I have to admit that I was an acupuncture naysayer. Not me. I’m not going to lie down and let someone put needles in me. No way! Well, after suffering from some pretty persistent food allergies and getting very ill and very run down, I thought about trying anything. I have to say now that I am glad I did. Acupuncture has amazing healing powers!
For many years, I’ve had a bi-weekly massage. I love relaxing with a nice massage in a warm, cozy room that smells like essential oils and lotions. I look forward to my massages and just feel incredibly relaxed when I go. My massage therapist knew that I was ill. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get feeling better. After a long battle with a gluten allergy, I had cut out gluten but just couldn’t seem to regain my strength. I was zapped of energy at the end of each day. My stomach still had pretty violent spasms and at times my heart raced. My body was having a hard time coming out of the allergy-shock it had been in. One day, during my massage, the therapist asked if I’d ever tried acupuncture.
“No way!” I said. “I’m not going to do that. It just doesn’t make sense.”
She kept talking to me. “Shirley, you can’t understand everything. You’re fighting to get better. I think you should not try to reason it out. Just take a deep breath and make an appointment. If it doesn’t work, don’t go back.”
I thought for a minute. I can be pretty stubborn, sometimes to my detriment. Anyway, I thought that I didn’t have much to lose. I was having a hard time recouping strength. Food still hurt my stomach, even though it had gotten tolerable. I had headaches often too, just from being so tired. So, I waited until February school vacation to call the acupuncturist. I waited until Thursday of that week. I figured that if I called late in the week, there would be no open appointments and then I could put it off until April school vacation! (How silly these little games are that we play with ourselves!) I made the call and the acupuncturist answered. We talked about how it would work and then she said, “Why don’t you come over right now?” I didn’t really have an answer for that. I said, “Okay.” And, off I went.
I arrived at her home, where she did treatments, and she did an interview with me. She asked lots of questions and felt she could help me. While she was talking, I could feel my stomach having spasms. They weren’t as bad as they had been when I was sick, but I could feel them. She asked me to lie on the table on my back and she started to lightly palpate my stomach; my stomach was sore that it hurt to be touched, no matter how gentle. Then, she started to rub some points on my legs. She went back and forth (no needles yet) and within a few minutes, my stomach spasms stopped! It was amazing. I had not been able to stop them much at all. I started to feel a little more interested in acupuncture!
She opened packets of needles (I was also worried about reuse of needles but was assured that every needle inserted is used only once and then thrown away.) She began to touch certain points on “meridians” and every once in awhile, she’d insert a needle into a point that she felt was too hard or stiff or that I said hurt. She worked up and down my legs and then started on some points on my arms. She lit a piece of incense called moxa or mugwort and burned that over the needles. When I left that first time, my stomach had already begun to heal. I felt like I could heal and that I would certainly go back for more treatments.
The whole experience was pretty painless. The needles are very, very thin and do not hurt when they are inserted. Once in awhile, a needle will hurt a bit. If this happens, I tell her and she will quickly pull it out. I’ve had a variety of treatments including moxa on certain points on my toes, arms, stomach and back. I’ve had needles inserted in many spots including my legs, feet, arms, hands, chest, stomach, and back. She has hooked electrodes on my stomach. I have learned about meridians. Every major organ has a meridian or line that flows away from it. The meridians are energy channels in the body. Often if an organ malfunctions, treatment will begin on the furthest point on the meridian from the organ; then treatment will move closer to the issue as healing begins. My stomach was too sore to treat directly when I began treatments. Over time, I have gotten so much healthier that it’s not unusual for her to insert a needle directly into my stomach each time I do – or to insert multiple needles into my stomach. The needles are not inserted very far, only a fraction of an inch. It’s amazing!
Our bodies are made of energy and more importantly, I think, our soul is pure energy. When that energy gets bound by disease or stress or both, we get sick. Acupuncture releases blocked energy so that our bodies can heal. I never would have believed that this could happen – not in a million years. However, it works. I am proof of that. Just this week, eight months after my initial treatment, I can truthfully say that I feel normal again. I don’t just feel better; I feel healed. I’ve done more than acupuncture, that’s for sure, but to me, acupuncture allowed me to heal. I can’t say enough for the practice. My only advice to anyone reading this post would be to find a good acupuncturist. If you don’t notice a difference after two or three visits, it is probably not working. Find someone you can relax with and let them know your health issues. After finding the right practitioner, you will notice a difference in how you feel almost immediately. As my massage therapist said in a later visit, “If it works, don’t question it. Just do it!” I agree!
Photo 1 – Asti, A. (Photographer). (2010).AcupunctureAndTCM. [Web Photo]. Retrieved from https://picasaweb.google.com