Healthy living is a philosophy that I adopted about ten years ago by eating whole, exercising and trying to limit stress. While the first two are easy the last, stress, is always the hardest to manage. It is something that is difficult to control especially when unexpected things happen in life and there are important decisions to be made. Anxiety is one issue that I have had pretty much all of my life, it isn't specific and is more generalized. Over the years it has gotten better by various relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation. A few years ago I had an awful job that left me so anxious that it was hurting my health. I was grinding my teeth so badly I chipped the same front tooth twice within 8 months. My sister told me about acupuncture, something she had tried to help with fertitiliy issues. After doing some research I learned that acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine where a specific type of needle is placed into your pressure points to relieve pain and helps to restore harmony in the body's energy flow.
About one week later I scheduled my first visit appointment with a sports medicine doctor that also did acupuncture. Not liking needles I was quite nervous and didn't know what to expect. Sitting in the exam room I told the doctor about my anxiety and said that this treatment could help alleviate anxiety and my persistent sore muscles, which I thought was part of being under a constant state of distress. Laying on the table allows you not to see the needles actually going into the skin, which definitely helped me. The first one hurt a little bit, but after a few it didn't hurt at all. The doctor left me with the needles placed strategically on my feet, shins, arms and the center of my head and slowly I felt a state of calm come over me. I didn't ask how long the needles were going to be in and decided to savor the sensation of just being. My body slowly began to sink into the table and I felt a vibrational feeling throughout my body that put me into a state of serenity, so much so that I fell asleep.
It felt like I took a long nap, in reality it might have been only 15 minutes but it felt just amazing. It felt restful and restorative. I knew the moment that I left that room that I was hooked. It has been almost three years since I have been going to acupuncture and I cannot say enough of how good it has made me feel. I was going long before my diagnosis with MS, but now that my life has changed I have found it to help even more. From my research, here are just some of the benefits:
- It relaxes you and helps your reaction to stressful situation. It also helps you sleep better and is said to help with depression.
- It can alleviate headaches and menstrual cramps and can help reduce back pain.
- Can help with fertility issues.
- Acupuncture can help with sinus problems and seasonal allergies.
And for those of you that are scared of needles (like me!) don't be. Laying down you cannot see anything and after the first few are placed on the skin all you feel is just a little prick.
P.S. I am not a doctor, this is just my own experience with acupuncture. Talk to your doctor before proceeding!