We’re heartbroken to announce that we are following our school district’s lead and cancelling all in-clinic appointments at Indigo Healing Acupuncture until April 1st (tentatively). We feel this is the most socially-responsible action we can take to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Telemedicine appointments are available to current patients who need guidance or herbal medicine refills. Give us a call at 512-686-0777 to request a telemedicine appointment.
Earlier today, Governor Abbott declared a State of Disaster In Texas due to COVID-19.
If you are a current patient of our clinic, you know we treat chronic medical conditions, not acute viral conditions such as the cold/flu. Theoretically, this approach lowers our risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
Our patient population includes elderly, pregnant, and immunocompromised folks. To keep the clinic hygenic, we clean throughout the day with hospital-strength prophylactic and disinfection methods per CDC guidelines.
In an effort to keep all of us healthy, please call us prior to coming in for your appointment if you have any symptoms of a cold, flu, or upper respiratory infection so we can assess and advise on whether you should reschedule. If you have traveled out of the country recently, let us know prior to arriving at your appointment.
If you are a current patient and need herbal refills, we are happy to ship them to you or do a local porch dropoff.
We will keep you informed of any schedule changes including appointment modifications and/or mandatory closures.
For up to date information on how COVID-19 is affecting Texas, please visit https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/
What do you see in this moment?
C) Pure joy
D) All of the above?
I’m sharing this private family photo for a reason. I’m sharing it because of what you can’t see:
Infertility is a hidden affliction. The ultimate test of unwavering faith.
At Indigo Healing Acupuncture, we help you through fertility challenges with the support of holistic medicine.
Always there, always hopeful.
To book a fertility consultation, call (512) 686-0777 or click the button below to learn more.
When you call Indigo Healing Acupuncture, the friendly voice you'll hear is Caitlin, our Patient Care Coordinator. Originally from College Station, Texas, Caitlin now resides in Dripping Springs. She ensures our patients are taken care of from the first call throughout their entire patient experience. We are so lucky to have her on the team!
Give us a call at 512-686-0777 to get started today!
Have you been thinking about trying acupuncture? Here are 5 reasons to get started:
Give us a call at 512-686-0777 to start off your new year with the benefits of acupuncture!
Or book online here to see us!
If you have children attending school in/near Dripping Springs, then you've likely already heard about the latest virus circulating and keeping kids home 5-7 days with symptoms such as high fever (102 degrees+), lethargy, appetite loss, vomiting and diarrhea. It's no fun, but very common this time of year.
What do you have in your medicine kit to help when a cold/flu virus hits you?
We are now offering a Cold/Flu Relief Bundle in our retail section, no appointment necessary. These are our 2 go-to products for the mornings when you wake up and realize you might be getting sick.
When taken at the first signs of illness (sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, body aches) our Cold Eliminator amplifies the immune system to eradicate the virus. Most of our patients feel completely fine within 48 hours of the first dose.
Cough-B-Gone soothes dry, itchy throats with its natural antibacterial and antitussive properties. Bonus: It also tastes great!
Call us at 512-686-0777 to reserve this Cold/Flu Relief bundle for clinic pickup near Dripping Springs and be prepared when THAT morning comes!
Did you know we offer Holistic Pregnancy Support for...
Dr. Michelle Wendt, L.Ac., DACM was also recently nominated as the Best Acupuncturist and Best Herbalist by the 2019 Austin Birth Awards!
We want pregnancy to be an enjoyable phase of your life! From the first positive test to the end of postpartum, we can help you relieve pain, have more energy, and recover from labor & delivery.
Give us a call at 512-686-0777 to schedule a consultation.
This summer marked our one-year anniversary in Dripping Springs and brought exciting changes to the clinic, including our new Office Manager, Courtney!
Courtney joined our team in late July and is the friendly face you'll meet when you first walk in the door. Originally from South Africa, Courtney now calls Texas home. When she's not in the clinic, Courtney is an avid athlete, working out 7 days a week and inspiring others to get moving!
To accommodate the needs of the Dripping Springs community, Dr. Michelle now treats patients six days a week, Monday through Saturday. In the past year, Michelle provided over 2,000 treatments to children & adults helping them to alleviate chronic pain and illness. If you ask her how she manages to balance entrepreneurship + medicine + family, she'll tell you it's easy to get out of bed in the morning knowing that her work changes lives for the better.
With the 2019-2020 school year kicking off in a few days, we look forward to seeing our returning patients and new faces! Let's make 2020 your best year yet with holistic healing in Dripping Springs!
To schedule a consultation, give us a call at 512-686-0777 or book a consultation online by clicking the box below.
Breastfeeding is a gift, but when mastitis appears, it can quickly become a nightmare. The good news is ancient Chinese Medicine has proven to effectively prevent its onset and boost recovery.
What is mastitis?
Mastitis is inflammation of a milk duct due to infection in a clogged duct. It can arise quickly and will leave you feeling like you’ve been run over by a bus. Common symptoms include acute breast tenderness, an engorged milk duct, red skin over a milk duct, fever/chills, fatigue, and body aches. If left untreated, mastitis can rupture into an abscess requiring surgical intervention. Therefore, it’s important to be as vigilant as you can about clearing clogged ducts.
Mastitis is most likely to occur within the first three months of breastfeeding and is the second most common infection during postpartum (for those who want to know, urinary tract infections are the most common postpartum illness).
The most common Western treatment for mastitis is a course of antibiotics to kill off an overgrowth of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. S. aureus bacteria is generally transmitted from the baby’s mouth to the breast. If your immune system has been weakened by stress or fatigue, the bacteria can take up residency in a milk duct causing inflammation and engorgement.
How can I prevent mastitis?
Twenty centuries ago, Chinese doctors discovered the root cause of 99% of mastitis infections… anger, frustration, and/or resentment! Have you ever been so mad at someone/something you felt like you might explode with words or burst into tears? Anger is a powerful emotion that literally brings a rush of energetic heat to the body like a flame shooting upwards. According to Chinese Medicine, that is energy (qi) in the Liver meridian looking to escape. If you’re a nursing mama and the sudden rush of Liver qi is not expressed, it lodges in the breasts inflaming milk ducts and establishing ideal conditions for an infection. To prevent mastitis, your best bet is to find a safe outlet for any anger, resentment or frustration. An outlet could be talking to someone you trust, taking a walk, writing in a journal, or creating art.
If I get mastitis, what should I do?
Mastitis is best-treated sooner rather than later. If you notice a clogged duct not clearing with feedings, self-massage or heat, it’s best to seek professional help right away as mastitis can escalate quickly. Your family doctor or gynecologist can prescribe antibiotics, while an acupuncturist can perform a treatment aimed at getting the stuck energy (qi) moving and will likely send you home with Chinese herbs to clear the infection naturally over the course of a few days. To keep mastitis from recurring, stick to a regular feeding schedule, take the time needed to clear clogged ducts as soon as you notice them, and find a healthy way to release any unresolved feelings of resentment or frustration.
To schedule a consultation for all of your postpartum challenges, contact us at 512-686-0777 today!
This Mother’s Day, I’m thinking about my own journey to motherhood. Do you have friends who can basically get a wink from their lover and then – Bam! – they’re pregnant? Yah, that was so not me.
In my twenties, I used every type of birth control I could find because becoming a mother felt at least five (or maybe even ten) chapters ahead in my life. It wasn’t until the age of 30 that a young doctor asked me if I wanted to consider freezing my eggs. I was actually shocked by the question because in my most basic understanding of biology, I had calculated at least 10 more good fertile years ahead of me. I was sure that when I met the right guy, got married, and hit my career goals, I could drop the birth control and get pregnant right away. Wow, was I wrong.
Five years later, I had found and married the love of my life and was ready to start trying. Within three months, I found out I was pregnant and thought to myself, “See, that wasn’t so hard!” I loved being pregnant and knowing I was growing a tiny human. A few weeks later, I woke up in excruciating pain and had a miscarriage. I was devastated. I was a mom with nothing to show for it. The following Mother’s Day was heartbreaking.
After a few months, we started trying again, this time with a renewed fervor. I charted my basal body temperature at the exact same time every morning and produced impressive graphs that showed I was ovulating every cycle. But, my cycles were short and after meeting with a reproductive endocrinologist, I learned my cycles lacked enough progesterone to sustain a pregnancy. Upon hearing that news, I brought home the infamous Clomid, the gateway drug to assisted fertility. Then I read every book I could find about getting pregnant, received acupuncture treatments and Chinese herbs almost daily, and created a vision board of what motherhood meant to me. It was intense and exhausting trying to sustain hope and keep up with the daily rigors of all of it.
Fast forward through nearly two years of assisted fertility treatments and shattered dreams. Our grand finale was investing in the grandmother of all fertility treatments, IVF with ICSI. After harvesting only a handful of viable eggs, the fertility clinic prepared us for the worst. Of the eggs collected, only two matured into embryos. We transferred them both and kept our fingers and toes crossed during the two-week wait for a pregnancy test. The stakes were high… it was our last chance to become biological parents and my last chance in this lifetime to get pregnant. Since our immediate family and friends had never been down the same path, I found support and solace in an online tribe of women experiencing the same journey. We were all in it together, exchanging baby dust (wishes for a successful pregnancy) like it was a real currency.
It’s now been four years and I am a mother to a beautiful girl who defied the odds and stuck with me to arrive earthside exactly 39 weeks after conception. She is a perfect mix of my husband and I, with his sense of adventure and my love of learning. When I look back at all we went through, I can’t imagine my life without her in it. I do wonder what it would have been like if I had conceived her naturally, without the years of prayers and tears. But, with her arrival, she gave me the ultimate gift. She made me a mom.
Where pink clouds meet blue water...
4 times a year, I disappear for 4 days to visit this lake to experience a symphony of silence, solitude, introspection & inspiration.
While it's technically a self-led spiritual retreat, I affectionately call it "Mom Camp" because that phrase makes sense to my four-year-old. The truth is coming here makes me a better mother, wife, friend, doctor & human.
Every trip here is a different experience. The only constant is I'm always transformed by the time I get home.
I highly recommend finding your own version of Mom Camp. Because once you find it, you will never be the same.
Spring has arrived in the Texas Hill Country! Fields of blue bonnets line our country roads and the warm breezes are back! It's hard to look anywhere and not witness a season full of transformation and growth. It's a great time for you to renew yourself with acupuncture!
In the spirit of Spring, Indigo Healing Acupuncture is launching new business hours in May. We will be open 6 days a week to help our patients live their best lives, free of pain and stress.
Effective Monday, May 6th, appointments are available:
To become a new patient, give us a call at 512-686-0777 or schedule online by clicking the button below.
If you’re a parent and you suffer from migraines or chronic headaches, you already know the special challenges of parenting through severe pain. Busy lives full of school events, sports practices, and errands mean that the days of disappearing into a dark room to sleep off a headache are practically non-existent when tiny beings depend on you for everything.
So, what can you do?
Here are 3 secrets to being an awesome parent, even if you suffer from migraines or chronic headaches:
1. Invest in Yourself
No matter how busy your schedule is, write in 15 minutes of “me time” every day, without exception.
Why? Because you need a minimum of 15 minutes a day alone to be your best self.
My 15 minutes starts the second I wake up in the morning. Whether my daughter is awake or not, I head straight to my journal and write 1 page of affirmations to start my day. Then I spend 10-15 minutes reading book(s) that nourish my soul. This “me time” is non-negotiable. Can’t get your littles to give you 15 minutes? If you’re married, ask your spouse to backfill your parenting position. If your kids are easy persuaded with bribes, give them something to keep them happy for 15 minutes. Build your “me time” into a daily routine. It’s not always easy, but kids and spouses are trainable especially when something happens every day at the same time of day!
2. Reverse-Engineer Your Life
Identify what obstacles are blocking you from living a headache-free life. Is it too many looming deadlines at work? Is it unresolved tension in your marriage? Is it sitting in 2 hours of traffic everyday and feeling stuck? Obstacles are everywhere and they come in all different sizes and shapes. Write down 5 obstacles that contribute to your headaches. Then, reverse-engineer a solution to all 5 or as many as you can. Some may be easier to abolish than others. But you won’t know how hard or how easy it can be to overcome obstacles in your life until you figure out what they are.
3. Claim Your Strengths
What are you “good” at? Are you good at helping others? Cooking? Showing up on time? Going to church every Sunday? Dancing? Take a quick inventory to write down 5 things you do well. Then, think about why you do those things well. Are you good at showing up on time because you plan ahead? Are you good at dancing because you dance like no one else is watching? Embrace your strengths and celebrate them. If you do get a migraine or a horrendous headache, celebrate tiny victories like having enough energy to get out of bed and give your kids a hug after baseball practice. On headache days, the small victories count the most.
Are you interested in learning more about natural approaches to long-term relief from migraines and chronic headaches? Indigo Healing Acupuncture has teamed up with Julie Balderrama Coaching to offer a unique holistic program for anyone suffering from headaches. We help people (who have tried everything) break free from headaches by discovering hidden obstacles to healing. We empower them with knowledge and tools to find long-lasting relief so they can thrive with freedom and joy in their life.
I had surgery two weeks ago… less than 10 people knew about it. It took me out of my holistic clinic and into the depths of modern medicine for a few days of intensive rest and recovery. To be honest, as a doctor of Chinese medicine, I say the phrase “Surgery should be a last resort” to patients every day. But, when I heard the words “It could be cancer” I knew I had to go to the last resort.
Committing to surgery stirred up feelings of frustration (why didn’t acupuncture help?), fear (what if the surgery doesn’t go as planned?) and a sense of abandoning patient-centered holistic medicine for the profit-focused modern medicine machine. Having surgery felt a lot like a betrayal to everything I believe in.
This is what I learned…
• Modern medicine can be life-saving
• Modern medicine doesn’t have all the answers
• Modern medicine has a very limited toolbox (drugs or surgery) to solve health problems
Back in September, my gynecologist felt a mass near my uterus during my annual exam. I had been having severe pain with every menstrual cycle and knew my endometriosis had returned. An ultrasound revealed a complex cyst about the size of an egg and attached to my ovary. We agreed the best course of action was to watch it for a few weeks, clean up my diet (goodbye coffee, hello celery juice!), and check it again in December. The exam in December showed the cyst remained and had a new feature on it, a nodular tumor. My gynecologist told me it could be cancer and offered a CA-125 blood test. However, there was no definitive way to know without surgery. So, we scheduled the surgery, a laparoscopic cystectomy. The whole discussion took less than 10 minutes.
I returned home from that appointment scared and uncertain. Of course, my ultimate fear was losing a battle against cancer and leaving my 4-year-old without a mother. It was ridiculously easy for my mind to jump to that awful conclusion. I consciously refused to buy into that outcome that my mind wanted to play on repeat. After a few hours of acknowledging the fear and reprogramming my mind with positive outcomes, I felt more at peace.
In the days leading up to the surgery, I reprioritized my day to begin with a writing meditation full of “I am” statements such as “I am healthy and pain-free” and trust statements like “The universe conspires to help me.” I also spent 5-10 minutes every morning connecting to a higher power and asking for divine guidance. I revised my will. I treasured tucking my daughter into bed every night.
By the day of my surgery, I felt confident that the surgery would be a success. That morning I reminded my gynecologist to preserve my ovary if she could and to clean up any other endometrial tissue she discovered. She agreed and within minutes the anesthesiologist was there ready to knock me out. When I woke up in recovery about 90 minutes later, I was in a lot of pain and the nurse sent fentanyl through my IV. As someone who relies on herbal medicine, having fentanyl surge through my veins was quite a sensation. My pain level decreased from 8 to 1 within minutes, but I still had no idea if the surgery was a success. Once I saw my husband, my first question was, “Do I still have all my organs?” He said yes and a few hours later, I was released in a fentanyl haze of relief and gratitude.
Fast forward two weeks to today, when I had my post-operative appointment. I found out the cause of the pain was endometriosis, but not at all what I expected. The surgery revealed I had a benign ovarian endometrioma (often called a chocolate cyst) full of endometrial fluid. Compared to 5 years before when I had stage IV endometriosis scattered across my bowels, peritoneum, fallopian tubes and uterus, my body had effectively encapsulated the endometriosis into a single cyst. Miraculously, there were no signs of endometriosis on any other organs or structures. I thought to myself, “Wow, the acupuncture and herbs did help!”
Modern medicine can be life-saving and anyone facing the possibility of a life-threatening illness should consult a trusted MD for a modern diagnosis and treatment plan. However, for many chronic illnesses and conditions, modern medicine offers a very limited toolbox consisting of drugs or surgery. Now that I’ve had a surgical tune-up, I’ll continue with acupuncture treatments two times a week and a daily regimen of Chinese herbs to control the endometriosis. I know the risk of recurrence is high, but now that I’ve witnessed how intelligent my body was to isolate the disease, I have faith that I won’t be on an operating table again anytime soon.
Dr. Michelle Wendt, L.Ac., DACM
Dr. Michelle Wendt, L.Ac., DACM practices Holistic & Chinese Medicine in Hawaii and Texas.