The Watering Hole Blog

How Acupuncture Helps Us Heal Ourselves

 How Acupuncture Helps Us Heal Ourselves


acupuncture graphic

“The driving idea behind acupuncture is that you’re already in possession of everything you need to be well. Rather than focusing on what’s missing, and adding something to fill the gap, acupuncture takes what’s already there and rearranges it to restore balance. Acupuncture engages the body’s own healing mechanisms to address underlying problems.”

– AcuTake website

Have you ever gone for an acupuncture treatment?

If so, I’d love to hear what your experience has been.

If not, I thought you might find my experience with acupuncture of interest/use.

I have been going for acupuncture treatments for three years now and love it. The original reason I wanted to try acupuncture was for the tendinitis in my wrists (due to writing).

But like many people, I suspect, I didn’t get around to trying acupuncture until my mid-forties because I was wary of the needles. Okay, truthfully, the needles freaked me right out! I couldn’t figure out how all those needles – I don’t care what size they are – going into my skin couldn’t hurt.

But they don’t. Honest 🙂

Instead, what the needles do, for me at least, is create an incredible sense of well-being and relaxation. Within minutes of the first needles being inserted, I begin to drift into a deeper level of consciousness.

My acupuncturist, Wendy, usually begins with my ears, for overall re-balancing, and then moves on to whatever area – often my forearms or shoulder – needs attention.

After all the needles have been inserted, she waves some sort of nicely scented oil near my face, then puts on the ocean-waves-lapping-against-the-shore music and leaves the room.

This photo pretty much sums up how I feel for the next 40 minutes:

MA floating
MA floating in ocean in the Bahamas, 2015

So Wendy sees two very different versions of yours truly on treatment day. There’s the bouncy, arms-waving-while-talking-a-mile-a-minute Maryanne who arrives for her appointment (with seconds to spare) and then there’s the quiet, relaxed, zen-like (rarely sighted in public) version who floats out an hour later.

As for my tendinitis? It is much better now that I am managing it in multiple ways: daily stretches, wearing wrist guards whenever I am typing, regular massage therapy and acupuncture.

How does acupuncture work?

According to my handy little “Acupuncture in a Nutshell” booklet, this traditional Chinese medicine practice has been around for 5000 years.

Practitioners of acupuncture are able to tap into the intelligent, energetic system, that is inside each of us. Known as Qi (pronounced “chee”), this intelligent energy apparently maintains health and balance in the body.

When Qi is balanced and flowing freely through “meridians,” the body’s natural self-healing abilities are activated, enabling internal stability and harmony to occur.

Meridians are like rivers inside the body and Qi flows through meridians as an invisible current, energizing, nourishing and supporting every cell, tissue, muscle, organ and gland.

But a blockage in meridians will restrict the supply of Qi – and this blockage can manifest into various signs and symptoms. Over the time, the body as a whole becomes weakened and its self-healing abilities are compromised.

An acupuncturist develops the skills to evaluate the quality, quantity and balance of Qi flowing within the body – and then gently places tiny, disposable, sterile needles into specific acupuncture points.

Acupuncture allows Qi to flow to areas where there is a deficiency and away from an area where there is an excess.

Benefits of acupuncture

1. It can strengthen the body and provide a strong foundation for the body to prevent future illness and disease – if a person has consistent treatments i.e. once per week, month, or 6 weeks. Consistency is the key no matter the interval between visits.  One or two visits 6 months apart will not do this but can help to strengthen the body.

2. It activates the natural self-healing abilities of the body.

3. It is an ideal way to get well and maintain wellbeing at any age.

4. It is customized to the person being treated i.e. not the same treatment for everyone.

Be Sure to Get a Registered Acupuncturist

The training for acupuncturists is either a 3 or 4 year program. So be sure to find a practitioner that is registered in the country in which they are practicing.

To Learn More About Acupuncture

If you are interested in learning more about acupuncture, a good place to start would be the AcuTake website. The Madrona Massage website also has some helpful information.

Also, my friend Esther Kane, RCC, recently posted an excellent blog about her experience with acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, along with some resource recommendations.

If you live in Sidney or Saanich, British Columbia

If you happen to live in the Sidney or Saanich area, I highly recommend a visit to Wendy Courtemanche, R. Ac., at Madrona Massage. Wendy will give you $10.00 off the initial consultation and acupuncture treatment (regular $95.00 for 1.5 hour).

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive Maryanne’s weekly blog, please sign up here.

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