For many years I knew little about acupuncture except that it was an ancient Chinese healing process involving needles. Yes, you guessed it, I hate needles, so it was never something that I considered or researched at all for a long time.
25 years ago I lived in the south of England and attended a private beauty college to learn how to become an international level beauty therapist so that I could open my own business, after leaving the world of oil and gas, (more on that story later). One of the visiting consultants was a western medicine doctor that had left the profession to pursue alternative natural medicines after becoming very disillusioned with the western approach of “pills for everything”. As we know, pills alleviate the symptom but not necessarily the cause.
His session involved a talk on the meridians in the body, acupuncture and working with our energy flow to cure illness and maintain wellbeing. Initially a sceptic, he had my attention because he was charismatic and handsome! Ok, Ok I know, how sexist of me!!. Halfway through his session, I was watching him perform acupuncture on a student and with my own eyes, I saw blue lines, yes blue lines like her veins were on the surface of her body. Sitting in the front row, he saw my reaction. After the session, he approached me and asked what I had seen. I told him. He said, “you realise you saw the meridians”. I said “yes, but why didn’t anyone else?”. He then said to me it was “because I had healing powers”. At that point, he lost me. I thought it was rubbish. That thought over the years was to prove me wrong many times over. I wish I knew where he was today.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a medical practice that involves stimulating certain points on the body, most often with a needle penetrating the skin, to alleviate pain or to help treat various health conditions.
In traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is linked to the belief that disease is caused by disruptions to the flow of energy, or qi, in the body. Acupuncture stimulates points on or under the skin called acupuncture points or acupressure points, releasing this qi. The qi then travels through channels called meridians, (our bodies own healing mechanism). It has been well accepted over the last millennia that acupuncture relieves chronic pain but was never recognised as a cure for diseases. Now, the practice is being used for conditions such as diabetes, liver problems, anxiety, infertility, brain fuzziness, PTSD, fibromyalgia and even cancer. Due to there being very few doctors in China for centuries, then this method was used, improved and perfected over the years to now having global recognition.
Again, another example of how we have to resort back to ancient proven methodologies once western medicine falls short. Our society has become so “pill” dependant we now have tragedies like the opioid crisis. Please read my “power of the Planets” blog on another ancient practice we let go and now realise we need.
So, how did I finally give in to acupuncture? I damaged my left knee, had type 2 diabetes, (not yet diagnosed), was overweight by a few kilos, severe back pain after gardening, poor sleep patterns just to name a few. A very good friend of mine, Karen, recommended a local naturopath that was excellent at acupuncture. Yer, yer, yer, but thankfully Karen was very convincing and even offered to come with me. Her main point was “it doesn’t hurt you don’t feel it and it works!”. Ok, I better give it a go as her Sunday steaks were delicious and I didn’t want to risk being uninvited!!
She was right, it did not hurt but what I felt initially was a dullness as the needle was inserted. They were put into my ankle, arm, knee and top of foot. At the end of the session, it just felt warm. I made appointments for three more sessions. On the third session, I now know how good this guy was as I felt warmth, like gentle warm water running throughout my veins around my body. He had connected and opened the meridian channels. I recalled all of this from my training session many years previously. I was hooked because it was working. Swellings went down, the pain left my back and I could sleep again. This balanced with some natural therapies and cupping, I felt better than I had in years. Even to this day, I feel better due to the therapies he taught me. I am no longer cynical, based on fear, and I feel I have learned a lot about the body’s ability to heal itself if we use nature and some old tried and trusted methods.
More recently, I experience severe pain in my left elbow. Everyone said I had “tennis elbow” but what was that and how did it start? After trying various methods of alleviation, I returned to acupuncture. I also combined this treatment with increasing my magnesium, collagen and B12 supplements along with checking my zinc levels. After 3 weeks the pain has gone and elbow is back to normal. What I love about acupuncture is the balancing of the body and not just a localised treatment.
Fort those of you who are sceptical, afraid of needles or just can’t understand how it works, what have you got to lose if it doesn’t hurt. As this works on your meridian channel, it connects all of those symptoms that initially seem isolated and unconnected with each other. Below are a couple of links for you to learn about acupuncture and the meridians it works on. Give yourself the gift of trying if nothing else. Use acupuncture along with diet and exercise to achieve the BALANCE you deserve.
Always give complete medical history to the practitioner before embarking on treatment. e.g if you have a bleeding disorder as some people are not suited to this process.