Walda Laurenceau | Acupuncturist

 
 

ON A TYPICAL DAY OF WORK…

I usually go to my private practice in the FIDI area of lower Manhattan to see scheduled clients/patients and in between make house calls. The time I spend with patients depends on if they are new or existing. New patients typically spend about 90 minutes with me where I gather up as much information about their health history to any issue that they may want to work on ranging from emotional to physical discomforts. I spend a good portion listening to clients as well as work on getting a sense of what is happening energetically by checking their tongue/pulse for imbalances, then treating them with acupuncture for about 1 hour. My existing patients for acupuncture run for about 45 min to 1 hour. My appointments are by appointment only.

ON THE MAIN FOCUS OF HER WORK…

The top three issues I see and work on often are connected to issues with stress/depression, digestive issues and women's health. There is always going to be pain no matter what.

ON TEAFÈY INFUSIONS AND PERSONALIZING WHAT HER CLIENTS CONSUME…

I started TeaFèy while I was still finishing up my Master's with acupuncture. I really just loved working with herbs and wanted to create something that I could share and would be a great fit with my future as an acupuncturist. But, I also wanted something that was also close to home. I grew up in a Caribbean family - Haitian household Herbs and natural medicine was always part of the mix especially when we needed to recover from a stomach ache to a fever. In Haitian Kreyol, "fèy" is considered herb and/or plant medicine. When trying to concoct a name for this tea brand, I definitely wanted something that connected me to my roots and family, so it made perfect sense to create TeaFèy Infusions. Creating custom or bespoke blends is such a great aspect of what I do. Not everybody is equal so being able to curate specific herbs by creating a blend for a specific issue definitely hits the mark. One of the ways I did this in the past was through tea blending workshops. I'd take participants through what I call a sensory journey by getting them in front of the herbs and allowing them to touch, smell, and taste with instruction on the benefits. Based on what they were seeking, I'd also walk them through their own blending and process as they selected herbs we discussed until we narrowed it down to their perfect cup. Right now I do one-on-one consultations, but I'm definitely thinking about bringing the workshops back. I love the energy that it creates when you see participants really connecting to their custom tea blends - it really becomes a special cup of tea because it's personal.

ON SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T BELIEVE IN ACUPUNCTURE…

I think it's important to not push why I think acupuncture and these other modalities work, but I would offer the benefits of how it works by saying to them how acupuncture helps to regulate homeostasis in the body and to some degree works on the nervous system. The needles when inserted into acupuncture points, wrap connective tissue around itself thereby stimulating electrical changes at a cellular level. When the change happens at a cellular level, it's an electrical stimulation that establishes the connection to the meridians and the Qi of those energetic centers in the body known as meridians. The state of meridians can affect the healthy balance and play of free-flowing life force, referred to as Qi. When we get out of balance, (aka homeostasis) acupuncture can help to restore, realign and move stagnated energy. I also like to give the visual of a clean free flowing river. It's often peaceful and easy to listen to - this is an example of homeostasis. The flow of water is smooth and balanced. However, when and if dirt and debris slowly accumulate over time, that clean flow and sound of water will eventually get blocked, the water will become murky and thick and will slow everything down because it's flow has been compromised and is now stagnated. So, the needles almost act as a key to unlock, loosen and free space when activating the energy within an acupuncture point. Each acupuncture point has a specific function and when paired with other points, those functions intensify. When using all of these "keys" to stimulate an electric charge at a cellular level, acupuncture can help to release blockages so Qi can flow without any obstruction. That obstruction of flow can come in the form of pain, emotional frustration/disorders, irregular physiological functions (i.e. menstrual issues, constipation, insomnia, etc...) and much more. 

ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HER BACKGROUND AND WORK…

My journey into health really came from my own desire to be healthier as I have had my own health concerns, especially in the area of women's health. At a young age, about 24 I was diagnosed with fibroid's and experienced heavy bleeding that was very uncomfortable. So, my desire to learn more about how I could feel better and heal better with more natural alternatives led me to wanting to seek out energy medicine that came as herbal remedies, nutritional/dietary support, prayer/meditation, mindset to acupuncture. The more I applied these forms of energy work in my life, the more improvement I began seeing and feeling. I learned that the body just wants us to do our part and it responds gladly with overall improved well-being with measurable results. As I learned this personally over the years, it was easier for me to offer that support and have a better understanding on how to help friends, family and now my clients/patients professionally.

ON HER ADVICE TO SOMEONE INTERESTED IN THIS PATH…

Don't follow your head, follow your heart, because it's going to require lots of time, work, effort and will steal your sleep and often times wellbeing. I know that sounds crazy but it's true! That's how committed you have to be. When considering studying acupuncture, you have to be prepared to forget all you already know or think you know, keep your mind open and flexible and be sure to make sure you take care of yourself throughout the entire process, because sometimes, more than you like you may drop the ball on you. The program is 4 years with heavy understanding of the sciences from anatomy to pathophysiology and then there's all the theory behind what makes East Asian medicine. It's a merging of East and West. Be prepared to rearrange your schedule and get as much support as you can because it will be helpful and necessary. It took me just under 8 years part time between managing work, and all the unexpected adventures of life. Get ready for a gamut of considerations that range from financial responsibilities to attend school to work-life-family balance. The key is (if possible) to have people around you that are supportive and understanding - that is key. But after you've gotten through the storms and managed to get up the mountains of homework and reading and get through all the valleys of testing and state licensure exams, it will be worth it. You will be renewed.

ON THE CHALLENGES SHE’S FACED THROUGHOUT HER CAREER…

Once I got my license to practice acupuncture and impart all I knew in practice to patients/clients, the initial challenge was me. Trusting myself was the challenge. Believing in my capabilities and worth as a new graduate was the initial challenge. Once I was able to get past my fears or insecurities in terms of what I had to offer and what I was worth it helped to clear the way. I put in so much effort and time and knew that there was value in that and I had to trust that I would attract the patients that want to not only be better, but are willing to invest their time, effort and commitment to their health. Building a practice takes time and the next challenge was to not rush that process - always remembering it's not about quantity but quality- trusting that I needed to grow a strong foundation with measured and solid results.

ON HER INSPIRATIONS…

Personally, my mother inspires me. She's a badass, her sheer will and faith are amazing and I love that she is grounded no matter what. I'd definitely consider her a high-being! Professionally, I love Michelle Obama, her grace and intelligence are enough- what I get from her is "just be you", the rest will follow.

ON WHAT SHE WANTS TO SEE MORE & LESS OF IN THE WORLD…

I'd like to see more of love and respect. I know that seems, maybe, cliché, but really, I do. I believe if we lived in a world where people could take true ownership of their behavior without projecting their crap onto others, we'd listen more with our heart and not the ego where we can face our insecurities with confidence and let the shit go. I'd like to see a lot less of people struggling financially and less of this living paycheck to paycheck B.S - it's becoming a weight that is bringing down the morale of most people on this planet and creating more chaos than managed budgeting. I think it all boils down to freedom. More freedom to live in peace within ourselves, with others and to be in balance with our life affairs

ON BEING AN ENTREFEMMEUR…

To me it means having the audacity to believe YOU CAN! To be bold enough to think it up, write it down and start seeing it come together. Being an entrefemmeur is pure magic. I mean literal magic, because as an entrefemmeur you divine by sheer will to manifest what you see for yourself in another dimension of time and space and to make it tangible in the here and now. It's about faith. Pure faith. You don't know how, but somehow you feel it because you know it. Once she knows it, the power of the entrefemmeur is unstoppable.

To learn more about Walda, you can follow her on Instagram and find more about her here.