The ancient Chinese modality of acupuncture is being recognized more and more in the west as both a practical and advanced technique for many purposes; including pain relief and over-all realignment. Based on knowledge of the body’s energy systems known as meridians, acupuncture seeks to open the flow of once blocked passageways in order to allow the body to heal itself.
What once was questionable in the western world and even mocked as ‘quack’ medicine is now shown to be a viable and extremely beneficial treatment backed by scientific studies and centuries of wisdom. Many insurance companies now cover acupuncture treatments and recognize it as powerful complementary medicine to other modern practices.
Why get acupuncture?
There are so many reasons acupuncture can help. One of the most common reasons people seek acupuncture treatment is for relief from pain and bodily tension or numbness. If there are pinched nerves, acupuncture can be greatly effective in realigning the flow of energy throughout the body, along the various meridians (energy passageways) allowing for a release in such discomfort.
Many seek acupuncture for fertility issues with great success. Acupuncture has been found very effective at restoring fertility in women because it helps to rebalance the entire system, including the emotional body, which can play a big role in inhibiting conception.
Spinal realignment along with the total reintegration of the various layers of ‘self,’ say after an accident, is one of the major issues acupuncture assists. When the body has experienced trauma, its various subtle bodies, as described in yoga and Chinese medicine, can respond with a schism of sorts. The physical body, emotional body and mental body may come out of alignment for the purpose of “protection” during the traumatic experience. Acupuncture helps one to realign these bodies, so one can come back into wellness and greater health. When all parts of us are working in harmony and alignment we can express life to the fullest.
Acupuncture has also been found to ease digestive troubles, boost the effectiveness of herbs or other pharmaceuticals, assist with weight loss, counter the effects of radiation and ease migraine headaches among other things. Often these results are found with one treatment alone, sometimes the technique must be revisited a number of times to set the beneficial flow of energy in the body into a space of more permanence.
A personal story of my own with acupuncture was following a head-on collision car accident. Luckily, I was in a very healthy state prior to the accident. I had just returned from a long yoga intensive in India and was probably in the best shape of my life mentally, spiritually and physically. I felt untouchable. It was early in the morning when I was returning to teach my first yoga class again since being back in the states. Driving down a narrow strip of road, with cars parked along the shoulder, along came a mini-van which veered into my lane. The crazy part was, I could see no driver. Apparently he had bent over to pick up a cigarette.
I had no where to go. We collided, with my brakes on, at probably 35 miles per hour each. Nose to nose. My car was totaled. He jumped from the car and ran around wildly as if he was on some stimulant, which I later found out he was. I couldn’t move. Shock over-took me, I was not sure what just happened.
We were both transported to the hospital via ambulance. They put me in a stretcher cautioning me not to move my neck or back. The other driver died on the way to the hospital from a heart attack. I suffered only minor whiplash and a hairline fracture in the knee which had slammed into the dashboard. The pain I experienced, however, was excruciating. After coming down from the shock, my body felt flooded with chemicals and hormones, my muscles tense and contracted – as if to have attempted protection.
No pain killer could numb the pain I felt. The strongest thing the doctors gave me barely softened the sensations. After a day or two, I opted for acupuncture after the suggestion of a friend. I had never had it before and I was skeptical. One treatment, however, was all it took for near-instant relief. The excruciating pain subsided and I was able to think clearly. I began to realize that I felt as though I was outside of my body watching the whole thing. After several treatments, I felt myself “step back in” and take back full habitation of the form. For those of you who have experienced a severe accident, you know what I mean. Consciousness literally steps aside, outside of the body a bit, and the body feels slightly separate.
This schism can happen after physical trauma, emotional trauma and other experiences which are difficult to process. Acupuncture realigns the body with all of its “parts”, bringing harmony once again to the body vehicle and mental states.
In China, acupuncture is used as preventative medicine, in order to keep the body healthy and functioning optimally. It can also help to open deeper states of awareness in the mind, if the body is not pre-occupied with some sort of healing necessity. There is a new type of acupuncture available today, practiced by some therapists called Esoteric Acupuncture, which can sometimes even bypass the needles and use either oils, crystals, or visualizations instead. It really depends on one’s state of consciousness and that of the one practicing. This type of esoteric acupuncture can often be done on oneself, without a practitioner.
If you have not experienced acupuncture before, I would highly recommend the experience. The needles feel like barely a prick, and the results are quick and amazing. For more information, visit your local acupuncturist or various websites on the subject. There is so much out there on the subject. It’s time to allow yourself the healing. Try acupuncture for pain relief, greater awareness and over-all alignment and love yourself up!
Written by: Stasia Bliss