During the intake process on an initial acupuncture visit, the word normal is used many times by a patient. I thought to myself one day, what is “normal” and looked up the definition. On many websites, both noun and verb descriptions sound so negative. If you look up the word normal, you will see definitions such “not abnormal”, “average in psychological trait”, “free from infection or disease or malformation”.

With this in mind, I try to have a patient change their mind set and use words like regular, routine or common. So when a patient uses the word normal, I get into a deeper discussion. For example, a patient may say they have challenges with their sleep schedule which is “normally from 2am to 11am.” You may be thinking wow this patient should go to bed at 10pm to get better sleep. However, there are individuals who are musicians or work 12 hours shifts and rotate, like police officers so they can not go to bed every night the same time or at 10pm. This does not mean they are not “normal”, it simply demonstrates their “regular sleep cycle” is a different time than your sleep schedule.

This is what I love about acupuncture and the theory behind a treatment plan. The elite group of patients I work with have taught me a lot. I can have five patients with low back pain and all five patients may have different treatment plans based on their answers to the intake questions.

Back to the original question, “Honestly, is that normal?” The answer is absolutely! People come from different countries, states, backgrounds… jobs, no jobs, have kids, no kids, pets, no pets but when we are together we all have one common goal, to be healthy. You are unique in your own way so essentially no one fits the description of “normal”. Next time you hear the word, “normal” or use it, try to think of a more positive word replacement.

Carleen Implicito is a licensed acupuncturist in New Jersey and New York, board certified nationally by the NCCAOM. She completed a graduate degree in acupuncture at the Eastern School of Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine in Montclair, New Jersey.  Her education at the Eastern School has made her understand that not only does acupuncture treat modern day ailments or injuries, it also enhances recuperative power, immunity, mental and emotional balance. Acupuncture addresses the root of the disease as well as the symptoms. Health is achieved, and disease prevented, by maintaining the body in a balanced state. The mind and body are not viewed separately, but as part of an energetic system. Carleen’s passion lies in educating and empowering patients about their health.  She believes that providing patients with knowledge about their health issues, and lifestyle choices aids in achieving better health and overall well-being. With an undergraduate degree in Athletic Training, from Purdue University, Carleen has worked with athletic injuries in various sports. She specialized in orthopedics, sports medicine and musculoskeletal injuries. Her background in Athletic Training has given her an extensive understanding of anatomy and physiology. Carleen’s goal is to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western medical treatments and to further enhance the communities’ education in East/West therapies.

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