Acupuncturist of the Month

Top Acupuncturist in Round Rock, TX Acupuncturist of the Month Dr. Kunika Bharodia, L.Ac., MAOM, DACM

Kunika Bharodia graduated with a Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine from the American College of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine in Houston, Texas. She works at Round Rock Health and Wellness with a focus on fertility and mental health. She believes in a holistic approach to health focusing not only on presenting symptoms, but addressing mental, physical and emotional health of a person simultaneously. 

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Hello Dr. Kunika Bharodia, L.Ac., MAOM, DACM! 
Welcome to the Acupuncturist of the Month interview.

So, how long have you been practicing acupuncture for, and what are your specialties?

I have been practicing for about 3yrs. I focus on fertility and mental health. 

What inspired you to become an acupuncturist?  

My father. My dad has been practicing acupuncture for as long as I remember. I grew up drawing lines on the meridian posters in his clinic. I watched the happy faces of his patients after being able to feel healthy and strong after years of struggling and unable to find any solution for their health concerns. I wanted to be able to make such a difference and that inspired me to become an acupuncturist.  

What was your educational experience like at the American College of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine in Houston, TX? 

It was the best schooling experience ever. From administration to teachers to students and everyone in that school and clinic has been very helpful. I was fortunate to have teachers like Dr Zhong, and Dr Jia. They generously shared the treasure of their knowledge with us. 

How has your family history in medicine influenced the way you practice TCM & acupuncture today?

Having been surrounded by acupuncturists in my life, I constantly have extra support and encouragement giving me confidence. We try to incorporate the teachings of TCM in our lifestyle. So it becomes easier for me to give them basic tips to incorporate in their life.

One of the areas you specialize in is fertility. For women who are pregnant and may be skeptical about receiving acupuncture treatment before and during pregnancy, what would you tell them?

Skepticism is quite common with pregnant women coming in for acupuncture treatments. I ask them about their concerns and address them immediately. I also explain how acupuncture can address their health concerns while balancing out the organ system which in turn will help her feel and become stronger which will indirectly help keep the baby healthy as well. I also assure them that the treatments are completely healthy and safe for her, as well as her baby.

On your journey to become an acupuncturist, what obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?

The biggest obstacle was being away from my family. But I was determined to finish my education and become an acupuncturist. Also, I have a great family support who were just a phone call away every time I needed them. 

Share a recent success story you had with a patient.  What acupuncture points, herbs, or other interventions (meditation, yoga, nutrition, etc) did you use to help them achieve results?

I had a patient come in for low ovarian reserves. Her retrieval was about 6 weeks later. And she was away on a trip for one week. During her first retrieval a few months ago, they were able to retrieve about 4 eggs.
We did treatments 2x/wk when she was in town. Along with acupuncture treatment, she followed food therapy, yoga, meditation, and switched to clean green products. Her doctors were able to retrieve 12 healthy eggs after getting treatments. Healing time after the procedure was quicker and she felt mentally good as well. Acupuncture points used on her were Ren4, Ren6, Zigong, Yintang, Du24, St36 and K3.

Do you feel that a patient’s mental health influences other health conditions that have developed in the body? If yes, how so? 

Mental health has a major impact on our health. Mental and physical health are intertwined. Stress and anxiety ends up being the major root cause of sleep disturbances, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, inflammation and many more health concerns. I feel it is very important to always have calming and relaxing points. 

What makes you feel inspired about acupuncture?

Seeing happy faces of my patients as they get closer to reaching their health goals makes me feel inspired about acupuncture.

Looking back, what advice would you have given to the younger version of yourself, who was just getting started in this profession? 

I would advise myself to pay more attention to western medicine classes. Being able to be on the same page as our patients western doctor gives them more confidence about our practice and knowledge.

What keeps an acupuncture practice going?

Sheer determination and belief in Traditional Chinese Medicine keeps acupuncture practice going.

What are specific roadblocks to watch out for as a new acupuncturist?

I feel the major roadblock a new practitioner would face would be overthinking the diagnosis. It is easy to feel overwhelmed when a patient has a lot of health concerns they would want to address. But when in doubt, just go back to the basics. It will take the stress off your mind and give you a chance to be more attentive and think clearly. 

We have all occasionally had a patient come into our practice who is upset, frustrated, and a little angry. Maybe it’s from work, being stuck in traffic, or life in general – we have all been there! What advice would you give to fellow acupuncture students and/or colleagues on how to deal with situations like these?

It’s very important to not take it personally when a patient’s response comes off as rude or angry. For a situation like this, it is crucial to keep calm and politely ask your necessary questions, check tongue and pulse (based on your style of intake) and immediately start needling with calming points. I usually start with Du20, Yintang, Du24. Your empathy and treatment will definitely have a positive result on their treatment. 

What are your favorite acupuncture points, and why?

Yintang, and St36 are my favorite acupuncture points and I use it on almost everyone. I love adding calming points along with their health concerns. Yintang and St36 are perfect for it. St36 is just a little chicken soup point. Beneficial for almost all health concerns. 

Tell us about some herbal formulas and foods you find yourself consistently recommending to your patients, friends, and colleagues.  What makes these herbs/foods so helpful? 

I feel I have recommended a lot of Jia Wei Xiao Yao San and Gui Pi Tang recently. Considering a high stress society with a busy lifestyle, mental health and insomnia related concerns have risen and my patients have benefited from these formulas. 

How do you think acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine will evolve over time? Where do you see this method of healing in the next 10-20 years? 

I feel TCM will become among the first choice of treatments and a popular method for health management. People are becoming more aware about their bodies and have started understanding the importance of holistic approach and started leaning towards acupuncture. 

Sometimes, the best resource for improving our skills is by learning from the other acupuncturists we meet along our professional journey.  What is one thing you learned from a fellow acupuncturist or holistic practitioner that has helped you in your professional growth, or in your care for patients?

My husband, who is also a licensed acupuncturist, has helped me the most to grow professionally.  We constantly challenge each other and try to learn new information. It is very important to have patient discussions with another practitioner. I was reintroduced to the bleed-cupping technique by him which drastically helped reduce low back pain for one of my patients. Discussing gives you increased learning opportunities and new insight for the treatment plan and helps you achieve better results for the patients. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has without a doubt had a significant impact on the acupuncture practice community and small businesses alike. How have you been handling the COVID-19 situation as an acupuncture practice owner and individual?  What advice or wisdom would you like to share with other acupuncturists who are also navigating through these precarious times?

With COVID, the number of acupuncture jobs available had reduced drastically. And every job required a major move out of state. If you are either starting our own practice or looking for a job, always have back ups ready. It is a new and growing field. It is also very important to not lose patience and confidence while exploring work opportunities. It is also important to know what style of practice you envision yourself working at. This will give you a clear idea on how you want your clinic to function.

“I am most proud of not giving up. There have been several hurdles I had to overcome since the beginning of acupuncture school upto being able to find a perfect clinic to work at. With the help of my family, I was able to overcome them and learn valuable lessons for life.”
– Kunika Bharodia, L.Ac, MAOM, DACM

Do you have any daily habits or rituals that keep you at your “best-self”, both as an acupuncture practitioner and person?

I have a very simple routine. On work days, I get acupuncture treatments or chiropractic adjustments and on non-work days, I do yoga and some workouts. Along with a self care routine, we follow a healthy diet with a lot of home cooked meals. These routines help me stay connected with myself and my family better. 

The kindest thing a patient said to you recently:

A patient on her first treatment, before she hopped on the table, she prayed and told me she trusts me and my treatment plan. 

The funniest thing a patient said to you recently:

A patient once told me after the treatment that she feels like a pool noodle and she’s ready to enjoy her afternoon floating around. 

As an acupuncturist, what are you most proud of thus far in your professional journey?

I am most proud of not giving up. There have been several hurdles I had to overcome since the beginning of acupuncture school upto being able to find a perfect clinic to work at. With the help of my family I was able to overcome them and learn valuable lessons for life.

If you could have a billboard with anything on it, what would it be and why? 

A cartoon character looking all relaxed and happy meditating. Few thought bubbles around it- showing its brain flexing its arm, character standing tall flexing its arm. Title would be: Need a healthy mind and body?? Come get Acupuncture. I would like to show that acupuncture benefits a person holistically and not just symptom management. 

What is your definition of success?

Going to bed happy and satisfied with life.

If you could have one superpower what would it be and why? 

Flying. So I could travel to the most remote places easily and be able to explore this beautiful planet more.

*Rapid fire questions! *:

Morning or night? Morning
Tea or coffee?
Sun or Moon? Moon
Cupping or Tui na?
Yin or Yang?
Meditation or exercise?
Instagram or Facebook?
Top 3 Favorite Books?
Veronika Decides to Die- Paulo Coelho, And the Mountains Echoed- Khaled Hosseini, If you could see me now- Cecelia Ahern

Where can other licensed acupuncturists, students, and patients go to learn more about your work?

Round Rock Health & Wellness

Round Rock Health & Wellness Facebook