Like many people, I didn’t know exactly what I should expect with my first acupuncture experience or if I would even like it. Luckily, needles don’t phase me. A few months back I was at a breaking point – searching for some sort of relief through different holistic therapies. While I know it is rare to find one practice that will be a miracle solution, I was determined to find the combined schedule that would get me on the right path.
A little about the practice → Acupuncture began in ancient Chinese cultures as a method of healing and increasing body function through stimulation of specific pressure points across the body, depending on the area of disfunction. The point, according to Chinese medicine, is to get, and keep, your yin and yang balanced. (As trippy as that can be for some of us to think about, it is really just referring to opposite, but complementary energies and their inability to work without the other.) The benefits have been documented across many cultures, however, it was only recently given the a-okay by the United States National Institute of Health in the late 1990s.
At the time of my first acupuncture treatment, I was filled with anticipation and hope for the possibility of relief. It was exciting! That morning, I underwent my first round of Entyvio and was feeling the side effects. I had gone home, fallen right asleep, and woken up a few hours later with a raging headache and nauseated enough to swear I’ll never eat again (this is common, not that dramatic). It was difficult to drag myself to the appointment when I was feeling this way, but I had made the it weeks prior and I was sticking to it.
A little about my experience → I instantly bonded with my acupuncturist. We talked about my numerous health issues for nearly an hour before starting the treatment. Our discussion offered relief that I wasn’t losing my mind and that some of the hunches I have had about the way I was feeling were actually worth exploring. It was nice to have a discussion with recommendations versus being pushed into something. She explained the benefits of acupuncture and what we want to work on before starting and then began placing the needles in different points throughout my arms and legs, with only a few in the head, as to not overwhelm my system.
The needle placed in the top of my head allowed me to relax after a minute or so, while the ones in my arms and legs were a little more tough to break, but eventually allowed me to relax. The ones in my belly were the most surprising – after a few minutes I just started to feel a warming sensation, like it was moving and grooving … but in a good way. The most notable benefit was my nausea subduing for the rest of the evening, that alone was worth it all. Being nauseated makes it difficult to concentrate on anything, and with a vacation coming up and work to still finish for the week, it was nice to have a temporary moment of relief before diving back in the next day.
The times I have gone since, I have had a number of experiences that have only been positive. I wised up and started to go before my treatments, as to anticipate my nausea. Not unlike other Crohn’s Disease sufferers, natural energy is rare for me during the week. I am usually powered by coffee, but these early morning appointments have allowed me to carry on the first part of my work day with the energy I usually have after a great night of sleep and a double shot latte.
Why You May Want to Try It→ Overall, acupuncture has a ton of great benefits and has been used to help alleviate symptoms and treat some musculoskeletal conditions, autoimmune disorders like my own, thyroid issues, joint pain, asthma, and nausea, anxiety, and migraines. Okay, yes, I only pay attention to the things that apply to me from time to time, sorry. Linked above is a website with what I found to be a pretty comprehensive list and neutral view on the topic.
I am still working on establishing a regular schedule with this practice, but when I do find time to go, I am always happy I did. It’s not like I leave a whole new me, but I do leave in a better mood and more relaxed, which helps me get through the day. Adding this practice in has been beneficial in my life in a number of ways, but namely – it has helped me avoid having to take another pill, and opened up my mind to other holistic practices as well as taking a look at my body as a whole, instead of just focusing on the gut.
Holistic Healing Attempt 1 – check!