This past week, during the Thanksgiving holiday, I got to experience something I had never felt before...severe sciatica. In the middle of my 31st week of pregnancy, baby decided to snuggle herself right up onto my sciatic nerve! After spending Thanksgiving limping, and even crawling at times due to intense pain, I decided I should practice what I preach, and initiate some self care. I asked for help from my friend and fellow acupuncturist, and was just amazed at the results!! We began treatment with the intention of encouraging the baby to reposition herself so she was not pressing on my sciatic nerve. After putting in a few needles to activate the meridian that affects the uterus, my friend left me alone to rest. Within just a couple of minutes, I felt the baby start moving!! By the time I got up off the treatment table half an hour later, my pain had decreased by more than half. Baby continued moving the rest of the evening, and by the morning I could walk normally again. Even though Chinese Medicine has been a part of my life for many years, it just never ceases to amaze me when I feel the results firsthand. My hope is that by sharing these stories, I'll encourage and inspire others to step out of their comfort zone and give acupuncture/Chinese Medicine the chance to change their lives too!!
As an acupuncturist, by far the most common question I am asked is "What can you use it for?" The answer is, truly, just about everything. Acupuncture is a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine which uses a completely different medical model to diagnose and treat disease than Western medicine. A basic concept of TCM is that physical disease, pain, and emotional/mental disharmony can be attributed to an imbalance of the body's natural healing energy that flows through pathways within the body. For example, sciatic pain can be caused by a blockage of energy in the pathway, or meridian, that runs through that area of the body (the hip/buttock area). Acupuncture uses hair-thin, sterile needles to direct the flow of this energy through the meridians of the body. It assists in restoring balance, which allows for the body's natural healing ability to work as it's meant to. In the example of sciatic pain, acupuncture needles would be inserted strategically to rebalance the meridians that are blocked or out of balance. Another way to look at this concept is by referring to the energetic flow in the body as electricity (which it more or less is). In an electric circuit, if a blockage is present, the flow of electricity will be altered. Removing the blockage to restore the flow of electricity will allow the circuit to perform as it was intended to.
Acupuncture is widely known to be effective for conditions such as insomnia, infertility, PTSD, body pain, IBS, GERD, migraines, PMS, neuropathy, nausea, depression, anxiety, and so many more. Even more exciting news is that all of this healing can be achieved without surgical intervention or prescription medication!!!
I invite you to begin your journey of working WITH your body's natural healing abilities, and look forward to guiding you as move into a space of empowered mental, physical, and emotional wellness.