Traditional Chinese medicine dates back more than 3000 years and has been practiced globally to help heal people with their aches and anxieties using methods like herbal medicine, acupuncture + acupressure, and cupping. These Eastern wellness modalities have become more widely available and even sought after. In New York, they’re part of the core practices for holistic healing studio, WTHN. Founded by Michelle Larivee and Dr. Shari Auth, WTHN wants to make holistic medicine accessible, less intimidating and a little bit modern.
WTHN is a perfect spot for New Yorkers to decompress from the hustle and bustle of the city. The studio offers the healing and restorative benefits of acupuncture, as well as a myriad of herbal products formulated by Dr. Auth herself, who has a Doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine; Certification in the Rolf Method of Structural Integration, Pilates, Ashtanga Yoga, PanchaKarma, Shamanism and Massage Therapy; and is also a board certified herbalist.
Acupuncture treatments at WTHN fall under three areas, Prevent / Heal / Glow, with punchy names like Trust Your Gut (for digestion aid) and Face Time (for facial acupuncture). When compared to your average acupuncture sessions, WTHN elevates theirs with heated tables and sound therapy (binaural beats created exclusively for the studio to lull you into deep relaxation).
The modern studio designed by Hyphen & Co. features a relaxing wellness lounge, a curated retail area and a vanity area to freshen up before heading back out into the city.
Since travel is on the back burner for now, we chat with co-founder Dr. Auth to learn more about WTHN and three ways you can incorporate WTHN’s wellness practices from the comfort of your own home.
You have quite the impressive background and education! What made you decide to specialize in Eastern holistic practices?
As a young girl I knew I wanted to help people. I started practicing yoga and meditation at an early age and delved into ancient wisdom + medicinal practices which all centered around the mind-body connection. I decided the best way I could help people is through mind-body medicine, so I began my studies in holistic health. I have since studied ancient modalities all over the world including China, Japan, Thailand, India and Peru.
Do you think there are any barriers preventing people from seeking out these alternative modalities of wellness and wellbeing?
Over the years, I have seen the obstacles and barriers that clients can face to regularly receive the quality of care that they deserve and that can transform their lives—from price point (the average in New York is $150 per session – at WTHN we have cut that in HALF) to convenience (location, hours) and more. I wanted to change that paradigm. WTHN’s mission is to help people feel their best by making acupuncture + herbs accessible to all.
Let’s talk about some of the ways someone can incorporate WTHN’s wellness practices into their routines. Ear-seeding, acupressure, face cupping – it all sounds very interesting but intimidating! Can you give us a crash course lesson?
As part of our goal of making natural healing more accessible, we have intentionally launched products that can be used at home and can be available to a nationwide audience. During the COVID pandemic when healing is needed more than ever we have accelerated the tools that we offer at home.
Acupressure is a great DIY technique to promote stress relief and wellness from the comfort of your own home. Just like acupuncture, acupressure stimulates points across the body that correspond to various ailments and conditions. When trying acupressure, make sure you’re comfortable. Healing is best when it’s a multisensory journey – you can set the mood by dimming the lights, playing soothing music or lighting a candle. Here are a few easy techniques to try:
**Relieve headaches with Taiyang: Did you know rubbing your temples is a part of Chinese medicine? The temples are acupressure points known as Taiyang, and have been used to calm the mind for thousands of years. These points can be used for tension headaches, a common symptom of a high-stress lifestyle. Try it by placing the pads of your index and middle fingers on your temples and rubbing the point in a circular direction, slowly breathing in and out for ten breaths. Then rest your fingers in the of your temples and hold the point for two more deep breaths. Slowly release.
**Soothe anxiety + promote deeper sleep with Pericardium 6: Located on the inside of the forearm between the two ropey tendons a couple inches up above the wrist, this point is famous for motion sickness, calming anxiety and better sleep. You can try it by using your thumb to apply firm but comfortable pressure to the point. Move your thumb in a circular motion and take 10 deep breaths while applying pressure, then switch and do the other wrist.
The WTHN Acupressure Mat that launched this month, is an easy at-home, safe way to release tight muscles and find your zen. The mat features gentle, raised, plastic acu-points that provide a gentle acupressure massage. Stimulating an acupoint sends a message to the brain that alters brain chemistry and tells the body to react to achieve a desired result. The mat can be used in various positions to target where you need it most. We recommend using the acu mat at least weekly, and ideally daily for best results. The WTHN acu-mat set comes with a step-by-step How To guide to maximize results, as well as an instructional video to get the most out of your mat.
Ear Seeding is a form of acupressure that focuses specifically on pressure points on the ear, offering a gentle ongoing stimulation of an acupressure point. Ear seeds can stimulate healing in a variety of ways, just like acupressure can (think sleep support, reducing pain, supporting immunity, etc.) Applying ear seeds takes less than a minute and is the ultimate look good, feel good bling! WTHN offers its own Ear Seed Kit with 40 ear seeds and a user friendly map to choose which acu-point you need most. We recommend leaving them on for 3-5 days before removing, and waiting 24-48 hours before reapplying so as not to desensitize the point.
Face Cupping is an easy DIY home beauty routine. Face cupping is done by sliding suction cups across the face – the cup is never static so as not to create a mark on the face. Face cupping stimulates circulation, boosting both collagen and elastin. It also promotes detox for a clearer complexion and helps to tone the jawline. After a face cupping session you can expect to have a healthy glow and for the muscles of your face to feel more relaxed. Try it out using WTHN’s Face Cupping kit – this instructional video can help you get started!
Photos by Phoebe Cheong.