Holistic Practitioner Spotlight with Bonnie Diamond, a Licensed Acupuncturist, & How She has Successfully Treated Severe Back Pain with a Multi-Pronged Approach
We are speaking with Bonnie Diamond who has practiced acupuncture, visceral manipulation and craniosacral therapy for over 2o years and how she used those modalities to relieve a patient suffering from severe back pain and other chronic ailments.
Tell Us a Story About a Patient with Severe Back Pain and How You Helped
Ellen was referred to me by her doctor who happened to be a patient of mine that I had successfully treated for sciatica. In the past five months, she had been to four different doctors to find a solution for the severe back pain she was suffering from that radiated down her legs. She underwent several MRIs and a CAT scan. An orthopedist told her that she was not a candidate for surgery. The prescribed physical therapy she had gone to for six weeks and a cortisone shot only offered limited relief for a short time. Ellen complained that the pain interfered with her sleep and daily activities. Describing the pain to me as being greater than 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, she was frustrated, miserable and lacking hope.
Reducing the Pain by Changing the Energy in the Body
We began addressing her pain with acupuncture treatments. I explained that acupuncture did not work like a medication where relief would be noticeable after one visit. But she persevered and by the fifth visit Ellen was happy to report that the pain was reduced to 2-3 out of 10. By the sixth visit, she had several completely pain-free days! Ellen now was able to start exercising and stretching daily.
Poor nutrition has a lot to do with inflammation. Ellen was overweight, so together we looked at her diet. Her daily meals consisted of large amounts of sugar and processed foods. With my guidance, she replaced her usual breakfast of Pop-Tarts or Danish with my recommended “miracle breakfast” of unsweetened oatmeal, flax seed, almonds and berries. Feeling physically better, she realized that if she kept eating donuts and ice cream, the pain could resurface.
Her menus needed to change. Each week I had her cooking one new meal that consisted of a healthy protein, a healthy grain and vegetables. In three months, she has lost 20 lbs and has continued to eat more and more nutritious foods. One week she reported that her husband (who I had never met) thanked me because he was enjoying her cooking.
Ellen continues to stick to a healthy diet and come in for maintenance acupuncture. She remains pain-free and feels and looks great!
Why and When Did You Choose the Holistic Path?
In the late 1980s, I was unhappily employed as a software engineer and was looking for meaningful work. At the same time, I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I began getting acupuncture treatments to boost my energy and strengthen my immune system. During treatments I could feel energy, known in East Asian medicine as “qi” or life force moving in my body. I knew that I had found a modality that could help me heal and help others heal as well.
I started taking classes at the New England School of Acupuncture and spent several years studying the beautiful and ancient healing traditions of China and Japan. At the same time, I struggled with a puzzling chronic illness that waxed and waned. I learned the external skills necessary to become a practitioner and the internal teachings of the body.
At the end of a decade, I had a Master’s Degree in Chinese and Japanese Acupuncture and FULL health. I had made a complete recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The transformation that I experienced both personally and professionally happened slowly, through a lot of trial and error and with the help of many teachers and practitioners. I learned to listen to my body and to over time make choices to improve my health.
Healing occurs whenever the body, mind or spirit moves into a state of greater balance. Using Acupuncture, Wellness Counseling, and gentle hands on therapies like Visceral Manipulation and Craniosacral Therapy, I facilitate this movement in collaboration with my patients.
What Lessons Have Your Work and Personal Experiences Taught You?
The great lesson of my life and my work is that healing is always possible. It may require changes in how we think about our bodies. It may require prioritizing health and well-being in our lives. I find for myself and my patients that when we eat a diet rich in nutrients, we feel better. We all must eat, sleep, breathe and digest foods. There is no way around this. The quality of lives depends to a large part on the quality of the foods we eat, the hours we spend sleeping, the ability to breathe deeply and the people that we surround ourselves with. Everyone can do something a little different today to feel better.
My path has been to learn about how the body works and to listen when the body speaks. Pain is the body’s way of telling us to change. Pain offers each of us a path to greater health. Pain is a part of life AND healing is always possible. The time and commitment of healing pays off in the quality of the time we spend with ourselves and the people that we love. Imagine the joy of holding a grandchild, cooking for your family, feeling and looking fabulous.
As someone who spent years struggling with a chronic illness, I know the path to health. When I got healthy I was able to do the work that I love, meet and marry the man I love and move to Western Massachusetts, an area that allows me to enjoy life in a small town and being outdoors in nature.
What Would You Like Your Patients to Know About Your Services that They May Not be Aware of?
People come to see me all the time and because they have been given a diagnosis like arthritis or a slipped disc. They think that they have to accept that the pain they feel is inevitable. Often they have been told that their discomfort is part of the aging process. Or, they have been told that they have to take medication forever — sometimes this includes opioids.
I had patients who stopped doing activities that they love, like hiking and exercising, because of an injury. While sometimes it makes sense to slow down or switch activities, the body is designed to move. Bones, tendons, muscles, organs are all living tissue. Injuries heal all the time. We recover from broken bones, pulled muscles, torn ligaments, colds and flu ALL THE TIME.
Acupuncture, visceral manipulation, craniosacral therapy and eating, breathing, moving in a way that supports your body helps facilitate the healing process.
Know that you have the POWER TO HEAL!!
Bonnie Diamond is a graduate from the New England School of Acupuncture. She is certified in Auriculotherapy by the Auriculotherapy Institute and offers individualized, heart-centered care using a pain-free, Japanese style of acupuncture, visceral manipulation and craniosacral therapy.
In practice for 20 years, she has successfully treated people suffering from Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), Fibromyalgia, musculoskeletal pain, headaches and migraines, anxiety & depression, insomnia, recurring colds & flu, digestive disorders & hormonal issues. Bonnie’s work is influenced by her nine year struggle with and complete recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Bonnie Diamond, Licensed Acupuncturist
Staying Balance Acupuncture
247 Northampton Street, #27
Easthampton, MA 01027
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