Does Acupuncture Hurt, How Does It Work And Why Is It So Relaxing?
Acupuncture can seem a bit woo-woo and it can be tricky to understand how it actually works. So, I’m hoping to shed some light on this because
a) it is such an incredible natural health modality
b) it has stood the test of time as an efficient medical field
c) it still surprises me everyday and
d) knowledge is power!!
Acupuncture dates back thousands of years and is still one of the longest standing health care systems. In the world! Using very fine needles (only a little thicker than a hair!) areas known as “acupuncture points” are gently stimulated to positively affect the body. The points are part of pathways, also called meridians or channels, which move information and qi (lifeforce) around the body. They help regulate body functions and make sure there is a free flow of communication. Acupuncture focuses on the “whole you” and not just a specific problem area. I often say its like ‘recalibrating the body’, like you would a computer. One of the major affects acupuncture has on the body is …. r e l a x a t i o n, and I always love seeing how calm clients are after their session.
Acupuncture allows us to get slower because of its strong effect on our nervous system which encourages the release of a hormone called oxytocin. This hormone regulates the parasympathetic nervous system, the bodys ‘rest and digest’ response which I’m sure you’ve heard of. It’s the good one! This response is so important because it creates a calm state to allow the natural process of self-healing, through rebuilding tissues, clearing wastes (including old and diseased cells) and ensuring all body systems are functioning correctly. It’s the opposite of the ‘fight or flight’ response, which, although important for survival, is often “on” when it is not needed. Being “on” too often can create unnecessary stress for the body and the scary thing is this can negatively affect everything, from our emotions, digestion, hormones, clarity, cellular repair … you name it! Our fast paced and over stimulated modern living forces our body to process so much more than we may think. Major culprits are emotions (a big one!) like over thinking or worrying, chemicals in our air, food and water, lack of or poor sleep and EMF (electro-magnetic field) radiation from WIFI, electronic appliances and ESPECIALLY our phones and laptops. Acupuncture does NOT hurt and is extremely relaxing. If you‘ve had a painful experience chances are you have had ‘dry needling’, which is different to acupuncture, or your practitioner is quite rough and not working within your needs. If you are new to acupuncture I invite you to really utilise the time of your treatment to become slower and present. This is such a sacred time of 20-30 minutes rest. Completely uninterrupted. No phones, no kids, no outside world stimulation. If thoughts do pop up (which can happen if we’re used to “being busy”), try to allow them to pass during your treatment so you can truly allow your body to rest and repair. Focusing on feeling into your body and working on deeper breathing (down into the belly) can bring you back to the present. You’ll be grateful you did! If you are interstate and considering finding someone you feel comfortable with I am proud to know several great practitioners all around Australia.