Nowadays I love acupuncture, but that wasn't always the case. I grew up in a military family overseas in England. I had a horrible diet of Burger King, Anthony's Pizza, beer, and hot pockets. I was vaccinated for everything, birth control to control acne, Accutane, and regular doses of antibiotics because I was often sick (no surprise there). During my first year of teaching elementary school I got sick with what felt like a bladder infection causing me to use the restroom every 15 minutes, but no infection was present. So, doctors put me on daily antibiotics, an anti-fungal, vaginal valium, an anti-depressant, and Tylenol with codeine. I was so loopy that I was falling asleep while teaching. My pharmacist actually asked me who was prescribing all of this together? My step mother finally stepped in and bought a package of 5 treatments at my local acupuncturist. I really didn't want to go because I thought acupuncture was voodoo, and I must admit I hated my first treatment. The needles were really painful (I was obviously super inflamed), it felt lazy to sit there for what seemed like forever, and if I didn't have remaining treatments in the package I wouldn't have gone back. After about 3 or 4 treatments the needles became less painful, I learned to enjoy relaxing, and the frequency of urination got less and less with each treatment even after stopping all of my medications.
I love acupuncture because this style of medicine looks at people as a whole. While reducing my bladder symptoms the acupuncturist was also helping to relax my whole nervous system and reduce chronic all over inflammation. This was so amazing that I immediately switched career fields to try and understand this medicine. What I learned is that people are a complex puzzle, and most pathologies and pain are more than just the one thing that is presenting. This is one of the oldest medicines, and it is still around because it actually works. Diagnosis really doesn't mean anything. Where is the energetic imbalance? What do you need to do to be back in balance? We are energetic beings having a human experience as the saying goes, and we have to balance our energy or illness will occur. If that is too wu wu for you, realize that most acupuncture points are placed over nerve bundles, this helps to redirect nerve signals in the brain. Being stuck with a needle anywhere also releases serotonin in the brain, which in turn reduces pain and makes you feel good. Acupuncture is also more than just needles we use cupping to move old blood and circulate new blood into the tissue. I'm sure you have seen many athletes with the cupping marks. We also use gua sha to help promote circulation into the tissue, and we can use it to boost the immune system. Some practitioners refer to this as the Graston Technique. Lastly, we also use herbal remedies to boost a patient if no other medications are being used. Over the years I have seen many wonderful outcomes from acupuncture alone, and I am so excited to share this medicine with others.