Recently I went away with my family…like, the whole family! I thought whilst I was packing my bag the night before that I might just sneak some of my needles in amongst my essentials, on the off chance that one or two of my family might like a little bit of TLC on their holiday. I didn’t realise that nearly everyone would end up being treated on my week away from the clinic. So, my practice had a home-away-from-home spot in a quiet corner of our rented cottage. By day two of the holiday & amongst themselves my family started to form a little schedule for me, deciding who would be going first, bickering over whose problem was more ‘urgent’ than everyone else’s, gentle whispers as wives egged on husbands to “just give it a go for goodness sake!”. Knee pain, back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, runner’s injury, sleep & relaxation, menopausal symptoms…
By the end of the week I was equal parts: flattered that I could be a part of my most treasured people’s wellness journey; overwhelmed with the realisation that even those who had an Acupuncturist within the family, still didn’t understand how this incredible medicine worked.
I have always been fascinated by western science - the methodical and meticulous process of delving deep and finding answers to all the ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions from as many different viewpoints as possible. Evidence so far suggests that when we activate points with needles, or any other form of stimulation, for some, subtle changes can occur within the musculoskeletal, vascular and endocrine systems of the body. Blood flow around the body can become steadier and more directed towards a specific location(s) in order to speed up healing, trigger anti-inflammatory responses and remove blockages where blood has become ‘stuck’. In some instances, stimulation of the muscles can provide relief from tightness and help to find structural equilibrium. Regulation of hormones around the body, including: reproductive hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, can promote the release of stress and encourage internal processes to work optimally. The connection between all these pathways and systems? Nerves. The nervous system reaches throughout the body, is thought to be the mediator and primary responder & for all the above by being the link between the brain and the rest of the body (the mind-body connection).
Yet Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years. Ancient texts that still guide practitioners around the world to this day, like a universal language spoken in almost every single country in the world, provide us with a very clear & concise idea how this wonderful thing works. As individual beings we have something known as ‘Qi’ or ‘life energy’ that flows around our bodies (actually, it flows within us, around us, between us…you get the message). In a healthy, pain free, relaxed, happy person this energy is flowing smoothly, to the right locations of the body, at the right time and in the right amounts. Like our DNA, each person’s energetic flow is slightly different to the 7.5 billion others on this planet. ‘Symptoms’ are quite simply the way in which our body shows us that our Qi/energy has strayed away from its usual rhythm. It might have become stuck somewhere, it may be flowing to fast or too slow. When a selection of points are then stimulated with fine needles in the correct location around the body, a balance in Qi can be restored for physical and emotional wellness.
For some of my loved ones, this was their first experience of such a beautiful therapy – they took a chance. How might Acupuncture be able to help you today if you just gave it a chance?