“Acupuncture is used when the chi is out of alignment to help the body fix itself. It redirects the chi and blood flow to areas that need to be corrected. The body is really incredible at healing itself,” Bickford said. Through the use of thin, hair like needles, she is able to help correct issues her patients are having.
“The body almost opens up for it, instead of slicing and cutting,” she said. The needles are very different than the ones used in a doctor’s office.
Bickford works out of Raymond RediCare, 1278 Roosevelt Trail in Raymond, and has been there since last October. “I love it here,” she said. She has been treating patients for four years.
“In the military I broke my back,” she said. She tried acupuncture treatments because she wanted to be able to ride her horse again. After five treatments, she was back on her horse. Her back issue is completely resolved and only occasionally does she need touch ups if it gets reinjured.
In her practice she treats a lot of pain, Bell’s palsy, gynecological issues like infertility, digestive issues, Crohn’s Disease, IBS and heartburn. It is also effective for seasonal allergies, stress and anxiety.
“It’s starting to become a little more popular,” she said of the treatments. In addition to acupuncture, she also does cupping, Qi-Gong and Gua Sha on injuries.
Bickford has an undergraduate degree in professional holistic development and two master’s degrees in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
In the herbal component to the practice, Bickford combines formulas from 487 single herbs that have been around for 200 years and modifies the blend for each person. It can be a pill form or granules, depending on what she is treating. The tinctures and herbs are sent from a manufacturing plant before given to the patients.
Bickford recommends the acupuncture first and then try herbs if that isn’t effective.
“The benefits of acupuncture are so wonderful. I think putting more things in the body isn’t necessary,” she said.
The intake process lasts approximately an hour and a half to two hours to help her create a plan to treat the whole person. By looking at the tongue or palpating pulses, she can create a treatment plan for each individual.
“With Chinese medicine, there’s no typical…everyone is different,” she said. The treatment varieswith each person being seen. “Acupuncture is very good at keeping people healthy,” she added. “It’s preventative medicine.”
“Everybody can benefit,” Bickford said. “It’s really not as scary as it seems.” She has worked on over 100 patients. Some feel better with one treatment; others require a few to get the energy moving. The typical patient is better in 10 treatments or fewer. With a diagnosis of stress, the patient may need a few more treatments when new issues arise.
“Eighty percent of people fall asleep on the table, which allows their body to do what it needs to do,” she said.
Her advice is “come in”. She’s had many patients who said they don’t like needles.
“I determine the fear level and work with that,” she said. Most people leave saying, “That was so relaxing” or “who thought getting stuck with needles could be so relaxing.”
She does not treat patients with seizure disorders. However herbal medicine can work for those patients. “I'm also careful with patients on blood thinners.”