By Nancy Smorch
I mentioned the other day that it was Health Week for me, and that one of the avenues I was using to get back into balance was acupuncture.
I went to my acupuncture appointment this afternoon and I promised to give you an update, so here goes:
For those of you not too familiar with acupuncture, it’s a form of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for pain, illness, and disease that originated in China over 5,000 years ago.
It was actually used in other countries for many years as well, but with the development of Western medicine it fell largely out-of-favor as a serious treatment.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that interest in acupuncture resurfaced in the Western world. Since then, it has gradually grown to be widely accepted as a primary treatment for pain and other disorders - especially in the last 5-to-10 years, as more and more people seek alternatives to traditional Western medicine.
Now it is becoming even more known for its treatment of various disorders including headaches, infertility, allergies, depression, symptoms of menopause, digestive conditions, respiratory disorders, endocrine issues, ADD/ADHD, fatigue, stress, and many more.
TCM is based on belief that optimal health is achieved by a balanced flow of qi or chi - the vital flow of life energy, blood and fluids. Qi flows through the body by fourteen different “meridians” or energy pathways. Twelve of these pathways are associated with specific organs (i.e. kidney, liver, large intestine).
Disease, in TCM, is the result of too much or too little qi in various parts of the body which results in an imbalance in the body’s systems. This can occur due to a number of reasons… like emotions, diet, work, stress, or mental or physical trauma. Acupuncture re-balances this energy flow by inserting special needles along certain “acu-points," of which there are many, located all over the body.
So, again, it’s Health Week for me, and I felt there were a couple of things that were “off”, including digestion, hormones, and my ability to focus. In talking with the acupuncturist, I decided to focus on digestion and mental clarity today - I figured if I addressed digestion, the others may just clear up in the process.
After talking with her for a while, I got on the table and she inserted the needles - some on my head, abdomen, wrist, shin, and feet – but it was totally painless. I lay there and tried to meditate for 30 minutes. It took me a while, but I actually did start to relax and my mind became somewhat quiet – kind of nice, actually!
She recommended I come back 3 more times. In the past when I’ve had it done, my liver was blocked and afterwards I was pretty tired. But I’m feeling pretty good right now! I’m interested to see how my future visits will affect me.
I have some friends who have experienced great results with acupuncture. One was having a hard time getting pregnant, and after a couple of acupuncture sessions, she became pregnant. Another uses it to reduce stress and help relax her mind.
Another uses it for allergies in the fall and notices a ton of improvement in her symptoms, and yet another friend used it for debilitating back pain that no one was able to help him with - after his sessions, he was able to return back to work and continue to enjoy an active lifestyle.
I firmly believe so much joy and health can come from eating the right foods, and fortunately I’m pretty aware of when I need to bring in some “back up” support for my health, like I did this week with the massage, the essential oils, the nutritional consultation and kinesiology, and the acupuncture.
I feel so much better – it’s a good lesson not to wait so long to nurture myself! Make sure you are all taking care of your bodies and your minds, and have a healthful and relaxing weekend.