We function on many levels, and a great acupuncture treatment will attempt to meet you at your highest level of need, whatever that is at the moment. This is why your treatments change from appointment to appointment, even if you are coming for a series of treatment for a specific issue. The same song, if you will, but variations on your individual theme.
You may be experiencing low back pain, but if you’re grieving the loss of a relationship, then acknowledging grief might be the highest need to address. You might be juggling tasks and to-do responsibilities, but the mental focus needed for that pales next to the feeling of constant overwhelm, the feeling of (metaphorically) drowning. You might currently be experiencing insomnia, but a compartmentalized traumatic experience from childhood may be resurfacing.
Can acupuncture REALLY handle all that?
Yes, it can.
Acupuncture theory holds correspondences between emotions, mental dispositions and physical systems. It is a comprehensive medical matrix, treating the body, mind and spirit as a single unified entity. Acupuncture addresses the “root” and “branch” of your suffering. Your treatment can address your needs at all these levels, and move you towards a greater integrated harmony.
One of the gifts of acupuncture is that it is so versatile in its application, which is why it helps for pain management and many other symptoms as well as psycho-emotional issues. Classical Five Element acupuncture is particularly well-suited to addressing your unique presentation of body-mind-spirit, the total YOU package.
I have a patient who has been coming for acupuncture on and off for 20 years, as needed for a variety of issues. Last year, I moved her treatments to the Classical Five Element protocol. She is athletic, busy in retirement, and is enduring a particularly challenging environment due to issues totally out of her control. She came in for relief of back pain, and reported relief when the treatment was concluded. But the next day, she had more to say about her treatment: “…when I woke up this morning, after I’d moved around a bit, I was aware that somehow I felt better, more positive, and maybe more energized than I often do in the mornings. I thought about that for a minute and then directly attributed it to yesterday’s treatment. Et, voila! ”
That over-all feeling of well-being is one of the special gifts of this style of treatment. When your highest needs are being met, you access more of your vitality, and are more resilient in the presence of challenges.
Although many people find the psycho-emotional benefits from acupuncture as satisfying as the physical ones, please note that acupuncture is not a substitute for psychotherapy. If you are currently in treatment you may find it compliments or accelerates the work you’re doing there. And if you suspect you need support, I strongly encourage you to interview a therapist until you find one that understands your needs. The sooner you can gain insight and make constructive changes or shifts, the sooner you’ll be able to access more of your vitality and innate gifts, and experience happiness and contentment.
If you need a little support and want to do-it-yourself-with-help, you might find value in some of the meditation apps, which can help with simple and effective lessons to relieve anxiety, help with focus and help you start a meditation practice.
If you need something more personal and flexible, there are now apps that can connect you with a therapist via text, zoom or phone calls.
And if you need one-on-one support, traditional talk therapy might be your most productive route. I’m a big fan of the cognitive approach.
Acupuncture might be a great first step in finding relief. Let’s talk and find out if it could help you now: 310-617-4194.
Jeanine Byers says
I used to receive acupressure treatment, years and years ago, and I did feel that connection between the physical and the emotional. My only experience with acupuncture is learning acu-detox back when I was a therapist working in the addictions field.
Kathleen Port, L.Ac. says
I’m so glad to hear stories like yours of people who feel the physical-emotional connection. It’s also being used successfully to treat PTSD, and help veterans decrease the use of pain meds. For people who are needle-shy, acupressure is a great alternative, and can be taught as a self-care therapy as well. Thank you for sharing your experience!
Julie JordanScott says
This is such great information. I had no idea acupuncture could be used in this way. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us!
Kathleen Port, L.Ac. says
I’m so glad you found it useful! It’s such a versatile medicine and can help so many people if they are open to it.