Interview with Acupuncturist Courtney Rose

Interview with Acupuncturist Courtney Rose

Courtney Rose is based in Huntington Beach, California and has built a practice founded upon channeling the body’s innate wisdom to cultivate deep healing. With a philosophy that prioritizes working with the natural aging process, she offers traditional acupuncture treatments, cupping, acupuncture facials and micro-needling, also honoring the medicinal benefits of botanicals, to create synergistic experiences encouraging healing that radiates from the internal to the external. We are delighted to get to speak with Courtney and receive insights from her unique perspective on aging gracefully and supporting her patients in a way that truly meets them where they are!

R+B: Hi Courtney! Thank you so much for agreeing to have this conversation with us. We are all drawn to the healing arts and specifically to the ancient healing tradition of Chinese Medicine for our own reasons, so I’m always curious about my fellow acupuncturists’ journey. What drew you onto this path?

CR: Hi! So excited to be here, thank you for having me. I have always been interested in health and wellness but was unsure which path would suit me best. After spending a few years taking classes to test out different healthcare avenues, I was still feeling uninspired. Then my mom mentioned that my aunt was getting acupuncture and suggested I talk with her about it. She was going to help speed up recovery after having back surgery and shared a little more about it with me. I went to an open house at the school I eventually ended up attending and absolutely fell in love. 

R+B: That’s amazing! I think when we’re so young it can be challenging to find our direction when we haven’t yet been exposed to so many possibilities… so exploration really is everything. I see that you also offer lifestyle and nutritional support to your patients. What does that look like? How do you help bridge Chinese Medicine teachings with the needs of your patients and their busy lives?

CR: It's different for each patient, but I always stick with three key principles: keeping any advice simple, asking the patient if that sounds achievable and exciting to try, and suggesting adding things in instead of taking things away. For example, picking a routine time to fall asleep and wake up or adding more water into their diet rather than eliminating soda, or spiking their coffee with Root + Bones instead of asking them to give up caffeine. Simple, achievable lifestyle changes over time add up and make a large impact on our overall wellbeing and therefore our enjoyment in life. Oftentimes once people start to see the effects of these little changes, they get more open and excited about experimenting with bigger ones. Most of all, education and experimentation is key. Informing patients why these changes could help them, why current habits are doing them a disservice, and reminding them that none of these changes have to be permanent helps them to relax into the process and encourages openness to trying things. We’re simply experimenting with some new habits to see how their body reacts and going from there. 

R+B: I’m so grateful that your business carries our offerings. Which Root + Bones products are on the shelves of your practice?

CR: The Marine Collagen, 5th Kingdom, Beauty Blend, Eucommia, He Shou Wu and Deer Antler. Eventually Shen Blend will be making its way in! 

R+B: Such a well-rounded selection! Have you noticed any changes in your patients’ ability to integrate Chinese herbs into their daily lives since introducing our products into your practice?

CR: Absolutely, they’re consistent with taking them! Patients often struggle with consistently taking pills or granules. Root and Bones products have such palatable flavors that they’re great alone and mix into liquids really easily.

R+B: Not to mention the Chinese herbal decoctions! I think those can be most challenging for people to integrate, but I’m so happy to hear that your patients are responding well to our extracts. What are your personal current / wintertime herbal allies and why?

CR: 5th Kingdom… it has helped me to get off of caffeine since I now sub it for coffee and is a great blend for strengthening the immune system and keeping stress levels moderated.
I also reach for a classic Chinese Formula called Yu Ping Feng San. This one is a great formula to take whenever you've been around someone that was sick or are feeling worn down and susceptible to catching a cold. Finally, homemade bone broth. This is the most underrated food medicine. You can add herbs like garlic, ginger, shallots, cinnamon, and/or oregano for keeping the gut happy, which in turn helps the immune system. 

R+B: Bone broth really is a game-changer! And I love that 5th Kingdom has helped you eliminate coffee… maybe I’ll try that one day… or maybe not, ha! What about rituals or practices; what do you find most nourishing during this season?

CR: Wintertime is crucial for listening to what your body needs. Traditionally speaking, it is a time to slow down and “hibernate.” So, if you feel like doing that (so to speak), then do it. Sticking with a consistent fitness routine always helps me through this season as well. It’s important to keep the lungs strong as they are seen as the first line of defense/immune system in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Also upping the intake of warming foods like teas, bone broths, and root vegetables while decreasing consumption of cooling foods like salads and smoothies. 
I also make sure to stick with routine monthly acupuncture and chiropractic care to keep my body systems free flowing.

R+B: Thank you for sharing in a way that feels so encouraging – these are all great insights and tips. So, while you offer a variety of services to treat so many different conditions, it seems like you are extremely passionate about holistic beauty and aging gracefully. To what degree do you believe our external appearance reflects our inner vitality, and how do some of your other treatments, like microneedling, fit into the equation?

CR: Such a fun question! So in Traditional Chinese Medicine there are an abundance of systems for simply looking at a patient to diagnose them. The face can tell us so much about the state of the inside of the body, which organ systems are in play, certain diseases and disorders that they may currently have or be prone to, our patients’ emotional state, general demeanor, how they present themselves to the world vs how they “truly feel,” and even give certain timelines for when major life events happened. So, I believe that our external appearance is a pure reflection of our inner vitality. 

Part of the reason I’m so passionate about the beauty side of acupuncture is because it’s this amazing blend of healthcare, emotional care and external self care. Let’s get real for a moment. As we go through life, sh*t happens and part of our response to life events are facial expressions. As we age and continue to use those same muscles (along with other factors), we begin to develop wrinkles that align with the emotional state we were in when we used them. And if we never work them out, then there is a portion of that emotion that just gets stored in there. So, by coming in for facial acupuncture, you not only get a treatment that works to build up the underlying conditions that determine how your aging process is manifesting, but you’re getting an emotional release as well. Think years of stressed induced jaw tension that melts away. Just talking about it makes me feel good. 

R+B: Seriously! Nothing feels sweeter than that kind of release. Just had to interrupt there to concur.

CR: Yes! Additionally, the broader treatment of holisitic microneedling provides overall fascial tension release in the face and affects/activates every channel that comes to the face. These channels all fall under the category of what TCM would call a “Yang Channel.” Generally speaking, they are responsible for the transportation and digestion of what we receive. This can be taken in the literal sense like the function of the stomach and large intestine receiving food and drink as well as the psycho-emotional sense of what we receive from interactions with the world. So, activation of these channels can help with regulating our ability to “digest and transport” what we choose to bring in and what comes our way. Personally, I love how this concept still manages to overlap the facials in regulation of mood and overall wellbeing. Whether we’re working to realign our fascia or reset our muscles, there are major health and mood benefits to both facial acupuncture and holistic microneedling.  Our bodies are amazing healing machines that really know what to do with the directions and substances we provide.  

Another major factor is that the other, more invasive techniques offered for “anti-aging” can come with big risks. I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I’m not a fan of botox or fillers. Of course, I’m here to support everyone in whatever their journey is and am not trying to make anyone feel bad for whatever their decision may be. However, there are some things that I feel aren’t being discussed when marketing this as preventative care to 20-year-olds, and it often isn’t even discussed between patient and practitioner before the decision is made. Patient education and informed consent is everything to me. Injecting neuro-toxins, especially near the brain, can pose a risk for damage to the nervous system. Botox works by “freezing” a muscle so that the skin lays flat on the surface of it and therefore becomes wrinkle-free. What many people don’t think of is frequent and prolonged use of botox leading to muscle atrophy due to lack of activity (think skipping the gym for years) which eventually will lead to needing more and more botox and actually more progressed signs of aging should the person decide to stop. Additionally, not being able to make certain facial expressions can actually have an affect on your overall emotional state and how you are able to get across your current emotional state as well. Just a few things to consider when in the decision-making process. 

R+B: I think that’s all so important and interconnected with holistic health, and really appreciate you taking the time to break some of that down in a way that’s super understandable. Do you have any favorite TCM-inspired teachings that you want to share with our community?

CR: Keep your feet warm, your belly covered from cold exposure, eat soup often, wear a scarf when it's windy or cold and stop drinking iced beverages. For skin health, focus on your gut and exercise. 

R+B: I literally eat soup for breakfast all winter long, and sometimes beyond. Soup is life. Okay, so lunar new year is upon us! If you had to choose one word to describe your overarching intention or vision for the Year of the Rabbit, what would it be?

CR: Oh man. I’m a gal of many words, haha… ummm… “Expansion” in the sense of sharing and mainstreaming this medicine. 

R+B: I love it! Thank you so much, Courtney. You all can find this holistic beauty expert over at @courtneyroseacupuncture on Instagram or at www.courtneyroseacupuncture.com. Cheers to expansion!