Here’s why I love getting needles stuck into my body. No, really: Acupuncture can have numerous benefits — here’s why it worked for me.
If you’re unfamiliar with acupuncture, here’s the shortest explanation: It’s a form of alternative medicine in which acupuncturists stick needles into your body to enhance nature’s process of self-healing by stimulating specific areas of your anatomy.
Sound insane? Maybe. But, to be fair, in Western medicine, doctors regularly stick needles into your body and patients don’t give it a second thought. When it comes to acupuncture, though, most Americans are wary. The technique is based on Chinese medicine and the belief that our bodies are controlled by different flows of energy. When a particular flow is broken, the body reacts negatively, which means migraines, rashes, or other issues could arise.
I think that for those of us familiar with Western medicine, which relies strictly on tangible evidence, the concept of unseen elements at play in our bodies is suspicious. I was equally hesitant about acupuncture until a good friend of mine decided to study Chinese medicine (which is a serious undertaking). Years before, this friend had suffered from debilitating pain that had caused her body to seize. She had extreme difficulty walking, depression, and a host of other ailments no doctor could cure, though she took medication as prescribed and did the things the doctors told her to do. Finally, someone recommended she try acupuncture. My friend met with the acupuncturist, who first addressed her nutritional imbalances, then started regular acupuncture treatment. After a while, the pain stopped, her skin cleared, she walked normally, and her depression lifted.
I decided to give it a shot. As a writer, my body is put under a weird sort of strain. I sit at a desk, hunched over a keyboard all day, while my right arm conducts thousands of micro movements with a mouse. I developed painful carpal tunnel, and all the stretching in the world wouldn’t fix it. My doctor really wanted me to just take pain medicine and wear a brace, but that wasn’t a solution. Everything I’d been told about acupuncture suggested it was ideal for cases like mine. I found a reputable acupuncture clinic near me and made an appointment.
On my first visit, the acupuncturist and I talked about what was bothering me, then I was led to a comfortable chair, given a blanket, and I closed my eyes. I didn’t feel the needles going in at all; when I glanced down at my wrist, I was totally surprised to see several micro-thin needles sticking out of me. There was no bleeding, no pain, and no discomfort. It was much easier than getting a shot.
Acupuncture works for a host of issues (here’s a list). The downside, though, is that it’s not a quick fix. Depending on your issue, it could take six months of regular treatments to start seeing an improvement. However, it’s a lasting solution and one that won’t get your body addicted to opioids or other prescriptions.
My carpal tunnel hasn’t bothered me at all since about 8 months after I began acupuncture. I’ve heard incredible stories of other people who were helped by the treatment, and there’s a chance it could help you, but it will take time. Every time I went to my acupuncturist, I could look forward to about an hour of relaxation and the guidance of someone who truly cared about making me feel better. Acupuncture can be an effective form of healing, and it could be the answer for what ails you.
Related: Reasons Why You Should Meditate