Getting to Know You - Dr. Deb Salazar, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Oriental Medicine (NM)

Your background in health and wellness is extensive. Can you tell us a little bit about how you first discovered your passion for wellness?

Well, it is really quite simple; I had harmony and then lost it! To be brief, I had been very healthy for most of my life until I had a major ski accident in my 20's. I broke three limbs and underwent two surgeries. It was a major transition point in my life. I knocked myself out of balance and was simply not okay with it. So, I went in search of health and harmony once more and have had many adventures and learning lessons along the way.

And how did this path lead you to a career in Chinese Medicine?

I had always knows I would follow a career in medicine; it just took some time to narrow down the path specifically to Chinese Medicine. I enjoyed many other realms of medicinal thought, but share Chinese Medicine's belief that nature is the supreme teacher and that all answers to health may be found within it's depths. If we listen well and follow it's wisdom then I believe that we too may find peace, harmony and beauty.

As a Doctor of Oriental Medicine (NM) your approach to your medicine is very comprehensive. Can you tell us a little bit about this?

Yes, I believe that everyone's journey toward health is unique. My role in this journey is to remind your body how to find balance and remind YOU how to listen to your own body. I may be better trained to understand ti's calls, but no one can every know your body better than you.

But, until we reach this level, I carry an every-growing toolbox to aid us along the way. I think it is very important to be realistic with patients and the more vast my tools, the more likely that we find solutions that are manageable and doable.

Nonetheless, I do believe that the more deep and comprehensive that a patient is willing to go, the deeper the health. Sometimes we must peel the layers of disorder away before we get tot he root of the problem. It is here that I encourage patients to seek and work toward because it is there that true and lasting healing may take place. But, it does require work and not just from me.

If someone is new to Acupuncture, what can they expect at an Initial Session?

An Initial Session is generally 90 minutes and entails a thorough health history so that I may understand the foundation upon which the current main complaints are built. Then we proceed with the normal acupuncture treatment and discuss further recommendations, if needed, such as; herbs, lifestyle modifications, supplements, etc. Most patients actually enjoy the first treatment - they get a lot of attention.

Of course, the most common question we get when talking about Acupuncture is 'does it hurt?'

Acupuncture is different for everyone depending on the day, the time, the season, etc. Some people are certainly more sensitive to acupuncture than others and some people don't feel anything at all.

Acupuncture may elicit different sensations, but at no point during a treatment do I want a patient to feel uncomfortable. The deeper a patient can relax, the deeper the treatment may work. Our aim is not to create pain or discomfort, but relaxation and calm.

The benefits of acupuncture, if only for mere relaxations, can be profound and outweigh any thought of 'pain'.

This ancient medicine, which is possibly 3,000-5,000 years old (accounts vary), has been proven to treat a myriad of imbalances in the body. Can you tell us some of the more common disorders you treat?

I treat the gamut and learn of a new Western diagnosis or syndrome nearly every week! I welcome all patients, but personally, I enjoy working with the more difficult cases that have had little success elsewhere. I also enjoy working with women's health and of course, working with the 'healthy' to deepen their knowledge and understanding of health.

One of your areas of focus is women's health. Can you describe some of the disorders or imbalances you treat that are specific to women?

I work with women in all realms; fertility, menstruation, menopause, stress, emotions, digestion, beauty, weight loss and more.

Women are different than men and it is important that we approach their health differently. Women are like the Moon, following cycles and constantly changing from one phase of life to another. For some, these constant fluctuations cause undue stress and confusion and often they end up on my treatment table tired, hopeless, lost or frustrated. Fortunately, Chinese Medicine offers them hope again by diving deeply into the many layers and facets of a women's life and teaching us how to live in better harmony with our cycles of life.

As a mother of two {adorable} little ones, Olive and Oscar, a wife, a practitioner, and a keeper of a slew of chickens and guineas hens, how do you nourish yourself so you can keep on giving in all aspects of your life?

Well, I am not sure I do! Before I had kids, I was certainly much better at taking good care of myself. Now it is a challenge, but fortunately, my own imbalances teach me much about health!

Nonetheless, although I do struggle to find 'me time', I always try and take a moment to stretch, do my 4 sun salutations, run through some Tai Chi or most simply, check in and make sure I am slowing down and taking time to breathe. I also love gardening, being outdoors, eating pure clean foods and taking my herbs.

You and your family moved to the Cape from New Mexico in 2016. (And we couldn't be happier you did!) Can you tell us some of the things you're enjoying about life on the Cape?

We moved back to the northeast to have family and community. Family was already here and we are grateful to have found a community here on the Cape. Everyone has been genuilinely nice to use. I love that the energy is focused here, on us (Cape Codders?) and on the beautiful land. We are happy to have found a place to call HOME. We love the life on the sandbar.

Dr. Deb Salazar is available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays + Saturdays.