Tuesday, November 26, 2013

That voodoo that you do...

Pick an acupoint, any acupoint
Have you ever tried acupuncture? I confess, I was a long time skeptic of the traditional Chinese medicine, assuming that any relief it provided could be matched by a healthy does of Advil, but thanks to Dr. H (a long time user and believer in acupuncture for his back issues) last winter I decided to give it a try to combat my knee pain (THIS never quite fixed the problem). Well thank goodness for having an open mind because, I was quickly hooked on monthly visits which keep my knee from aching. And then there was my own back, which inexplicably tightened up into muscle-relaxer worthy spasms last week (when did I get so old!?) I paid a visit to my acupuncturist last night and not only did her magical needles instantly relieve some of my pain, but I woke up this morning feeling remarkably close to "all better". Praise ancient medicine!! 

Acupuncture involves placing hair-thin needles in various pressure points (acupoints) throughout the body. Though this sounds a little creepy/kooky, I assure you, the needles are nothing more than a slight prick before they are manipulated to create an incredible feeling of release (that will have you mentally scheduling your next appt before you even get off the table!) So what's the deal with this voo doo-like magical sensation!? According to Chinese philosophy, the body's 2 opposing forces, yin and yang must stay in balance for our bodies to feel good. Our energy, called qi ("chee"), flows along pathways throughout the body and that flow is what keeps the yin and yang balanced. If the flow becomes blocked, acupuncture can stimulate these points with needles, relieving obstructions in the flow of energy and enabling your body to heal. And if you aren't into that earthy/crunchy explanation of why acupuncture works, western thinking is that acupuncture works by stimulating the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) to release chemicals (neurotransmitters and hormones) which dull pain, boost the immune system and regulate various body functions.

A believer and now a preacher, I know others who love acupuncture for everything from pain relief to assistance quitting smoking (you go girl!) So next time you have an ache or pain that you just can't kick, I urge you to give acupuncture a try. Even if yins and yangs and qi aren't your thing, I promise the relief that a few pricks of the needle provides will be!

PS- If you're in NYC, my girl Bianca is the bees knees (and she schedules appts via email and text message which is about as convenient as you can get:)

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