Acupuncture. It’s a word that strikes fear and apprehension into every soul as soon as they hear it. You begin imagining either some hippie or Chinese herbalist jamming needles into your skin, most likely causing pain, while you helplessly look on trapped. So, when my doctor recommended I receive weekly acupuncture to deal with health problems, I was naturally hesitant. I do not respond to well to pain and I hate needles, so the idea of laying on a table unable to move while someone basically gives you pain was not an enticing idea. Nope. Not gonna do it. Sorry.
Well I did. And after one failed attempt at acupuncture 2 weeks before, the time came for a second attempt at a new office. I walked in to the office and sat nervously waiting for my turn. When the time came, the acupuncturist and I talked about my health issues, she then laid me down, and seriously, the next thing I know I had about 15 needles in my body. I didn’t even feel them go in. I was amazed. This was nothing like the previous situation.
As I lay there slipping into some sort of sleepy state, she explained to me what acupuncture is and why it’s important.
Acupuncture, as defined by Live Science, is an unconventional medical practice of stimulating different organs and tissues, usually through the use of needles and herbs. Basically, ancient Chinese and Asian cultures believe that all of our bodies have a flow of energy, called Chi. When our Chi is disrupted, we begin to manifest pains and problems. By placing needles in different stimulating points, our disrupted Chi is relieved and the Chi travels through body channels called meridians. In more modern terms, our Chi can be referred to as our nervous system and hormones, and the needles can help stimulate more efficient function.
Acupuncture can be used to treat all sorts of health issues and diseases, such as arthritis, digestive issues, reproductive problems and infertility, autoimmune disorders, muscle pain, joint aches, and more. What’s even crazier is that wherever the pain is, the needle isn’t typically going to go in that area. To treat my health problems, I had needles in my head, elbows, knees, hands, and feet, which were nowhere near my problem areas. Over the course of the next 4 months, I returned weekly for treatment.
A few key things to look for in an acupuncturist:
- Are they a licensed acupuncturist? And more importantly, are they licensed in your state?
- Do they do hard or soft acupuncture? (Choose soft!)
- Double check that they use new needles every time and dispose of the used needles properly. This is a medical treatment and should be treated as so.
It’ s key that you are 100% comfortable and trusting of the individual who is treating you. If you are tense or nervous for any reason, it is not going to be a great treatment and your benefits will be lessened. Many holistic or integrative medicine offices offer acupuncture or can recommend an acupuncturist, but feel free to ask around for whom your friends may prefer.
Don’t be afraid to get acupuncture! It is a very wonderful and beneficial medical practice, and is one of the top reasons I had such great health recovery. Oh, and you can totally tell people you had needles willingly shoved in your body once. Next Evil Knievel perhaps?