Happy Sunday Calm Chatters! I’m super motivated right now to get all of these thoughts about Acupuncture out of my head and into this blog post!
I admit, I’m sick of it, I hear it 10-20 times a week, “does acupuncture work? does acupuncture hurt? what does it feel like? Unfortunately, after 10 years in practice, I’m becoming desensitized. I’ve repeated my answers so many times and I’m so convinced of my thoughts on the subject and so successful in my practice that I don’t feel the need to promote acupuncture or convince people of my opinions or knowledge about it. BAD ATTITUDE, I know. It’s just that it works SO WELL, and it DOESN’T hurt, nearly as bad as getting blood taken, but people do that ALL THE TIME! Flu shots are WAY more painful than acupuncture but no one worries about that OR questions the Doctors or Nurses about it. They just completely “assume” that blood work and flu shots are necessary or required and therefor, they do it, no questions. Yet, close to 70 people in a week will come in to Calm Community Acupuncture and LOVE their treatment, LOVE how they feel, they will say things like ” my migraine is gone….” or ” my pain is 70% better…” and still the majority of Americans have never tried it and are afraid it. Is it wrong that I’m getting to the point of “WHATEVER! If you don’t like it or your scared then whatever!” It’s kind of how I feel when I make an amazing dinner, amazing, delicious, and one of my daughter says, “EEEEWWW!! I don’t like onions! I don’t like peppers!” I feel the same way, more for me. MORE ACUPUNCTURE for those of us who love it and if you’re scared or don’t think it works, whatever. Is that wrong??
It is wrong. It’s wrong because I think ACUPUNCTURE IS AMAZING and I want EVERY AMERICAN, EVERY HUMAN to try it out! In this blog post, right now, I’m changing my attitude and I’m going back to where I was 14 years ago, when I so wanted to go to school to study this HEALING ART FORM that nearly saved my life.
It’s true, it saved me. I hear that weekly, I hear “you saved my life” so often. It’s not really the acupuncture itself that saved my life, it’s the philosophy of Chinese Medicine, the Physician who cared enough to help me, AND the acupuncture, herbs and nutritional supplements and changes that saved my life. If you’re interested in the philosophy, this book is what drove me to Chinese Medicine school! “The Web that has no Weaver”….amazing book.
The story goes that I had been struggling with chronic illness, depression, anxiety and overall misery in general since I was about 14. I was 24 years old, living in Los Angeles, an aspiring actress and a miserable one. I had been to Doctor after Doctor, I mean I couldn’t possibly count the office visits or the blood work that was done over the course of 10 years of illness. I had reconstructive surgery on my elbow, I had my gall bladder removed, I’d been on birth control ( a post for another day, don’t get me started! ), allergy medicines, chronic use of antibiotics, you name it, I’d tried it. I was still sick and miserable. One day, I was shopping on Melrose, that sounds oh so Hollywood of me 😉 and I was a mess. I was crying, homesick and just sick. I was having major digestive issues and felt so incredibly depressed. The crying wouldn’t stop, my eyes were burning and swollen from tears. I walked into a tea house called Elixir, it was a moment I won’t forget. Keep in mind, I was in the depths of despair, and this place had something I had never felt before, it was …. ZEN….
It smelled like incense and had bonsai trees in the garden, soft music that took you somewhere else, and a bar that served “elixirs” made with Chinese Herbs. There was a woman standing behind a podium and she asked if she could help me. She turned out to be an Acupuncturist and she convinced me to try Acupuncture. Mind you, I THOUGHT THIS WAS CRAZY! I was a girl from Michigan, with conservative Midwest values and this kind of voodoo crazy wasn’t in my realm of consciousness. However, she said to me, ” would you be willing to try it, if you knew FOR SURE, it would help you feel BETTER?” In that moment, I would take ANYTHING, except another prescription medication…..and so, terrified, I TRIED IT!
I was so afraid, laying on a massage table, on my back, looking at the ceiling, and feeling my anxiety rise up, my heart racing, the first needles went in and WHOA……..deep breath, it was WARM, it felt weird. It didn’t hurt at all, just warmth and sensation. After about 12 needles, I was transported to another consciousness. She left the room in silence and I had a thought….” this must be what normal people feel like….” I was CALM, relaxed, unafraid, transformed, balanced and inspired.
Within a week, I was taking 4 supplements that she prescribed, all Chinese herbs, except one supplement, that I continue to use today. It’s a mushroom immune complex from Jarrow and I swear that this was the beginning of my healthy life. I stopped eating fast food and became conscious of what I put in my body. It was California for goodness sakes, I became a vegetarian, started going to yoga ( another post for the future! love me some yoga) and of course, I continued getting weekly acupuncture.
It wasn’t long before I felt new, I felt AMAZING. I wanted to shout it from the roof tops!! Instead, I went on my computer with an idea….it was my first computer that I ever owned, a Gateway with a dial up internet. I don’t remember what search engine we used back them but I remember, after a 3AM Earth Quake thinking, I’m out of here. I’m going back East ( such a California phrase) and I’m going to Acupuncture school. I’m going to do this for other people and I am going to help them, I’m going to empower them to change their lives for the better. I found the link of an article from that Earth Quake RIGHT HERE. It was enough to shake me right out of California and right into Acupuncture School! When people ask me if Acupuncture works, really? Do you think I would’ve given up a successful acting career and gone back to school for 3 solid years, paid all the money for this Master’s program if I didn’t think it worked? OF COURSE IT WORKS! Acupuncture WORKS. Now, this has limitations. Acupuncture doesn’t “cure” anything. Listen, I’ve known people who had neck surgery and still had pain, it didn’t work. I know women past their due date, who are “induced” with Pitocin through an IV drip, it didn’t work…sometimes, acupuncture doesn’t do the trick but most of the time, in my 10 years of doing this, it works. It’s not a miracle worker. It’s an amazing therapy. Here’s what we know from research ….
Acupuncture releases endorphins, the same way exercise does!
It raises dopamine levels! Hooray, that’s the “feel good” chemical in your brain 🙂
It brings blood flow to the area where the needle is injected, hello, blood flow is GOOD!
It brings down inflammation!
Finally, from a wacky Chinese Medical perspective …. IT MOVES YOUR QI BABY! Qi is our life force, the “prana” that you move in yoga? That’s qi! Acupuncture swirls it all around for you making you feel “acu-stoned” yup, that’s what most people feel when it’s over, appropriately named “acu-stoned.”
The last question, does it hurt?? Okay, I’m going to be totally honest here and say yes and no. Sometimes, you feel nothing, other times, you feel something like a mosquito bite but it’s fast and gone , like lightening. If ever a needle is bothering a patient, I take it out, it shouldn’t be bothersome, it shouldn’t be painful, it should be a relaxing and calming event for you.
If you suffer from chronic low back pain, knee pain, neck pain, ANY PAIN, migraines, infertility, irregular menstruation, depression, anxiety, insomnia or any other myriad of problems, TRY it! Try Acupuncture, give it 4 treatments and see what you feel. If after 4 treatments, you’ve felt nothing at all, no change, then, okay, you tried it. I can say that I believe 80% of the time, people feel a difference and they LOVE IT.
Check out www.pocacoop.com and go to the locate a clinic tab. Put in your zip code and find a clinic near you. If you go to a clinic and you don’t like the Acupuncturist, find another clinic, it’s like Doctors and Dentists, like hair dressers and yoga instructors, they’re just people trying to help you but if you don’t vibe with them, find a better one, don’t let it turn you off from Acupuncture all together.
PLEASE PLEASE!! In the comments below, tell me your acupuncture success stories !! I so want to read them and know your stories….for now, have an amazing week, take really good care of yourself and GET ACUPUNCTURE!