Alright, folks. New Years is just around the corner, and it is time to start thinking about resolutions for 2015. Here are 10 reasons why trying acupuncture should top your list.
1. It works.
Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years. We acupuncturists have the benefit of the accumulated wisdom of over 2500 years of acupuncture practice around the world and acupuncturists experimenting to find out what works best for any given condition. Moreover, modern clinical research is showing that acupuncture really works. In recent years, clinical research studies in the United States have shown that acupuncture can reduce pain levels in chronic pain patients, improve success rates in patients undergoing IVF to get pregnant, reducing frequency and intensity of migraines, and reducing hotflashes in breast cancer survivors, to name just a few. More and more hospitals in the US are bringing acupuncturists onto their staff, and the US military is using it to treat soldiers and veterans. Many famous athletes use acupuncture to keep them healthy, including NBA stars Kobe Bryant & Dwayne Wade, former NFL fullback Tony Richardson, and NHL player Alex Petrovic.
2. It can improve your health in ways you haven’t even thought of.
Acupuncture looks at how everything in your body is connected. Very frequently, patients will come in for treatment for one condition, and find that over time the acupuncture improves other conditions, as well. For example, patients frequently report that acupuncture makes them sleep better, have more energy, feel less stressed, or have less musculoskeletal pain, even if those are not their reasons for seeking treatment.
3. It is relaxing.
A wonderful side benefit of acupuncture is that is elicits a relaxation response from the body. So no matter what health condition you are seeking help with, acupuncture will also put your body into a state of relaxation, which helps with the healing process. Plus, it feels good!
4. It can help your mind and body deal with stress.
There are very few people who live without feeling any stress on a day to day basis. Between work, family, property, financial, and personal obligations, most of us carry our stress in our bodies in one way or another. This may manifest as muscular tension, fatigue, trouble sleeping, headaches, weight loss or weight gain, anxiety, or a whole host of other symptoms. Acupuncture helps the body to deal with stress better. We aren’t removing the stressors in your life, but we are helping your body to handle them and process them better, leaving you feeling less stressed!
5. It will open your mind.
Acupuncture, by definition, necessitates that we look at ourselves in a different way than many of us are used to. Where Western medicine breaks the body down into smaller and smaller pieces (cells, DNA, viruses, etc), acupuncture seeks to make connections by looking at the whole. There is a time and a place for each approach, but for those who have not encountered Eastern Medicine before, this is a new way of thinking (and experiencing). You don’t need to “convert” to an acupuncture mind-set…leave that to your acupuncturist. But just knowing there is a different way of understanding your body, and seeing the results of that understanding, can be profound.
6. It will improve performance.
Acupuncture can enhance performance – whether that means playing better on the soccer field, recovering from colds or injuries more quickly, or focusing better at work or school. When our bodies are stressed or out of balance, lots of aspects of our lives suffer. By rebalancing the body and addressing the underlying issue, acupuncture can improve performance in a wide variety of arenas.
7. It can prevent sickness or other health issues.
Acupuncture is not just a treatment for when you are sick or hurt – in fact, some of its most beneficial aspects come with it as a form of preventative medicine. In ancient China, the doctor’s role was to keep his patients healthy. They paid him for their treatments as long as they were healthy – they stopped paying when they were sick, as he hadn’t done his job effectively. This idea is at the core of acupuncture and Eastern Medicine – it is much easier to keep you healthy than to fix you when you are already sick or injured. (We do that too, though.) At our clinic, we see many patients for maintenance care, which means coming in for treatment 1 time every 4 to 6 weeks. These treatments focus on keeping your body healthy and preventing future issues, or preventing old health ailments from returning when the body is stressed. Wouldn’t it be great to not get sick this year? Or to get less sinus infections? Or to sprain your ankle fewer times during the basketball season?
8. It might have an answer for you, when other medicine has failed.
Acupuncture is not a cure-all. However, because it is a different approach to healing, it can work when other treatments have failed. We see numerous patients who come to us after medication, surgery, or other treatments have not been able to alleviate their symptoms. While acupuncture may not always work in such a situation, it often can.
9. It understands your weird array of symptoms.
Acupuncture is all about understanding how the body is connected. Frequently patients are experiencing a strange cluster of symptoms that don’t relate to each other, at the surface. This can make people feel like there is “so much wrong” with them, or feel like they don’t know where to start in the getting healthy process. However, acupuncture frequently sees a connection between these varied symptoms, based on the relationships between acupuncture channels. For instance, a very common presentation from an acupuncture perspective is someone experiencing tension in the neck and shoulders, tension headaches, digestive upset when stressed, sciatic pain down the outside of the leg, an uncontrollable urge to sigh, a stifling sensation in the chest, a feeling of something stuck in the throat, painful menstrual cramps, feeling irritable, and waking up at 3:00 am and being unable to fall back asleep. These symptoms are all related to one acupuncture channel/system – so there isn’t “so much wrong,” it is just about rebalancing one system!
10. It is a relatively easy way to take care of yourself.
If you are pretty healthy, and a maintenance plan is right for you, coming in for a 1 hour treatment once per month is a relatively easy thing to do, to keep you healthy! And if you are like so many people – taking care of loved ones, of your schoolwork, of your job requirements, of your staff and coworkers, of your children’s school, of your community, but leaving little time to take care of yourself…do this. You deserve to be taken care of, too!