Acupuncture has gained tons of popularity in the last few years – from helping to deal with specific physical issues like back pain to supporting overall wellbeing and boosting the immune system.
With many people in the Western world jumping on the Chinese Medicine bandwagon, thanks to its effective and positive claims on the body and mind for thousands of years, it’s no surprise that this healing modality has come over with many unknowns and assumptions – so what exactly are the benefits of regular acupuncture treatments?
Myths about acupuncture treatments and their effectiveness
1. “I should only try acupuncture if I’m in physical pain.”
Treatment is oftentimes thought of for pain because pain is generally an easier area to assess progress on your own and commonly, pain conditions shift faster. This does not mean acupuncture cannot work on other areas. Because it works to restore balance in the body, acupuncture can also aid in managing emotional issues. In fact, some people go to acupuncture treatments to naturally help them manage anxiety, depression, stress, obsessions/compulsions, and ADHD. It can also help with other disturbances like digestive disorders and insomnia.
To get the most out of your appointments, speak to your practitioner about what’s bothering you. Opening up about other areas in your life can only help the process, such as your appetite, energy levels, sleep patterns and even bowel movements. Thorough communication will not only help to give you a more well-rounded treatment, but it will also help shift your main complaint more quickly (even if it is a pain complaint).
2. “If I don’t feel any form of relief right away, it’s not working.”
Often times, you may feel instant relief after your first or second appointment. However it’s important to remember that when pain or those niggling emotions come back after that (and they will) keep in mind that any change is good change.
Your body has been living with a particular dysfunction for years, and over time it adapts and creates a “new norm” so that you can get through your day and function adequately. Just as it took years to mold and shape and adapt to the dysfunction, it will also take a while to reset. Acupuncture is powerful and it moves stagnant energy at a really effective, direct, and quick pace, but it will normally take more than one treatment. When your body shows signs of change (even if on occasion things get worse) this means your body is responding, that it is ready to heal, and that it is open and accepting of the energetic shift and it wants to get better.
3. “Preventative acupuncture is useless.”
You don’t need a serious injury or complaint to get treatment. Actually, acupuncture is a great preventative ancient medicine that can help ward off symptoms you have previously dealt with and don’t wish to deal with again – like a maintenance approach to health.
We have been conditioned to look at health in an “if you’re not sick, you’re healthy” perspective. The problem with this is that we wait too long and let imbalances worsen until we are facing years and years of chronic pain. Twinges, tweaks, and “small” symptoms that begin to arise in your body are telling you something; your body is always communicating with you.
Don’t wait until things get really severe and chronic before getting treated. If you’re interested in acupuncture, start small. Pay attention to your body and be open to what it is communicating with you. If you’re already getting treated with acupuncture, make sure to include even the tiniest details that you may not think matter, like, for instance, that you’re craving sweets or that you're thirsty all the time! You may just be surprised at how much your practitioner can help you deal with your personal physical and emotional issues.