You guys. Pull up a seat. Get comfy. I feel a legitimate NOVEL coming on. Because I had such an amazing experience yesterday at The Well Chi and I cannot wait to tell you every single detail. As you know, I love being a wellness guinea pig. I’ve tried Qi treatments, cryotherapy, IV’s & B12 shots, vitamins, electrolytes, and pretty much any other thing you can think of.
But let me back up a minute and explain why I’m always trying this crazy stuff out.
Four years ago, I moved to Chicago, and along with it came SO many changes. I started a new (extremely stressful) job, was living hundreds of miles from anything familiar, and was literally eating PB&J’s because it was all I could afford. (Early 20’s, amiright?!)
Long story short, my body went into complete chaos mode. I couldn’t properly digest anything I ate. I was in so much pain after every meal I was miserable. My hair & nails were brittle, my skin was dull and broken out 24/7, and I even had a bald tongue at one point because I was lacking so many nutrients. I know. Weird, right?! Literally a bald tongue.
I went to internal doctors who couldn’t tell me what was wrong, and then finally a gastroenterologist who diagnosed me with IBS and put me on a daily medication. Along with the medicine came some really FUN side effects including drowsiness (all day, every day), a dry mouth (I’m talking Sahara dessert up in here), and very little pain relief. So then they bumped it up a notch and put me on medication that I took 3 times a day with even more side effects. It finally contained the pain, but I was always SO tired my quality of life just didn’t make it worth it.
What I found so interesting is that none of the doctors I went to asked me anything about my lifestyle. They immediately ordered invasive testing, like colonoscopies & endoscopies, but never asked me what I ate or asked me to try eliminating foods from my diets to find out if there were any sensitivities. Who knows, maybe they thought I already tried this, but I hadn’t. And the procedures and pills weren’t helping.
Finally I took matters into my own hands and cut out gluten for a month. It was difficult but a good learning experience (did you know there’s gluten in soy sauce?! WTH?) and I did feel a little better. But I still didn’t feel 100%. I started eating healthier (no more PB&J’s!) and slowly weaned myself off my medication. And that’s when I started really searching for how to cure my issues. I genuinely wanted to find the root of the problem and not just put a bandaid on it.
Since then, I’ve bounced around from doctor to doctor, hoping to find someone who would help me figure out the cause and help me finally contain my symptoms.
Seriously you guys. Going to The Well was EXACTLY what I have been looking for.
First of all, when you walk in, there’s just a really good energy right off the bat. Everyone is so nice and they even have the CUTEST pup EVER, named Coco, who is a little therapy dog. She sat with my while I filled out my paperwork. #OBSESSED.
After Coco & I finished my paperwork, I met with Dr. Frer and we started with some basic questions and discussed how I’ve been feeling and the digestion issues I face on a day-to-day basis. Then, she did a physical exam (even checking my tongue for inflammation and spots) and checked my pH levels (which were on the low end of the spectrum). She explained to me that she could see from my tongue that my liver wasn’t properly filtering (which has also been confirmed with previous blood tests with high liver enzymes) and that my body is in an acidic state, which means there is inflammation, and we needed to get it to an alkaline state so it can heal.
She also explained she believed the root of my cause to be a faulty Ileocecal Valve, which allows waste to flow backward in your system if it’s not functioning properly. This malfunctioning valve can show as joint pain, migraines, chronic sinusitis or allergies, dark circles, IBS, and racing thoughts. (And I was like check, check, check, check…)
Honestly she could have stopped right there because I already felt a million times better just knowing that someone finally understood and could see what I felt on the inside.
She suggested a multi-step treatment, including NO medication, but rather a combination of electro-acupuncture, pressure-point taping, back adjustment, deep needling, and cupping. This would help my body clear up Qi energy and move it into a healing state. I know this sounds intimidating, so I’m going to break down each treatment.
I think this one probably sounds like a total Frankenstein moment, so let’s start here. This was my first time every trying acupuncture, and honestly, you really don’t feel a thing except for a teeny tiny initial prick. Dr. Frer places the needles on certain pressure points depending on the issue, and then once they’re in place she connects tiny electrodes on them to apply constant stimuli to the pressure points, which gives more effective results. And honestly? You just lay there for 20 minutes in a nice dark room with a blanket over you and you fall asleep anyway!
After my initial round of acupuncture was completed, Dr. Frer taped my feet. It may look strange but it is taped on the Bladder 64 pressure point, which is connected to the Ileocecal Valve. I keep the tape on for 3 days, so during this time, the tape applies constant stimulation to the pressure point, helping the function of the valve.
This is just how it sounds. Did I mention she is also a chiropractor? It was my first time getting my back adjusted and it felt AMAZING. Especially after throwing my back out a few weeks ago.
Deep Dry Needling
I realize this doesn’t sound pleasant. but as someone who holds a ton of tension in the shoulders and upper back, the tiny amount of pain at the beginning was totally worth the results. My upper back finally released so much of the tension it’s held and I’m able to move my neck around without extreme stiffness.
Ok, I know this is what everyone is SO curious about since every Olympic swimmer was polka-dotted in Brazil. Cupping is basically using small glass cups to pull the skin and muscle away from the bone and move the blood flow to the affected area. This promotes healing of the area and a reduction in inflammation. She focused my cups around my shoulder area and I was able to sleep on my right shoulder without pain for the first time in YEARS. It literally doesn’t hurt at all (it actually feels really good!) and now I have super cool polka dots on my back, too!
After the treatments were completed (which was around an hour to an hour and a half in total time) we discussed my diet and she suggested that I follow a mostly Paleo diet to reduce my symptoms (which is basically the same as Whole 30) and at the very least reduce my consumption of dairy and grains. She also suggested I cut out some “trigger” foods and see if that helps – including my beloved coffee.
So yes, I’m sipping on tea right now with a slight headache but I will do anything to feel better! Coffee, I will be back soon, my love, I promise!
Overall my experience at The Well was absolutely amazing, and I would HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend to anyone in Chicago visit Dr. Frer for any type of health issue. She treats digestive issues like mine (IBS, Chron’s, abdominal pain, heartburn), any type of musculoskeletal pain, female conditions (including infertility – they even have the sweetest little Success Story wall in their office!), skin disorders, and emotional issues such as depression and anxiety.
Plus, she genuinely cares about how you are feeling and wants to help, not just put a bandaid on the problem and call it a day!
Pricing is a little hard to narrow down, because they DO take insurance, so give them a call if you want to discuss your insurance carrier and any pricing involved. They provide free consultations! If you want more information I would suggest going to their website because they share a TON of info on there, as well as some FAQ’s!
So tell me… Are you already booking an appointment? Does any of this freak you out a little? Or are you a skeptic? Tell me everything! I will see you tomorrow for another COFFEE (tea) TALK! Can’t wait! Xo.