Acupuncture Relieves Symptoms and Keeps You Healthy
Going for acupuncture treatment is akin to changing the oil in your car. The needles help your body to keep everything in the intricate system that is ‘you’ moving smoothly. Some common signs of buildup or stagnation in your system include pain, agitation, and mood swings. Acupuncture clears this stagnation out of your body, and helps your whole system to work at its highest capacity. If you keep up with treatment, in the long run it will assist in the prevention of more serious symptoms. Most people who own cars take care of them by changing the oil. This medicine allows you to take care of your body in the same way.
In five element acupuncture, we know that your symptoms can be your teachers, pointing at the origin of that which is detracting from your well being. To use the car metaphor once again, your symptoms are akin to the lights on your dashboard: “check engine”, “check oil”, “low gas”. These lights tell you that something in your car needs attention, or else there may be a breakdown in the near future. Imagine what would happen if the next time one of these lights goes on in your car, you put a piece of black tape over the light rather than take a look to see why the light went on. This is what we are doing when we repress our symptoms rather than taking a look at what happened to bring them on.
Let’s look at a simple example:
Mary came to an acupuncturist complaining of shoulder and wrist pain. To get rid of this pain, she often felt the need to take an over-the-counter pain reliever. She didn’t like doing this because she didn’t want to have to rely on pain relievers to get through her day. When she started acupuncture treatment, in addition to the immediate relief of the treatments, her practitioner discussed with her how observing her symptoms as teachers could be beneficial in gaining control of her symptoms. She started to pay more attention to when the pain began and what made it better or worse, and quickly discovered the underlying cause of her pain: her posture while sitting at her computer at work. She figured out that if she set up her work station differently to keep a more upright posture while at the computer, her shoulder and wrist pain were no longer a problem. Following her acupuncturist’s advice, she also started taking regular breaks to stretch. She found that this helped get rid of other bothersome aches and pains in her body, and noticed that her mood improved as well. Mary’s new skill of listening to what her body is telling her naturally supports her well being in the long run by decreasing the daily wear and tear on her body and mind. It also saves her money, as none of those aches and pains are allowed to compound into more serious conditions.
Though seemingly simple, this is one powerful way acupuncture can help. Beyond the immediate symptom relief, it heightens your awareness of your body which helps clarify what each symptom is teaching you. Together, you and your practitioner then talk about what simple changes you might be able to make to feel better, naturally. This extends beyond the main complaint you come in with, as less bothersome symptoms also tend to fall away with treatment and learning how to listen to your body.