An Introduction to Acupuncture

My Journey With Acupuncture

I’m a firm believer that people come into our lives for specific reasons. So when I met Chris Goddin at a CorePower Yoga event several weeks ago and we discussed his acupuncture and herbal medicine practice, Balance Wellness, I knew that it was a sign.

My first experience with this therapy dates back to high school when my mom routinely brought me to an acupuncturist to help ease my severe period-related symptoms. I won’t pretend that I wasn’t a little fearful and unsure of what I was getting myself into prior to my first visit. Yet looking back, I believe that those experiences laid the groundwork for my strong belief and interest in integrative and holistic medicine today. Witnessing the incredible benefits that acupuncture brought about blew me away even at a young age.

Earlier this year, I experienced a time filled with significant anxiety (which you can read more about here), and my doctor recommended acupuncture as a method for managing. Given my past experience, I was immediately intrigued. And while my life circumstances have changed within the past year, which has greatly reduced my anxiety, I still find myself looking for ways to cope and reduce stress in natural but effective ways.

The week I planned to see Chris for an acupuncture appointment, I was feeling more anxiety than I had in quite a while as the pressures from graduate school, blogging, teaching and preparing to travel all weighed heavily on me. I knew that the timing was meant to be when he and I began digging into the causes of my anxiety, how it manifests and attainable methods for managing.

Their office is welcoming and tranquil which immediately put me at ease and made the whole experience healing for both the body and mind. After thoroughly discussing my medical history and anything I wanted to focus on, Chris honed in on the acupuncture points that would reduce my stress and release the physical tension I tend to build up from running, teaching and so on. Following this, I enjoyed 20 minutes of quiet relaxation and meditation while the needles worked their magic.

Leaving this appointment, I wondered why I had allowed myself to forgo acupuncture for years when I knew firsthand how beneficial it is. This experience just further reinforced my need to embrace the incredible power of Chinese medicine.

If you live in Austin, I highly recommend checking out Balance Wellness, as Chris is extremely knowledgable and will make you wonder why you’ve also waited all this time to give acupuncture a try! Read up on Chris and his practice here for more details.

But for those who still need a little more info before jumping in, let’s break it down further.

Acupuncture 101

While I was lucky enough to have a mother that was very in-tune with holistic medicine and therefore instilled in me the same interests, I know that these practices might still seem foreign to most. But Chinese medicine, especially acupuncture, has become more accepted and widely available in the Western world over the past few decades.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture originated in China and dates back to several hundred years BCE. This practice is based on the idea that the body contains energy flows that can be tapped into and channeled through 12 particular meridians that are represented by major biological systems and organs. Over time, acupuncture became one of the major healing therapies used in China alongside massage, heat therapy, herbs, diet and so on.

How Does it Work?

The treatment specifically involves inserting very thin needles into points on the body in order to tap into particular energy centers and bring one’s energy flow back into balance. Neuroscience likewise explains how this works in that these acupuncture points are areas in which nerves, muscles and tissue can be stimulated. This is thought to increase blood flow and trigger the body to release natural painkillers.

The uses and benefits of incorporating acupuncture into a well-rounded lifestyle are abundant. Due to the lack of serious side effects, essentially painless treatment and ability to effectively be combined with other treatments, acupuncture is a wonderful, holistic solution to a variety of ailments.

Benefits

Many of the main uses for this treatment include relief from headaches and migraines, stress, lower back, neck and knee pain, osteoarthritic and much more.

As mentioned, I’ve personally found relief from period symptoms as well as those related to anxiety. I’m a firm believer in the healing power of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a holistic method for treating myriad issues that I’ve personally used alongside more familiar Western practices.

Wellness, in my opinion is incredibly multi-faceted, and I’m always looking for ways to manage both my physical and mental wellbeing in comprehensive and integrative ways. I highly encourage you to do your research on holistic practitioners and acupuncturists in your own area to see for yourself how truly beneficial these can be!

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