Now that I work in an integrated behavioral health setting with medical providers, I know there are real limitations to Western medicine to treat some of the most common problems such as chronic pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, insomnia, fatigue, depression, and anxiety. As a patient, I have also been disappointed by Western medicine for its limitations to diagnose and treat my chronic shoulder pain or a mysterious pain in my abdomen that makes me want to faint when I stand up. The only answer my doctor gave me was, "I don't know. Take some Ibuprofen and see?" This led me to do some more research and explore other forms of treatment.
I have been getting acupuncture for several years now and I love it! I think it is a wonderful addition to my self-care routine like exercising, practicing yoga, and getting massages. I get acupuncture in a community practice where I receive treatments with other people at the same time. The community setting means that the cost can be as low as only $15 per session. I lay in a big comfy La-Z-Boy, listen to soothing music and sounds of ocean waves, and bliss out for 30 minutes. There is something oddly soothing for me about napping with other people. When I wake up, I feel relaxed and at peace with the world. I can see and feel a real difference in my energy level, pain level, mood, sleep, and digestion after each treatment. I only need to attend 2-3 sessions before I feel significantly better. As a person who is incredibly sensitive to pain, I can attest that acupuncture needles are about as painful as a mosquito bite. There are no side effects for me because acupuncture, like most Traditional Chinese Medicine, works with the body.
This article by Dr. Weil provides a nice summary of the definition and benefits of acupuncture as well as how to find an acupuncturist in your area. This article from Medical News Today provides some recent research on the efficacy of acupuncture for a variety of medical conditions. This article is from the perspective of a medical doctor turned acupuncturist, discussing the benefits of integrating Western and Eastern medicine. I found this article in The Huffington Post helpful in thinking about some unique and surprising ways that acupuncture can benefit my life such as "It reminds you that you have the power to heal yourself."
Is it time to add acupuncture or alternative health practices to your routine? Check out this acupuncturist directory to start.
I created this blog to share information about living a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life. I am constantly learning new things and making mistakes along the way. This blog is my way of chronicling my discoveries, musing, and lessons learned as a person and a professional. I invite you to come along on my journey of self reflection, discovery, and thriving with challenges. I also hope to exchange wisdom and enlightenment from you, my readers.
The information provided in this blog is not a substitute for professional mental health treatment.