When I first came to Natalie Allard, I was suffering from severe necrotic bone pain that I had been experiencing 24/7 for the previous two years, just prior to moving to Asheville. Since being on narcotic pain medication on an ongoing basis was not a viable solution, and no other type of pain killer was even remotely effective, an orthopedic specialist pronounced the verdict that I would simply have to put up with the pain for the rest of my life. My response was: “That’s not an option I’m willing to settle for.” I set out to find an acupuncturist and I feel so grateful to the person who referred me to Natalie. After completing around 4 months of weekly treatments, my condition progressed from a gradual reduction in the intensity of the pain to being totally pain-free. Now, many months later, I only need to see Natalie once every three weeks for maintenance treatments and I continue to be completely pain free! I will likely progress to once a month.
I was very impressed with the way Natalie conducted her initial diagnostic workup. Being a professional counselor myself, I am extremely sensitive to the manner in which medical professionals form (- or fail to achieve) their initial stages of a “therapeutic alliance.” I need to feel heard and acknowledged as a whole person so that my physical condition is also viewed from the perspective of my emotional life, my relationships, my work in the world and, when appropriate, my spiritual orientation. Natalie’s reflective listening skills were on a par with those of an experienced counselor. She displayed what I have come to call “deep listening skills,” wherein I knew that she was totally present to me and, for the most part, only interjected follow-up questions for clarification or to obtain information specific to diagnosis within the Chinese medical model. The experience of being truly heard is, in and of itself, profoundly healing. Natalie makes a beautifully warm connection with her patients while maintaining excellent professional boundaries.
As an Oriental medical practitioner – not just an acupuncturist – Natalie has a full knowledge base of Chinese herbal remedies. I have been able to purchase a number of Chinese herbal formulations directly from Natalie at the close of sessions and have found them to be immensely effective for a number of other minor or short-term medical conditions which have arisen during the period of my treatment for the necrotic bone pain.
And finally – a message for the men out there who are either curious about or have been given a recommendation to seek acupuncture: While Natalie advertises a specialization in women’s health and medical issues, she is fully experienced and well qualified to address the whole range of men’s medical issues throughout the lifespan.
-John B., Psychotherapist, Asheville NC