An Introduction to AcupunctureJun 20, 2023
My Journey With Acupuncture
I’m a firm believer that people come into our lives for specific reasons. When I met Chris Goddin at a CorePower Yoga event several years ago and we discussed his acupuncture and herbal medicine practice, Balance Wellness, I knew that it was a sign.
My first experience with this therapy dates back to high school when my mom routinely brought me to an acupuncturist to help ease my severe period-related symptoms. I won’t pretend that I wasn’t a little fearful and unsure of what I was getting myself into prior to my first visit. Yet looking back, I believe that those experiences laid the groundwork for my strong belief and interest in integrative and holistic medicine today. Witnessing the incredible benefits that acupuncture brought about blew me away even at a young age.
I originally saw Chris mainly for anxiety, sleep, and digestive issues (all of which improved dramatically from his work) and soon became a regular. Over the years, he helped me with various health concerns addition to these - hormonal imbalanced, allergies, physical aches and strains, you name it.
My experience with Chris further reinforced my need to embrace the incredible power of Chinese medicine, and is much of the reason I swear by acupuncture as a part of my wellness routine today.
If you live in Austin, I highly recommend checking out Balance Wellness, as Chris is extremely knowledgable and will make you wonder why you’ve also waited all this time to give acupuncture a try! Read up on Chris and his practice here for more details.
After having to take a couple of months off during our move to Florida, my body and mind were craving the balance acupuncture provides. The past couple of months I've been seeing Dr. Jacobs at Palms Acupuncture and Wellness, and I have such great things to say about my experience and results.
With all that said, let's break it down a bit further for those who still need a little more info before jumping in...
While I was lucky enough to have a mother that was very in-tune with holistic medicine and therefore instilled in me the same interests, I know that these practices might still seem foreign to most. Luckily Traditional Chinese Medicine practices like acupuncture, cupping, and herbal therapies have become more accepted and widely available in the Western world over the past few decades, which is amazing. For a deeper dive, be sure to also check out my Traditional Chinese Medicine: What You Need to Know blog post.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture originated in China and dates back to several hundred years BCE. This practice is based on the idea that the body contains energy flows that can be tapped into and channeled through 12 particular meridians that are represented by major biological systems and organs. Over time, acupuncture became one of the major healing therapies used in China alongside massage, heat therapy, herbs, diet and so on.
How Does it Work?
The treatment specifically involves inserting very thin needles into points on the body in order to tap into particular energy centers and bring one’s energy flow back into balance. Neuroscience likewise explains how this works in that these acupuncture points are areas in which nerves, muscles and tissue can be stimulated. This is thought to increase blood flow and trigger the body to release natural painkillers.
The uses and benefits of incorporating acupuncture into a well-rounded lifestyle are abundant. Due to the lack of serious side effects, essentially painless treatment and ability to effectively be combined with other treatments, acupuncture is a wonderful, holistic solution to a variety of ailments.
Many of the main uses for this treatment include relief from headaches and migraines, stress, lower back, neck and knee pain, osteoarthritic and much more.
As mentioned, I’ve personally found relief from numerous health concerns from anxiety to hormonal imbalances, sleep issues, and more. I’m a firm believer in the healing power of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a holistic method for treating myriad issues that I’ve personally used alongside more familiar Western practices.
Wellness, in my opinion is incredibly multi-faceted, and I’m always looking for ways to manage both my physical and mental wellbeing in comprehensive and integrative ways. I highly encourage you to do your research on holistic practitioners and acupuncturists in your own area to see for yourself how truly beneficial these can be!
How to Find a Practitioner
First, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine has a directory of all acupuncturists and TCM practitioners that hold NCCAOM certification. Be sure to use this resource to find reliable practitioners that have met established standards of competency.
I likewise am a huge proponent of asking around to family, friends, and neighbors for their recommendations and referral. As with seeing any new practitioner, it might take a little trial and error to find your best fit, so be patient and willing to do the legwork!
From there, you’ll be able to discuss the best methods for embracing TCM in your own life! And yes, these traditional Eastern customs can easily and safely be utilized alongside the Western medicine practices we all know.
If you ever need any help or have more questions about this practice, never hesitate to reach out!
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