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What is Polyvagal Acupuncture?

Polyvagal Acupuncture is a specialized application of oriental medicine developed in response to the challenges of the COVID pandemic, during a time when elective medical services were largely unavailable. Facing a dire health crisis characterized by paralysis, severe pain, and loss of motor function, I utilized my extensive background in Somatic Patterning, developmental neuropsychology, classical Japanese acupuncture, and polyvagal theory to innovate this method.

This technique uniquely combines acupuncture with reflex integration to restore proper energy flow in the body by enhancing vagal tone through pathways that retain or have not fully integrated reflexes. Contrary to common perceptions, vagal tone can be observed in the body's fascia and muscle tone, allowing many patients to visually and physically discern their energy flow for the first time.

Clinical Observations and Applications

Throughout my own rehabilitation and during the COVID crisis, I observed a consistent pattern of energy disharmony across all patients, many of whom were first responders and healthcare providers experiencing acute stress and emotional distress. The approach developed not only aided my recovery but also proved effective in treating these frontline professionals, suggesting a new therapeutic avenue for conditions like PTSD, overwhelm, and emotional distress.

Further insights were gained following another significant health event affecting my spinal cord, which provided new data leading to breakthroughs in treating neurological conditions such as Parkinson's, PTSD, and Multiple Sclerosis.

Treatment and Recovery

During sessions, patients often experience visible tissue regeneration and symptom relief. However, true recovery involves a mindfulness process where patients learn to alter reflexive muscle patterns that hinder the vagus nerve's function. My advanced training in primitive reflex integration and vestibular therapy over the past four years supports this, offering a regimen that helps re-integrate instinctual muscle patterns through neuroplasticity.

While many clients seek periodic relief from symptoms, those facing more severe neurological and trauma-related conditions achieve profound healing through a tailored combination of reflex integration and movement therapies specific to their needs.

I am deeply grateful to my injured medical providers in San Diego who so generously worked on the front lines to keep everyone else safe (inclding myself!), and with open minds,  made themselves available to develop this new work over the last 4+ years.  In treating both my patients and myself, I have also enjoyed the fruits of this new work and look forward to a full recovery from my own condition.



"I have been a patient of acupuncture and specifically Dr. Jenny for over 12 years.  Originally, I was sent as a Work Comp patient after I was injured at work.  I have continued to come because I feel renewed in both body and mind.  Her style has evolved over the years, and we are growing together.  I tried other forms of acupuncture and massage prior to coming here, and frankly, I didn't believe in it and only came because I was sent here by my Occupational doctor.  I am a firm believer in medicine now, and her ability with labs is frankly amazing. I encourage my own patients to consider acupuncture as a modality when I can." - private patient since 2010

"My name is XXX and I have been a professional (prone) paddle border for the last 7 years and have been a competitive athlete since I was 12 years old.  I have been getting acupuncture treatments from Jennifer Moffitt for over 15 years.  During the first 12 years of acupuncture treatment, I saw Jennifer to help treat my athletic injuries.  During the last 3 years, Jennifer evolved into more than just an acupuncturist.  She is able to quickly assess the needs of the patient and is able to work wonders with her intuitiveness as a healer and her expert experience as an acupuncturist.  The focus of my treatment changed from treating injuries to keeping my body primed for my workouts.  Currently, I see Jennifer once a month to clear out any blocked channels that prevent me from achieving maximum efficiency when I’m paddling.

She is able to clear blocked channels in one visit where it would’ve taken at least 3 visits to clear many years ago.  I still remember a shoulder issue that was plaguing me for two weeks.  It got to the point during a workout where it just locked up with limited mobility and was extremely uncomfortable.  I went in to see Jennifer that day and I walked out of her office a new person with full mobility in my shoulder.  I was able to paddle comfortably the very next morning:)

Now when I come in for my monthly treatments I walk out of the office with my muscles feeling like melted butter...relaxed and ready to take on the world with my workouts and competitions.  I have recommended Jennifer to many of my athletically competitive friends since she stands above any acupuncturist I’ve seen and will achieve results." - Private patient since 2007

"Jennifer has given me a wonderful gift by bringing my body and mind together. I've had significant neck, shoulder, and arm pain for quite some time. When I originally came to Jennifer at The Healing Arts Center, my pain levels were ranging from 7-9, but after our first session, they were down to a 3. Jennifer's approach is non-invasive and honest, and she creates a setting that allows me to integrate and heal. She authentically and clearly guides me to touch even the most difficult aspects of my life, and she possesses a unique capacity to genuinely transform these experiences into fuel for my own growth. I always feel comfortable and respected by her at all times, and our collaboration has given my life new meaning. Jennifer draws on a variety of sources, and her comprehensive approach has particularly impacted me. She has the ability to influence the body, mind, and spirit, providing invaluable insight into our various realms of experience and consciousness. I'm also blown away by how much our teamwork has taught me new tools to help me manage my own health."  -Sharp Rees Stealy Medical Group.

As a trauma therapist, I thought I had largely resolved most of my baggage, especially since I treat a large number of trauma survivors in my own practice.  Working with Jennifer has opened my eyes to how deeply I was still living in survivor mode as a result of certain childhood experiences, and many of the coping skills I had developed, particularly over control, hypervigilance with my own children, and a near-constant state of anxiety have given way to more peace, more calm.  I am more able to hang onto myself when triggered, and this has deeply shifted how I work with my own clients."  - private patient since 2021

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