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Bethesda, MD: Aurora Raiten

Fast facts
Practice type: Private
Specialties: General wellness, infertility, menopause, menstrual conditions, sexual conditions
Styles: Japanese acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), trigger point acupuncure

Why did you become an acupuncturist?
Acupuncture has, for most of my life, been my go-to source for wellness, be it preventative care or management of acute symptoms or pain. Through my experience as a patient, I became awed by the body’s incredible potential for health as I witnessed many of my own chronic issues disappear with just a little coaxing from needles, moxa, and bodywork. I became an acupuncturist to share that awe with my community, and offer an alternative to the one-size-fits-all, toxic side-effects ridden forms of healthcare which are unfortunately most accessible. Acupuncture can be, and should be, available to everyone!

What distinguishes you from other acupuncturists?
I strive to be flexible and open in my approach to treatment. While there is certainly something to be said for firmly adhering to specific protocols from one tradition, I feel like there are too many brilliant variations on the theme of natural healing to not be constantly expanding and incorporating new ideas. If there is one thing I’ve learned from working with people it’s that each person is unique, with a unique background, identity, and health history. I intend to honor that individuality and meet you where you are in each moment, drawing from my full range of education and experience to craft the best, tailor-made treatment possible for you.

What do you enjoy most about your work?
One of the most common things I hear from new patients is that acupuncture is their “last straw.” They’re aching for a baby, or they’ve been suffering from excruciating cramps or digestive issues, or coping with a nagging pain from an old injury and just can’t take it anymore. They’ve tried a multitude of other professionals for their condition and have gotten either periodic relief or no relief at all, so they’ve decided to throw all caution to the wind and try that crazy ancient getting-poked-with-needles thing—and it works! One of my dearest colleagues calls this the “wow factor.” I’m not sure if it’s more a thrill for me or my patients, but to know that I am able to facilitate that sort of tremendous healing change and help to return confidence in people’s bodies is an incredible thing.

What is the biggest misconception you hear about acupuncture?
The most frustrating misconception I hear about acupuncture is that it is just for rich people/”new age” people/women/men/insert other limiting stereotype here. The question of healthcare affordability is extremely salient, and it is disappointing that there are not more practitioners who are willing to take part in the discussion. I impart to my patients the vital importance of taking care of themselves, even though it often requires financial expenditures to do so. However, I make every effort to work with each person to maximize their treatment options in a way that is both effective and comfortable for their wallet. As for the other stereotypes, the only way to know if acupuncture is, or is not, for you is to try it out!

How do you stay healthy in your own life?
I’ve done a lot of extra training in whole food nutrition, so healthy food—from seed to table—is a big deal for me. I also train in Muay Thai for exercise and a powerful release of energy, spend as much time as possible outside, and surround myself with laughter and a loving community.

In addition to being an acupuncturist, you are also a doula. Do you recommend acupuncture to women during pregnancy?
Acupuncture is not only safe, but can be extraordinarily effective during pregnancy, from ensuring conception through managing nausea and aches and pains, all the way to delivery and postpartum recovery. During labor, acupuncture is tremendously helpful for getting things started and moving along smoothly, as well as being an adjunct to doula support for pain management and emotional relaxation once labor is fully underway. I am thrilled to be able to combine my experience as a birth doula, massage therapist, and acupuncturist in working with moms and their partners to facilitate a natural, easy pregnancy from pre-conception to birth and beyond!

Learn more and get in touch
(240) 600-7139

4815 Saint Elmo Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814

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