There are a lot of rumors about acupuncture. But can it actually benefit us? What is it exactly? Is it something weird that stems from the old Chinese people or is it something that could really help you? If you have trouble sleeping or get stressed a lot, acupuncture might be (part) of the solution for you. In this article I will explain the basics of acupuncture and tell you about my personal experience with it.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture originates from China and has been practiced there for thousands of years. It is a traditional Chinese medicine, that is based on the holistic approach of humans. Holistic approach means to see a person as a whole, instead of just looking at the disease. During the second half of the twentieth century acupuncture began to spread rapidly in Western Europe, the United States and Canada. The most common form of acupuncture is the treatment with the thin needles. The needles are inserted through the skin at specific points of the body in the so called acupuncture points. These points are located on the medidians through which the ‘qi vital energy’ runs.
According to traditional Chinese medicine an energy, called qi, circulates through your body and follows the meridians. Interruptions in the flow of energy – such as when it stagnates, is blocked, or imposed somewhere else – are thought to be caused by emotional or physical problems. To remove these interruptions and thereby to lift the problems, specific points (the acupuncture points) are stimulated with the aid of needles. There is no histological, anatomical or scientific proof that these meridians or acupuncture points exist. For that reason acupuncture remains controversial among Western medical doctors and scientists.
For what could it be helpful?
The list of symptoms and disorders that may respond well to the use of acupuncture is endless. A couple of disorders and symptoms that might benefit from acupuncture are (chronic) pain, great tension in the muscles (hypertonia), depression, sleep disorders and burn outs.
Going to the acupuncturist
I have been to an acupuncturist myself. I was very stressed out and had some trouble with sleeping. When I saw an offer for trying acupuncture, I thought: let’s just give it a try! I went 4 times and I really noticed a difference.
What does a sessions an acupuncturist look like?
First the woman explained to me what acupuncture is and what it’s good for. Then she asked me some questions about the reason for my visit. She explained what she was going to do and then I had to lie down on some kind of massage table. I was really nervous and afraid that the needles would hurt me. That (luckily) was not the case. I felt a little pinch but it didn’t hurt. Of course it feels strange but I felt comfortable after a of couple minutes. When the needles were in place, I had to do a breathing technique where you take a long deep breathe, and then slowly breathe out. My breathing was a little shaky; the acupuncturist said that this was because I had some bottled up emotions. She gave me homework to repeat this exercise every day, for 10 minutes, to release the tension and hopefully express and let go of my bottled up emotions. I noticed that after a couple days my breath was more steady so this exercise was really good for me.
So does acupuncture work?
In my case acupuncture helped to feel more relaxed and sleep better. But of course, everybody reacts differently to all kinds of treatment. I think it’s also a combination that works, taking some time for yourself to relax, the acupuncture and being more aware of your body. I sometimes go back to the acupuncturist when I feel stressed or have trouble sleeping, then I’m good to go for a couple of weeks ;-).
Have you ever tried acupuncture? What is your experience? We would like to know!
Feel free to ask me any question you may have and follow my fit journey on Instagram @lisanne_fgc
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