So What's the Deal with Acupuncture?
Acupuncture, as well as many forms of holistic medicine, is getting buzzworthy these days. Acupuncture, however, is far more than just a trend. Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of medicine we have available to us and it’s long list and range of touted benefits may feel too good to believe.
So What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture involves placing very small needles at certain energy points of the body to correct imbalances and break through any energy blocks so everything is flowing harmoniously. It began 2,500 years ago in China and has gained popularity in the West for decades now as a complete medical treatment for various ailments.
Many acupuncturists provide a holistic treatment plan depending on what your ailments are that can consist of combining acupuncture sessions with chinese herbs and supplements, massage, tai chi or adding treatments such as cupping or cranial sacral work. For this reason, most acupuncturists require new patients to begin with a consultation before jumping into the treatment, in order to get the most benefits out of your sessions.
What are the Benefits and Why Should you Use It?
Acupuncture is used for everything from cancer treatment to general fatigue.
Popular reasons include, but are not limited to:
- Addiction and Emotional Disorders (anxiety, depression, PTSD)
- Digestive problems
- Pain Relief and migraines
- Arthritis and Parkinson’s
- Stress management and fatigue
Why I do Acupuncture
I’ve personally been using acupuncture treatments on and off for over five years, for various conditions. I’ve used it for emotional well-being, fatigue, stress reduction, insomnia, and for treating chronic skin conditions (eczema). Most recently, I’ve found it to be extremely beneficial for pain relief like when I sleep on my neck wrong or pull a muscle. Initially I went weekly, and now I go monthly just to keep my body running optimally and my immune system at it’s best.
It’s fascinating to go there with neck pain and see the practitioner put needles in certain spots on my calf and suddenly feel relief. Also, although that might sound painful, I promise the pain is very minimal if at all.
There is such a different relationship and understanding of how the body connects and works in chinese medicine than how we understand it in the West. Eastern medicine is based on treating the root of disease (imbalance) versus the direct symptom.
I would highly recommend anyone living in Western world to try it, and it happens to be one of the most accessible and affordable forms of treatment depending on the area you live. Many places have community acupuncture centers (if you’re living in Santa Barbara, Downtown Community Acupuncture) or yoga studios/spas that offer weekly community acupuncture sessions on a donation basis. Private practitioners will usually work on a sliding scale basis and many charge under $100 full price for an hour session.