Interview with an Acupuncturist

Rebecca Sprintz is the owner of Family Acupuncture Wellness Clinic, a registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncturist (CMAAC) in Winnipeg, and is currently in her 9th year of practice. She studied in Victoria and became a Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncturist and specializes in Prenatal care. Rebecca has trained Doulas, Midwives and Massage Therapists in acupressure for labour, has helped over 500 women suffering from infertility become pregnant and over 1,000 women deliver healthy babies.

I got to know Rebecca two years ago when my husband and I started going to Family Acupuncture Wellness for fertility treatments. It took us 2 months to get pregnant after trying for almost two years. So it made sense to have her as my first guest on my blog because I kind of consider her as my miracle worker… She is known as the “Winnipeg Baby Maker” for a good reason!

What made you want to become an acupuncturist in the first place?

I chose to become an acupuncturist after facing some serious health concerns. I went to endless doctors and testing, but unfortunately they were unable to help. That experience inspired me to study a medicine who’s strengths compliment the weaknesses of Western Medicine. I think Traditional Chinese Medicine is the perfect adjunct. (Ps. Please don’t be my first year in TCM school, I treated myself with a full recovery)

What are some common myths about acupuncture?

Myth 1: You will look like a pin cushion or porcupine.

~ How could a body possibly understand how to heal itself with that much energy and commotion? I try to limit my treatments to 12 acupuncture points (I usually use 7)

Myth 2: Acupuncture HURTS!

~ Hurt-no. Feels weird-yes. Most people are scared to try acupuncture due to their fears or dislike of needles. But the neat thing about acupuncture needles are that they are so tiny you barely feel them. You’ll experience a unique sensation “Qi”, which most of my patients actually enjoy!

Myth 3: You have to ‘believe’ in acupuncture for it to work

~Chinese medicine is not a religion. It’s a science. You don’t need to believe in it, but a positive attitude does help the body heal.

What is your favourite part of what you do?

My favourite part of my job is being able to listen to (and be a part of) people’s stories, struggles, triumphs and everything in between. I am a tightly sealed vault for many patient’s deepest secrets and personal journeys, and I never take that privilege for granted.

Your clinic treats a lot of couples with infertility issues, what can acupuncture do to help them and how does it work?

Acupuncture has the unique ability to treat both men and women suffering with infertility. For women, we can help regulate hormones, encourage an efficient ovulation, mensuration, and mensural cycle. We help manage and treat PCOS, endometriosis, amenorrhea and PMS, in addition to helping manage stress, elevated prolactin levels, and unresolved Post Partum Depression/Anxiety that can be preventing a mother from getting pregnant again. In regards to men, acupuncture is quite effective at increasing sperm motility, morphology and overall sperm count. Men are generally overlooked in a couple’s fertility struggles, but realistically if sperm quality or quantity are low, so is the likelihood of achieving a pregnancy.

Why did you choose to build your business mainly around infertility?

I starting focusing my practice around fertility when I discovered the limited knowledge and support we have in Winnipeg. I get a lot of joy from teaching women about their cycles, ovulation signs, temperature changes, and most opportunistic times to conceive. I also enjoy the challenge of treating ‘unexplained infertility’ because in Chinese Medicine there is always an undying reason why. It is my job to find that out and help.

You also see a lot of pregnant women, what do you mainly treat?

I do! Our waiting room is always filled with pregnant women seeking care and support. I treat a lot of women in first trimester to hopefully prevent recurrent miscarriages. I also help with morning sickness, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, swelling, hip and rib pain, constipation, sleeping problems, bladder weakness, and anxiety gearing up to parenthood. A big portion of my practice is also aimed towards preparing women for labour (cervical ripening, engaging baby’s head, teaching the body to contract, and easing stress and concerns about labour)

What about postpartum?

Can you imagine giving women endless support through their fertility and pregnancy journeys and then abruptly stopping contact? I couldn’t! We help with insufficient lactation (increasing milk supply), mastitis, postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, prolapsed bladder, prolonged epidural pain and headaches, and healing C-Section scars. We also treat their babies too!

Being a patient of yours I can feel the passion you have for your work. What makes you feel excited about your job, still, everyday?

I love my work. On paper it would look like I’m treating the same issues day in and day out, but in reality each person is so unique and complex that I can never tire from the challenge. It brings great satisfaction being the glimmer of light in people’s darker times. Witnessing the small (or huge) transformations are something that I continue to celebrate, and being a part of unforgettable triumphs that they didn’t think was possible will always feel incredible.