Over the last few months I have been having fortnightly acupuncture appointments, with the aim of supporting my hormone regulation and sorting out my amenorrhea. I thought it would be interesting to write about my experience as some of you guys have asked me more about it and what to expect if you have never had acupuncture yourself.
Acupuncture comes from ancient Chinese medicine and is based on the idea of using very fine needles inserted in various parts of the body to encourage the flow of energy or ‘Qi’. Some people don’t believe in this practice, as it is not based in modern western science, however their are various studies and reports of where acupuncture has worked very well.
I decided to give it a try after hearing about the successes other women have experienced with it for the same issue I have. I attended a practice which had been recommended to me by a colleague.
In my first session I was asked a lot of questions about all aspects of my health. I also had my tongue examined and my pulse taken. I was told that my problem was due to a lack of Qi and that I needed to ‘build the blood’. We did talk a lot about nutrition in those sessions, and with my previous knowledge of nutrition, most of what I was eating (things like beetroot, bone broths etc) and doing was spot on. I was told that I was ‘damp’ and when I looked this up there is a whole load of foods you should avoid, including a lot of raw and cold foods like smoothies. You can imagine how I felt about that ;-) I have slightly reduced my intake of raw foods, but smoothies and salads are always going to be part of my life!
Each session we would talk about how I was feeling and if I was seeing any progress, then I would have the needles stuck in and left to relax for 20 minutes. Often, I would also have a heat lamp over the needles in my stomach.
Having the needles inserted was not painful, but I did find it uncomfortable – they will tell you that when the needle is in the right place you should feel a slight pain. To me it was kind of like a cramping. There was one occasion where I had a needle inserted into my fore arm which must have hit a tendon as I almost hit the roof! At times, I also found that my hands and feet would experience numbness and tingling. I was never given any herbs to try either, which I know that some women have had.
I attended appointments for about 4 months, but this month I decided to stop going. I do think that I was benefiting from the acupuncture, however, when I weighed up the benefits, then taking into account travel and time out for appointments, I felt that other options suited me better. One of the things I have missed is just checking in with someone and talking about my health – something that a lot of Uniquely Healthy clients say they get from the sessions they have with me.
I have also mentioned here on the blog that I work with a Reiki Master. I know Reiki is another one of those alternative therapies not everyone goes for and that’s fine! However, I find the experience of Reiki much more beneficial for me, I can relax a lot more, and I can feel more of a change in my body if that makes sense.
But, still no periods for me…yet! I have also talked a lot about seed cycling and I’ve noticed a few little indications that things are starting to get moving now, which I believe is probably a combination of the seed cycling, previous acupuncture, Reiki, weight gain, eating more of just everything and not giving a toss quite as much (i.e. being more relaxed). In the last month I have also started a more in depth set of investigations with my doctor and hospital. I’m feeling really positive that all of this will come together and my situation will get sorted. I know that exercise and stress are still areas that need my attention, but I feel like I’m doing all the right things for my body at the moment.
So when it comes to acupuncture, it wasn’t quite the right fit for me, but don’t let that put you off if you feel it could work better for you. As with everything, I think the magic happens when there is a synergy between nutrition, mental wellbeing, alternative therapy and more western medical approaches.
Have you had acupuncture before? What was your experience? What are your views of alternative therapies?