The Ins and Outs of Acupuncture
Since I’ve been writing about healing modalities this week (Medical Intuition and Body Code), I thought I would round out the week with one more type of therapy I enjoy, and then I’ll be back to my usual Friday dating blog next week.
Today I’m writing about acupuncture, and about two topics specifically:
How acupuncture affects different people in different ways; and
Additional helpful acupuncture techniques you may not be aware of.
How Acupuncture Affects Different People
Having seen about five or six different acupuncturists over the years, I have a pretty good idea of what it’s all about (the practitioner puts needles into you to treat your ailments) and how it works (the needles stimulate your meridians, or energetic pathways, encouraging your body to bring itself back into balance). My explanation is a bit oversimplified, but it will do for this post.
What I have noticed is that the results I get from acupuncture vary greatly depending on the acupuncturist (they all have their own techniques and styles) and what it is I am seeing them for. Acupuncture works best for me on musculoskeletal aches and pains, and for relaxation – calming down my nervous system. It also works best when the acupuncturist uses points in a large variety of areas on my body.
What hasn’t worked well for me is being treated for organ imbalances, illnesses and systemic issues. Also, acupuncturists whose style is to needle mostly in the hands and feet (ouch!) is not as effective for me as when they use needles in a wider range of areas.
Bigger needles tend to be more effective in my case, but some points are so tender that I need the kid-sized needles, at least to start.
If you haven’t tried acupuncture before, or if it hasn’t worked well in the past, you may just need to figure out what works best for you. Some of you may prefer the hands & feet technique, or get the best results on internal illnesses or imbalances – only you can figure that out. We are all different, so the effects of acupuncture vary widely.
Additional Acupuncture Techniques
A Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner doesn’t just to acupuncture. They also offer a variety of complementary services.
A. My absolute favourite treatment are ear seeds. Acupuncture is short (1 hour) and your week is long (7 days). I find that I often feel better after a session for a day or so, but then it’s back to the usual. But then my acupuncturist, Cary Rendek, introduced me to ear seeds. Ear seeds are small seeds that are are held in place on the ear with a small piece of adhesive tape. Ear seeds may be left in the ear for a few days or up to two weeks and they usually look like this:
Each time you push on the seeds, you give yourself a mini-acupuncture treatment. I like ear seeds because I can treat myself whenever I want just by pushing down on the seeds. This way, my acupuncture experience isn’t just limited to one hour a week, I have more control and more results using seeds. And the best part? I talked Cary, into buying crystal ear seeds for a little added glamour:
Cary also uses:
B. Moxibustion, a traditional Chinese medicine where moxa (from dried mugwort) is burned on or near the patient’s skin to stimulate acupuncture points – it's not as scary as it sounds, and;
C. Cupping, where cups are placed on the skin to create a suction. It is believed that the suction mobilizes blood flow to promote the healing of a broad range of medical ailments.
As you can see, acupuncture can vary so much depending on the practitioner, the patient and the type of techniques that are used. If you’re going for acupuncture and not getting results, consider trying ear seeds, cupping, moxibustion, or a different practitioner.