I did it once and thought it was great. You really don't feel the needles, it doesn't hurt at all. I went with my sister because she goes all the time and wanted me to try it. They focused on stress-relief for me, and I felt very relaxed after. I would definitely go again!
I'm an intern at UEWM, we do Acupuncture, Cupping, Moxification and Herbs. The needles are extremely slender, the treatment is very relaxing and rarely there is discomfort. I'm willing to buy your first treatment if you would like to give it a try.
Acupuncture has been instrumental in helping me heal from chronic fatigue syndrome. I must warn you, however. The needles may hurt. It depends on how sensitive you are to feeling chi. I am especially sensitive, and I have had a lot of points that, when pricked, are extremely tender. The more it hurts, the more I know the needle is necessary - usually what happens is that as the needle sits there, it moves that stuck chi (that causes the hurt) and the pain goes away. At the same time, when the chi really starts flowing I can often feel tingly through a limb or even all over my entire body. I always get great results from acupuncture...but for me, it has always been somewhat painful.
I tried acupuncture for relief of foot pain and muscle tightness. I went 3 times to give it a fair shot and didn't seem to get anything out of it. I did feel the needles go in (tops of my feet and ears) and it did hurt me but I have a low pain tolerance. Massage has helped me the most.
It was no big deal at all. It wasn't painful but it can sure look daunting when you're about to get needles stuck in you. I found it eased my neck pain some but my chiropractor is also my acupuncturist, so he was doing treatments as well (including ultrasound), so who knows what really did the trick? Only other tip: even though I trust my chiropractor, I like to watch and be sure the needles are brand new and sterile out of the package. Everyone makes mistakes and that's one mistake I don't want made on me!
Acupuncture is great. I have it done at least once a month... my Acupunturist recomended a product for me to help with stress relief , because i had bad neck pain that caused headaches. I do have a neck injury that contrubuted to the headaches but since taking this product my headaches are not as severe, and i have not had to go to the emergency room with the pain.
Depending on who your acupuncturist is (it really can hurt if the person isn't familiar with your meridians and pressure points), acupuncture can be a really lovely experience packed with tons of benefits. For me, it has a wonderful restorative effect and I've used it to combat a slew of ailments: sinus problems, TMJ, neck problems, and pretty much anything having to do wth pain. Caveat is that you often have to go multiple times to really feel the benefits.
I'll disagree with you a little Nirmala in that, in my experience (and I've had three great acupuncturists), acupuncture can hurt if the needle is put into a spot that really has a lot of stuck energy in it. At least, that's what I found with myself. It's not the same pain that you get from just any old pinprick - it is a different type of pain that seems to emanate directly from the chi and it can sometimes shoot straight up the meridian pathway. Then, as the needle remains in the spot and drains the chi blockage, the pain fades and the point is usually not as sensitive the next time.
I understand your hesitation about acupuncture. I was scared before my first treatment but got tremendous relief for my headaches. I loved acupuncture so much that I got a Master's degree in traditional chinese medicine and became an acupuncturist! I invite you to read my blog: www.LAacupuncture.net That may answer some questions you may have.
I love acupuncture. I was, like you, hesitant to give it a try, but it proved to be an incredible source of relief from pain. I was struggling with tendonitis in my wrist, possibly on my way to carpal tunnel. NOTHING was helping my pain. I went to bed every night in tears with my hands/wrists wrapped in ice. (at that point I thought the needles would be harmless in comparison to the pain I already had) I did 3 sessions, a week apart (my dr suggested this would be the most beneficial) and within the first week I already had relief. I did get a head cold, which he explained was the "evil wind" working its way out of my body. I politely said "ok" and dealt with my cold while enjoying the relief from the treatment. The needles are mostly only painful (and bearable at that) where they seem to be needed the most. It can be an electric feeling, or heat, or just discomfort. But as others have said, the discomfort subsides by the end of the treatment.
I would recommend acupuncture to anyone. It was a miracle for me. :)
I wouldn't say you never feel the needles, but usually I don't feel them. I have gotten acupuncture at least 2x/month for the last few years. It's helped me to strengthen my overall health, decrease my stress and develop greater resilience to chi-draining aspects of my life. I agree with Stephanie B (below) that if the needles go into a spot where the chi is really stuck, I usually feel them more, but the discomfort drains away.
I also find that I can feel the energy channels rebalancing themselves - I feel quite sensitive to such shifts in energy. Often acupuncture helps me fight off viruses and colds, in conjunction with herbs that my acupuncturist prescribes. Hope this helps.
I just had acupuncture yesterday to help treat a cold and one of the spots on my arm was reallllly sore. I told him so and he said that this was because that particular spot was working on the cold. He also was working on getting rid of excess "wind" just like what your acupuncturist said, Jeneane. I did feel better after the treatment. My fever went down and I could breathe better. Cold is not completely gone but it's better.
I had tried it many years ago for migraines, and it definitely helped. I recently had one visit (to try out a local clinic) and definitely felt a difference but not sure what it was. The practitioner wasn't very communicative with me (I am used to western medicine and I am a chatty white person who is very involved in discussions with western medical practitioners), but I did get that they were doing an overall unblocking of my chi (or something to that effect). I did feel a few of the needles (some were unpleasant, and I am very much used to injections and needles). But at the end of the session, my body felt warm all over as though blood flow to my extremities was wide open. I know that stress can close peripheral vasculature, and this treatment seemed to open it up. I don't know my chi from my chakras, but I did feel better after even one treatment. I am looking for a different practitioner, however, who fits more withy my style of interactive medical management (I have lots of broken bits).
I think acupuncture is great. I had it done for about 3 months. I felt very scattered, forgetful and overwhelmed when i had it done. It really helped my feel more calm, centered and in control of my life. It was usually relaxing, and I almost always did not even feel any needles, but just a couple of times she re-positioned a needle. I highly recommend acupuncture.
Being from the Pacific islands, I grew up in a culture where acupuncture was an accepted mainstream treatment for a wide variety of injury and illness in addition to conventional western medicine. Coworkers, friends, and family regularly received acupuncture over the years as a first response before resorting to surgery or drug therapy. In 2001 at the National Institute of Health National Cancer Institute I was often treated at their pain clinic with an acupuncturist along with Reiki during a clinical study for non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
But I'll be honest with you, Ashley, needles can and do hurt, but not every time or with everyone, and subsides soon or immediately after the needle is withdrawn. TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) doctors will tell you that nerve response to the needle implant varies according to the type and level of injury/illness. Needles are placed in meridian points (energy points throughout your body) to relieve the blockage of blood circulation, rebalance and increase chi (internal energy) flow. Much like massaging a muscle knot.
If needles do concern you, start with accupressure. It's as effective and often the practitioner will share a few tips with you to use whenever you have some minor ache or pain.
I've also found that massage with aromatherapy (essential oils) works great too.
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