Thinking if You Should Try Acupuncture?

by Cindy Chamberlain on November 8, 2016

Try Acupuncture Near You

Acupuncture patient getting auricular (ear) acupuncture.

Does this sound like you? You’ve been struggling with some kind of health issue for a while now. It may be a sore shoulder, digestive problems, or insomnia. Maybe you’ve tried to deal with it on your own, and maybe you’ve been to your doctor, but either way you’re not getting much relief. At first your achy shoulder or heartburn or sleeplessness or whatever was just a minor annoyance, but it’s not going away and now is beginning to affect the quality of your life. You’ve heard about acupuncture, maybe from a family member or a friend, and you’ve been thinking about trying it. But you’re just not sure…

You’re not alone. Millions of people try acupuncture for the first time every year, and each one of them was a little hesitant about whether or not it could help. Most of those people were sick or in pain, and many were desperate for some kind of relief. If you’re wondering about acupuncture, here are some reasons to give it a try:

-Acupuncture works. The research and growing—acupuncture can be an effective treatment for back pain, neck pain, hot flashes, arthritis, headaches, and many more conditions. Not sure if acupuncture can help what’s bothering you? Check out the World Health Organization’s list of conditions that acupuncture can effectively treat. In addition, medical researchers have documented changes in your body when you have acupuncture. It can increase your body’s own pain relieving chemicals, decrease inflammation, regulate hormones, and increase circulation—all functions that decrease pain and promote healing.

-Acupuncture has a good safety record. Negative side effects from acupuncture are rare when performed by a licensed acupuncturist who has had somewhere between 3,000-3,500 hours of training.  This is especially true when compared to the side effects of prescription medications or surgery. As a health care consumer, it’s important for you to ask your practitioner about their training.

-You can begin your treatments quickly. In most cases, you will have acupuncture at your first appointment, effectively beginning the therapeutic process right away. Compare this to the Western system where you may need several appointments for tests, results, and referrals before you can even begin the process of healing.

-It’s also slow. Acupuncture is considered to be slow medicine in that your practitioner takes the time to understand exactly what is causing your symptoms. You are likely to be asked about your diet, sleep patterns, environment, stress, and emotions—all factors that can impact your health. Your actual acupuncture treatment—time on the table–will take about a half an hour, and your job is to relax and allow your body to begin the gentle process of healing.

-Acupuncture offers a drug-free way of healing. One of the most common reasons people seek out acupuncture is because they have been told by their doctor that the only solution to their particular health problem is a prescription medication—sometimes for the rest of their life. Most people don’t want to take drugs, but don’t see many other choices. For many of those people, acupuncture offers them an option.

-Acupuncture is holistic. When you go to a practitioner of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, they will take into consideration your physical, emotional, spiritual, and environmental health. That’s because all of these aspects of you are interconnected. Treating just your physical symptoms only masks the underlying cause of your condition, and is considered an incomplete treatment.

-Acupuncture treats the source of your condition. This medicine seeks to understand why you are sick or having symptoms. Knowing why helps your practitioner develop a treatment that targets the cause of your condition, which takes care of the problem in the long-term. Without treating the underlying source of the problem, you are only hiding symptoms—not healing.

-Most people who have acupuncture for the first time are very surprised to find how relaxing it is. Research has determined that acupuncture actually increases the circulation of feel-good chemicals in your brain. It also blocks the transmission of pain signals getting to your brain and upregulates your body’s own pain-killing opioid system. For that reason, acupuncture can be incredibly effective for emotional conditions, such as stress, anxiety, and depression as well as conditions involving pain.

-Practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine view each person as unique, and your treatment is tailored to your exact needs. For example, if you were having trouble sleeping, your acupuncturist would first determine the characteristics of your sleeplessness as well as any other physical signs and symptoms that you may be experiencing. Only then could they determine the appropriate treatment for you. In contrast, if you went to a Western doctor for sleep issues, in most cases you would just be prescribed a sleep medication.

-Your body is programmed to heal itself, and acupuncture is meant to support that process. Acupuncture treatments are focused on removing any imbalances or obstacles to the healing process, allowing your body to do its thing.

The bottom line is that while acupuncture isn’t everything to everybody, it can be a safe and effective way to naturally resolve a vast array of health conditions. Many people come to acupuncture out of desperation when they have tried everything else, and are pleasantly surprised. Some regret that they didn’t resort to acupuncture sooner. Acupuncture takes time, because your body is actually healing itself. However, most people who have been helped by this medicine say it’s worth it. It’s natural, gentle, and actually treats the source of your condition. Isn’t it time you give it a try?

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Cindy Chamberlain is an acupuncturist in Overland Park, KS and the founder of Eastern Healing Solutions, LLC. She’s been practicing traditional Chinese medicine since 1996.

Cindy Chamberlain – who has written posts on Overland Park Acupuncturist Cynthia Chamberlain.


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