Perhaps what has kept you from going to an acupuncturist is the unknown. Fair enough since that can be pretty scary. So let me tell you a little about the basics of acupuncture. Hopefully getting a picture of what to expect during treatment will encourage you to take that first step toward experiencing a powerful time-tested healing modality.
Unknown is not the same as unsafe
Right, we all know it uses needles, but they’re really, really thin. Speaking only for my own practice now, most of my patients tell me they find acupuncture treatment a relaxing experience. Some patients are nervous before the first treatment. Most of them are relieved to find a needle’s bark is far worse than its bite (so to speak).
Besides, acupuncture is a safe and effective healing art that has been honed over more than two thousand years of uninterrupted practice. It is used worldwide both as a primary and complimentary treatment for a wide range of conditions and has helped at least a gazillion people. Well, almost anyway.
When I first see a client, the session is focused on finding out where a person’s symptoms may have come from and what other treatments they have received. I like to know my patients have been responsible about seeing a western medical doctor as well. But interpretation of the information and treatment are quite different.
In East Asian medicine what underlies the symptoms may be even more relevant than the symptoms themselves. This is the reason I ask my patients questions about their childhood, current life style, diet, past illnesses, traumas etc. Only after I understand a person’s general situation do I carry out an acupuncture physical examination.
Should I come only when I’m in pain?
Many people assume acupuncture is only for physical pain control. In reality it is a valuable complementary healing modality for many illnesses both chronic and acute. It is also used in healing support after accidents and injuries.
Acupuncture is also receiving a great deal of recognition for its benefits both before and after surgeries. I have been able to help patients overcome anxiety before surgery and help speed up post-surgical healing processes as well as help patients overcome post-surgery depression.
As one of the great ancient healing modalities it works on the spiritual and emotional bodies as well as the physical. This is one reason it is a fabulous way of supporting the body as it carries out its nonstop work of maintaining health and everyday healing.
Special types of acupuncture
This ancient field is finding new uses as it makes its mark in the new age era of spas, baby boomers, and a focus on staying young. One specialty is facial acupuncture – acupuncture treatment tightens connective tissue, pulls energy into treated regions, increases blood flow, increases general well-being and truly helps beautify because it comes from the inside out.
Fertility acupuncture is another special area. Specific treatments have been created to help establish the ideal environment for conception by supporting a harmonized hormone flow.
Some of the more well-known specialties include acupuncture sport enhancement and injuries, in support for treating addictions and weight control.
No one modality can be all things to all people. But acupuncture, one of the oldest and most highly developed of the healing arts, continues to demonstrate how it can be many, many things to many, many people.