Who are you and how did you get to Brooklyn?
I’m Christiane Siebert. I practice acupuncture and Chinese medicine at Serenity Health Arts near Grand Central. I hail from Cologne, Germany (yes, the one with the big cathedral) and came to the United States for graduate school in music more than twenty five years ago. I worked as a freelance jazz musician in New York City for many year. Currently, I’m in the process of completing my doctorate in Chinese medicine at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine.
How did you start climbing?
I started climbing with the Appalachian Mountain Club several years ago. We mostly climb trad and ice at the Gunks and in other climbing areas here in the Northeast. I’ve been involved in outdoor adventures and conservation for a really long time. I come to Brooklyn Boulders several times a week to hone my skills, stay strong and hang out with my climbing buddies.
What impact does climbing have on your life?
I’m very passionate about climbing. I really enjoy the movement, the intellectual challenge and above all I enjoy the camaraderie. My health has improved and my social life has improved; it’s a great sport that can take you outside of your work life in the city.
How did you become interested in acupuncture?
I used to have serious back problems, and acupuncture helped me get back on my feet. After 9/11 I was ready for a career change, and the holistic approach of East Asian medicine just made a lot of sense to me. In 2001, I had the chance to spend time in Japan, and became intrigued by acupuncture because of how effective it is without adding chemicals to the body. Acupuncture can be immensely helpful for climbers, along with shiatsu and moxibustion.
Wow. So your back problems are solved?
My back problems no longer prevent me from doing anything. It’s so amazing how acupuncture can allow the body to restore balance.
How can climbers benefit from shiatsu / acupuncture / moxibustion?
Acupuncture & moxibustion (a traditional form of heat therapy), as well as Asian bodywork such as shiatsu and tuina, are part of Chinese medicine. Along with Chinese herbal medicine, they can treat a wide range of health conditions as well as help people stay healthy. I focus on athletes and have added a number of modern techniques to my toolkit, including trigger point therapy, sports medicine acupuncture and a number of other helpful therapies out of the martial arts tradition. I also studied orthopedics, neurology and pharmacology so that I can understand my patients’ injuries from a biomedical perspective and work with their other medical providers to offer the best care.
Climbers can benefit from my work in several different ways: I can help relieve pain (without painkillers), help regain mobility and strength, and get climbers on a path to better health. Many athletes use acupuncture to prevent training fatigue and enhance recovery after big events.
Want to know more about how acupuncture can benefit climbers? Check out Christiane’s blog post on her website here.