What I Would Tell My Teenage Self by Kerry Marshall



When I was a teenage girl I had acute bouts of tonsillitis that would clear up with antibiotics but would then reoccur.  I was taken to a naturopath and with some herbs and small diet changes I was free of infections for years.  I felt pretty invincible at that age and didn’t take much to health advice but this event planted a seed. A seed that later grew to curiosity and then a career in Acupuncture. A seed that grew into a mindset that I had choices to explore different types of medicine and healing to support my health as an adult.

Being a teenager is enough, right?  There is so much change going on in your body, it’s really a crazy time the bridge from child to adult. Yes, your generation has its own years, fashion and events attached to it but we have all been there and the only way to the other side is through it.

Then add school, peers, the internet (I didn’t have this bit) relationships, pandemics (or this), parents and pressure. How much do you even think about your health?

It is a time when you can start to make your own choices but are still cared for, you have access to so much information but possibly overwhelmed. You have period apps and YouTube videos but how interested are you in your health?

This is where I think acupuncture is great for teenage girls. In my treatment room everything shared is confidential, I ask questions about how your body is functioning including your sleep, digestion, periods and moods. This alone can be something you have never thought or spoken about in such detail. I can find patterns of symptoms that you would never know were related, like waking at 3 am and premenstrual snappy vibes. I feel your pulses and look at your tongue. All this information is gathered, and acupuncture points are chosen that will support your body to heal itself. It also has a super relaxing effect.

Oh yeah, the needles!  Don’t worry many adults are scared of needles too. If this is you and preventing you from trying acupuncture then let me share. The needles are super fine, disposable and put nothing into your body! They are tapped slightly under the surface of the skin. The way I like to introduce the body to it is rub the point with my finger first then tap the needle in. I use the finest kind with those who have fear, worry or anxiety and I tell you what I am doing in the moment. Sometimes I will only put one needle in and see how you feel before using more.  I use 2 to 10 needles depending on what the needs are.  Sometimes there is discomfort for a few seconds but that is it. They stay in for up to 20 mins while you relax on the treatment bed.

We have only one body in life. We know little about what we walk around in each day. It is constantly keeping us breathing, at the right temperature and fighting disease amongst many other things.  It deserves respect and we are all guilty of not doing that. The body is also very forgiving, treat it kindly and you get results. Think of it like a battery that you cannot replace but you can charge up.  If you run it down too much it will take longer to plug in and remember it has to last you a long time.

If as a teenage girl you can start to understand how your body functions, what is normal and what is not, how your food and lifestyle choices make a difference you have a head start.  A head start to your approach to health and healing for your future selves, pregnancies and children if you choose to have them and your quality of life. I think back at what would have been helpful to know about my periods when they started, how I could have improved my skin with what I ate or had tools for my anxiety.  I wish my 40 something practitioner self could have shared these wisdoms with my 14-year-old self.  Would I have listened? Possibly not!  Can I share some now with teenage girls in my acupuncture sessions? Yes, and maybe a seed will be planted for them like it was for me 30 years ago.


Kerry is available at Mornington Chinese Medicine from 9am to 2pm on Monday, Tuesday and Friday.

138 Tanti Avenue, Mornington, VIC

03 5973 6886

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