Healthy Living

With Kate Williams
Acupuncture as a tool for Well-Being

Acupuncture as a tool for Well-Being

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After getting through a challenging January 2017, AKA “the month of unfortunate events,” I noticed things had changed with my body – and not for good. My anxiety was definitely still there but I also started noticing my fatigue had greatly increased. I would be completely wiped out after simply going to the grocery store or cleaning up the house, insomnia was a typical occurence, I had severe irritable bowel symptoms and my hormones seemed especially out of whack. Each month between March and May, I travelled and while I was excited about these trips, my body seemed to be revolting. It seemed like I couldn’t handle any event out of the ordinary and would be left feeling like I was hit by a truck for several weeks after.
Unfortunately during this time, I was also ramping up my workout routine, lifting heavier weights and continuing to restrict food. For the first time in five years, I was starting to see results building muscles and losing fat, which then motivated me to work out even harder and more often despite the obvious stress I was feeling.
Acupuncture
My chiropractor, who I’ve gone to for spinal adjustments for the last 18 years, had always offered acupuncture but I had been nervous to try it. The thought of needles being poked into my skin wasn’t very appealing. But now after receiving regular acupuncture treatments for the last ten months, I wish I had started earlier.
Acupuncture is a technique used in Chinese medicine. It’s most commonly used for pain relief but many use it for overall wellness and stress management too. During acupuncture, very thin needles are strategically inserted in the skin by a practioner educated in acupuncture techniques. By inserting needles into specific points along meridians in the body, acupuncture practioners believe the flow of energy is cleared and becomes rebalanced throughout the body. Most report that the needles do not hurt I find they sting a bit when they’re first inserted, but the pain quickly subsides. I’ve noticed the pain has decreased over time.
After the needles are inserted, the patient lies on a padded table or a reclining chair and relaxes for 10 – 20 minutes. When I receive acupuncture, I prefer to listen to a meditation or soothing music and in room with dimmed lighting. Many patients report an emotional response during or after their sessions. While they can be intense, it’s a positive sign that energy is releasing and moving in your body.
There are minimal side effects to acupuncture. Make sure you’re using a certified acupuncture practioner and s/he is using sterile needles. Most acupuncturists use disposable needles, so that shouldn’t be an issue. Occasionally, patients will experience bruising which subsides after a few days. There are some people who shouldn’t have acupuncture such as pregnant women and people with blood disorders. (For more about acupuncture, check out this article on mayoclinic.org)
Have you tried acupuncture? If so, did it help with your specific ailment?
xoxo
Kate

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