FOR THE PAST 17 YEARS, Dr. Katrine Hegillman has helped people with a wide range of health issues, from digestive complaints and allergies through musculo-skeletal ones like sciatica and scoliosis. Her patients love the gentle yet profoundly effective form of Japanese acupuncture she uses, as well as her consultative process.
Lois Loewen, age 75, describes Dr. Hegillman as a born healer. “Over the past two and a half years she has been treating me monthly for peripheral neuropathy, sciatic nerve pain, a broken wrist and a broken shoulder. The treatments have contributed significantly to my mobility and the overall improvement of my health…I am grateful to her for her friendly, professional, no-nonsense approach. She achieves results by combining advice on lifestyle, diet and exercise.”
Dr. Hegillman obtained her doctorate in Traditional Chinese Medicine in 1999 in Vancouver where she subsequently ran a busy practice. Since she discovered the Japanese practice of acupuncture in 2005, however, she has fully immersed herself in its continuing study and practice.
Four years ago, she moved to Victoria where she operates Oriri Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine Centre out of her home in Esquimalt.
In traditional Japanese acupuncture, abdominal (hara) palpation is central. Using it, Dr. Hegillman says she can discover long-standing stagnations from physical and emotional trauma, digestive issues, gyenecological issues, adrenal weaknesses, and chronic stress. Such palpation also allows her to monitor the treatment as she goes along, telling her almost immediately if the needle placement is working as desired. The needles are about one-half the diameter of those used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and inserted more shallowly, because, says Dr. Hegillman, the electricity of the body is actually quite superficial.
Gale Penhall, a former Vancouver patient, was pleased to discover Dr. Hegillman had relocated to Victoria so she can get help with her adrenal and digestion issues. She likes the Japanese style of acupuncture, finding it less painful and more immediately effective than other forms of acupuncture. “I also really appreciate her consultative approach. She answers all my questions allowing me to understand my system better; I feel part of the process.”
“Everyone has some constitutional weaknesses, that is, an organ or system that is a bit weaker than others,” says Dr. Hegillman. “However with oriental medicine we can identify it and support it to create a stronger and more balanced body.” Through asking a lot of questions about the patient’s history and family history, and checking the pulse, she can zero in on the individual’s patterns. “We always nourish the deficiencies, treating the root and then the branches of the problems.” Both Chinese and Japanese medicine traditions use rather poetic language, notes Dr. Hegillman, “but are based on 6000 years of empirical science.”
Dr. Hegillman’s use of both acupressure massage (shiatsu) and moxibustion is also indicative of her traditional Japanese approach to medicine. “They were never meant to be separated in ancient practice,” explains Dr. Hegillman. Moxibustion is a technique that involves warming the acupuncture points in order to speed up healing. “It is nurturing, warming and has a balancing ability,” she says.
Dr. Hegillman stays with the patient through the entire treatment, explaining step by step what she is doing and why. After a treatment, she often spends time with patients, coaching them on self care so they can speed or maintain recovery.
She enjoys working with children (Dr. Hegillman has two young ones herself), partly because they are so responsive. With children she does not use needles at all but special “tools” the children (and frail elderly) love. Called Shonishin, it is recommended for developmental issues, digestive issues, allergies, nervousness, sleep issues and immune weakness. She teaches parents how to help children to further improve with exercise.
Claudia and her two sons have both benefited from Dr. Hegillman’s care. Says Claudia, “I am continually surprised and amazed by her scope of knowledge and expertise! Dr Hegillman is warm and caring and genuinely wants to make a difference in the lives and health of her patients.”
Sasha Gale initially came to Dr. Hegillman for her three-year-old daughter. She says, “My daughter had struggled with a facial rash for months, and after one gentle treatment we saw significant changes. I could actually see improvements while Dr. Hegillman was working on her! Her dietary recommendations have made a huge difference, and she’s taught me some simple ways to stimulate healing at home using acupressure points and massage.”
Unsurprisingly, Sasha has also consulted with Dr. Hegillman about her second pregnancy and is thrilled with how good she is feeling. “My own experience with Katrine has been transcendental. I’ve been seeing her regularly during my second pregnancy, and have reaped the rewards. Discomforts I considered a ‘normal’ part of pregnancy, such as heartburn and insomnia, haven’t been a issue since my first treatment. As I approach my birth, my baby is in a perfect position and my body feels strong and comfortable. I leave each session renewed and energized. I honestly feel that Dr. H channels the healing power of the divine mother; my babies and I are so lucky to have her!”
“Acupuncture should be able to help everyone, when closely catered to the individual needs,” says Dr. Hegillman. Once energy and blood circulates smoothly, the body can begin to heal itself. “I strive to deliver personalized and very hands- on treatment that is based on abdominal diagnosis and pulse reading. The abdomen and pulse of the patient has to improve in a session; this is how I know, and demonstrate to the patient, the progression of the treatment and healing. Patients can generally feel how areas that were previously tight or painful can improve even within a single session.”
Katrine Hegillman, Dr. TCM, BSc
Oriri Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine Centre
888 Dunsmuir Road • 250-886-8863
www.oriri.ca • firstname.lastname@example.org
Edited by admin