Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

B Light Healing

December 17, 2018 | Local News

By Amber McIver-Traywick

The Surveyor

Photo by Amber McIver-Traywick – Cupping glasses of various sizes line a shelf inside B Light Healing in Berthoud. Cupping is an alternative medicine practice where tissue is drawn up into a cup placed on a targeted area, like the back or shoulders, creating a partial vacuum. The intent of the practice is to dispel blood in areas of inflammation in the underlying muscle. It is sometimes described as functioning like a reverse deep-tissue massage.

Chronic pain and debilitating headaches as a teenager led Meghan McKechnie to look for answers about her health that doctors and western medicine weren’t bringing her. After a chance meeting with an acupuncturist, and receiving treatments, she had finally found the relief for which she was searching. Fast-forward to today, after years of training in massage therapy and acupuncture, McKechnie is bringing her skills and personal experience to her practice in Berthoud, B Light Healing.

After experiencing the benefits of alternative medicine as a young adult, McKechnie’s original plan was to become a doctor to research both eastern and western medicine, but she eventually found her passion in massage therapy, receiving her license from Cortiva Institute in Pinellas Park, Fla., and she has been practicing for the past nine years. “Chronic pain, I know from living with it ….is one of those things, it’s not just physical, over time it becomes a mental and emotional drain − it affects every aspect of your world. Because of that I have a unique advantage to help people with those things,” she said, while explaining what drew her to pursue natural healing as a profession.

After several years of doing massage McKechnie then continued her studies pursuing the practice of acupuncture, that had provided a solution to her pain, at East West College of Natural Medicine in Sarasota, Fla., eventually transferring to Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, Colo., where she earned her Master of Science in Acupuncture in 2015.

Acupuncture has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years and, in its classical form, is one of the oldest types of medicinal practice. The basic idea is that by stimulating specific points on the body, generally by inserting extremely fine needles through the skin, which on a recent visit to B Light Healing McKechnie demonstrated, are actually flexible, 30-40 of which can fit inside of a traditional hypodermic needle, a myriad of health concerns can be improved or alleviated.

According to traditional acupuncture, there are 14 meridians, or energy channels, in the body that allow the flow of qi, or our bodies own natural energy. Depending on which school of thought on acupuncture to which a practitioner adheres, there are between 361 and 2000 pressure or needlepoints on the body in total. “In acupuncture they call pain chi and blood stagnation, chi being the energy that flows through the acupuncture channels the energetic life force, and blood quite literally becomes stagnant where there’s pain, so the idea is to free the blood and move the energetic flow,” McKechnie explained.

After practicing in Longmont for two years she moved her family and practice, now located at 1211 Lake Ave., Suite 202, in Berthoud in May of this year, “We wanted to give our kids a different life, more of a community vibe in a small town.”

Acupuncturist and massage therapist Meghan McKechnie stands with a figure that illustrates many of the acupuncture points and meridians on the human body inside her practice, B Light Healing in Berthoud.

Unlike many acupuncturists McKechnie doesn’t leave her patients while they receive their treatment, unless they prefer that method. She instead utilizes multiple techniques at once, which she calls “acussage.” “I have found blending the acupuncture and massage modalities together make the treatments last twice as long and affect the patient in a more powerful way.” She offers a variety of other treatments including acupressure, which she said she often uses on children, and cupping – a practice that was notably used by Michael Phelps during the 2016 Olympics.

Acupuncture done by a licensed professional is generally safe with a very low rate of mostly minor side effects. While receiving acupuncture therapy you might feel a slight sensation when the needle is inserted but should not experience any sharp pain or discomfort. Some people experience a slight dull ache but, according to McKechnie, this is a good sign the needle has been properly placed.

A long list of conditions is said to be helped with acupuncture; including but not limited to arthritis, migraines, back and muscle pain, digestive issues, recovery from surgery, insomnia, anxiety, hormonal imbalance, sinus and allergy issues, high blood pressure, PMS, immune disorders, addiction, and emotional disorders. She noted that, aside from physical concerns, many patients also seek help with anxiety. “The beauty of acupuncture is you can really affect the nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system, you can affect the emotions as well as affecting the physical body. You’re getting to the root cause, but you’re also treating all of the symptoms,” McKechnie commented.

When asked about the frequency or number of treatments someone should anticipate having she said she likes to see clients at least three to four weeks consecutively followed by six more visits spread out. This amount of time and number of treatments should indicate if the modality is going to be successful. Chronic on-going issues, she said, will require periodic maintenance appointments. McKechnie said she has purposely kept her price point lower than average as she wants to be able to help as many people as possible. She also mentioned that although she doesn’t directly accept health insurance she does provide receipts clients use to receive reimbursement from insurance providers who cover her services.

Anecdotally, aside from her own experiences with acupuncture, McKechnie has seen conditions from allergies and general muscle pain to migraines and multiple sclerosis symptoms improved through her practice. “Western medicine kind of looks at chronic issues and says we can give you a pill, but we can’t help you function in life outside of that. Those are my passion projects for sure. It really is about helping people when they don’t see a way out,” she said.

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