*Disclaimer: If needles tend to make you squeamish, please skip this blog post. Thank you!
I tried something new the other day...acupuncture! Two of our therapists at work are working toward their licensing. The specific type they will be practicing is called Auricular Acupuncture Detoxification. In order to get certified, they must practice on 40 people, I was a willing guinea pig!
Here's some information about acupuncture from the release I signed:
Acupuncture is the world’s oldest science. It has been around for 5,000 years. Auricular (ear) acupuncture is more recent, having been created and perfected in the last 60 years by both Chinese and French physicians who were seeking new techniques. It is based on the fact that the ear has points that reflect all areas of the body and are mapped out on the ear like an infant, upside down, in a fetal position. (I think that is so cool!)
Chinese medicine holds that there is an extensive and complete energy system that flows through the body along twelve main meridians and more than a dozen lesser meridians. When this stream flows freely, the body is in balance and healthy. Interruptions and blockages in these normally free-flowing energy streams cause stagnation, illness, disease, and discomfort. Simply stated, the needs are inserted to get the energy flowing more freely and restore balance to the body. In terms of western medicine, acupuncture creates healing in the hormonal, nervous, muscular and vascular systems.
The type of acupuncture that I had is typically used on clients who have addictions, but there are various benefits from it. Here's some more detailed info:
A trained acu-detox specialist will place five, tiny, sterile acupuncture pins of the finest filament steel available in each ear. Pins are left in place for 15-45 minutes. There may be some slight discomfort at the sight of insertion, but this will pass quickly. Occasionally, some lightheadedness may occur. There also may be some slight bleeding when the needs are withdrawn. The five points that will be used are:
• Shenmen or Spirit Gate – used for calming and relaxing. This point connects body, mind, and spirit which in Chinese Medicine are considered one. Helps concentration and attention.
• Sympathetic – used for relieving tension and pain management. It also has a calming effect on the digestive system.
• Kidney – used to strengthen the body. This allows release of fear and ability to access the body’s wisdom.
• Liver – used to detoxify the body and emotions.
• Lung – used to help open respiration. This facilitates the inhalation of pure fresh air and emotions and exhalation of impurities and release of negative emotions.
The initial insertion of the needles was relatively painless. Some I couldn't feel at all but others felt like a mosquito bite--nothing too painful! Typically after the needles are inserted, you'd sit in a quiet meditative atmosphere for 15-30 minutes. However, since I had it done at the same time as another co-worker, there were 3 women in the room and it's difficult to be quiet. As a result, I'm not sure I experience the full effect of the acupuncture. Though I am not struggling with an addiction, there are still benefits from the procedure (see above). Our other therapist will be "practicing" on me next week and I was told that it sometimes takes 2-3 sessions to feel any benefits...maybe I'll be able to share more later!