Acupuncture may feel unfamiliar to some people, especially when compared to Western medicine. That’s because in the past, you went to your family doctor only when you were sick. While this is changing and Western medicine is moving toward preventing disease, the most common doctor’s calls are made when you’re sick. So it’s understandable to have questions or doubts about when acupuncture can be a good solution and whether or not it might help you. Here are a few things to know:
-Some people think of acupuncture in the same way as they do Western medicine—you only make an appointment when you’re sick. However, acupuncture has a long history in helping patients maintain their health and avoid becoming sick. Acupuncture treatments can help boost your immunity for cold, flu or allergy season, decrease inflammation, keep stress at bay, help improve your sleep and work wonders on your appetite or digestion. Even if you’re feeling pretty good, checking in with your acupuncturist a couple of times a year can help you continue to feel that way.
-Conversely, it’s common to see patients cancel their appointment when they get sick, thinking that acupuncture can’t help. The reality is that acute problems, such as the common cold, flu, acute injuries and urinary tract and yeast infections can all be treated effectively with acupuncture and Chinese medicine. It’s important to remember, that the practitioners at BodaHealth also offer many other therapies, including Chinese herbal medicine as a stand-alone therapy or as a way to augment your acupuncture treatments. In addition, for patients recovering from an injury or surgery, we offer cold laser therapy—a kind of light therapy that produces healing deep within your tissues—and shockwave therapy that helps to speed healing in soft tissue.
-For some people, acupuncture is a last resort. They have been suffering for a long time with their injury or illness, feel like they’ve tried everything and now don’t know where else to turn. When they finally discover acupuncture, many of these patients may feel some relief right away, but Chinese medicine is a process, like most therapies. When you have been suffering for years, complete healing can take time. Acupuncture produces change for the better, but it’s not always a quick fix.
-Speaking of change, patients need to know that the path to healing may not be a straight line. As you get better, things change. Pain may move around, your energy may change and other symptoms may crop up. It’s a part of the healing process. The beauty of both acupuncture and herbal medicine is that they’re very adaptable. The points chosen during acupuncture are regularly adjusted and herbal formulas are modified as your health status and symptoms change.
-Many patients avoid acupuncture because they don’t think it’s compatible with other types of medicine. They may hesitate to make an acupuncture appointment while they’re under the care of a Western or naturopathic doctor, after surgery or following an ER visit. In fact, some patients are afraid to tell their Western doctor that they’re seeking out acupuncture for fear their doctor will disapprove. The reality is that many doctors are familiar with the research on the health benefits of acupuncture and regularly refer their patients to acupuncturists. The bottom line is that acupuncture doesn’t interfere with other treatments you may be undergoing but rather enhances them.
-The ability of acupuncture to help with infertility and reproductive medicine is well-documented. It’s very common for fertility doctors to refer their patients to acupuncture, especially during assisted reproductive techniques, such as in vitro fertilization or in cases when the reason for infertility is unknown. At BodaHealth, we work with a number of patients who have either been referred to us by or are working with Western reproductive doctors who understand the benefits of acupuncture in treating infertility.
-While many patients seek out acupuncture for a single illness or symptoms, they’re often surprised to find that it’s a whole body therapy. They often find that in getting acupuncture for one thing causes others to also fall into place. It’s common for patients to report that they’re sleeping far better, their energy is improved or their stress is greatly diminished—things they didn’t realize were problems—even though their appointments were for something else entirely. That’s the beauty of acupuncture!
If you’re wondering if the time is right or if it’s appropriate to have acupuncture in light of your condition or current medical treatments, the answer is almost always yes. Your practitioner is trained to assess you and your health as a whole and to provide treatments that work with where you’re at right now. If you’d like more information about whether or not acupuncture can help you, please give our office a call today. We’re happy to talk with you.