So I’ve been meaning to ask you.. for a friend.. can acupuncture help with…..?
This is the most common question that I get from patients in the treatment room. The question pops up once that particular patient has seen results with their own issue, they are feeling better and want to help other people do the same – so they start to ask.
An important thing to remember here is that most trained acupuncturists also learn other parts of Chinese medicine that are not as popular in the media as acupuncture such as herbal medicine, cupping, gua sha, lifestyle counseling, moxabustion and so on. Often times, we combine a few of the above mentioned to get the results the patient wants.
In addition, my personal belief is that patients get the best results when we are combining with other modalities such as Functional Medicine and physical therapy.
So, let me get around to answering the question. It would be impossible to make a complete list of what can be done – you’d never read it all and I would miss things for sure – but I will list 5 things that might be surprising to you. The not surprising things, I believe (and correct me if I’m wrong) are muscle/joint pain and fertility. There is a lot of advertising around those things and I think the general population has a good idea about them.
1. Post stroke recovery – Acupuncture and moxabustion combined are amazing for this. Best is to start treatments as frequently and as soon as possible after the event but I have had amazing results even 5+ years following a stroke. I recently treated a 26 year old woman who is 7 years post stroke and in just 5 days of treatment within a week, she was crying and laughing about being able to walk without having to concentrate…talk about a fun day at the office!!!
2. Depression – We believe you. We know you aren’t making it up, we know you have a cloud around you – we can help you lift it. Acupuncture is a great tool for many emotional disorders and is especially strong when combined with herbal medicine. Often, depression is accompanied by anxiety (or the other way around), either way, we can help. One of my favorite points often leaves my patients telling me that they heaviness has been lifted off their chests – such a relief, for them and for me!
3. Digestive disorders – lets not pretend that your diet isn’t a factor here but even still, we can help. We will suggest dietary changes, some of us more strict than others, but the acupuncture alone was enough to make one pregnant patient who was constipated pull all her needles by herself and run to the bathroom a few years ago. I will never forget that day! It doesn’t stop at constipation (see what I did there?!? :)). Bloating, gas, diarrhea, indigestion, cramping, even some food intolerances can be helped!
4. C-section scars, the flap – YES. Seriously. Go get this done. I don’t care how long it’s been! A natural effect of treating a lot of fertility patients over the years is that I see a lot of women postpartum as well. About 6 – 8 weeks after your cesarean is the perfect time to start, but again, even years later is ok. I have seen the scar tissue decrease, the scar itself lessen in size and change in color and also – the most important part – I’ve seen the stomach flap go away. Personally, I use acupuncture with electrical stimulation for this. The e-stim, as we call it, adds a slight pulsation to the needle and can help make measurable differences in just a few sessions. This is also something that can be accomplished after intense weight loss. I currently have a patient that has lost over 100lbs and so far we’ve treated her abdominal skin just three times and she has NO MORE FLAP.
5. Old acne scars – I don’t care that you are 50. Cosmetic acupuncture, alongside facial cupping and facial gua sha do amazing things to the skin. They can clear up your complexion and help you reduce the unevenness in your skin that acne left behind. It is best to find a specialist for this one. There are loads of practitioners now that specialize in cosmetic treatments and they have the most experience and know how to best help you! Also, there is a beauty product called the derma roller that was originally developed by my teacher in China that you can now find on Amazon for 10 bucks or so – using this every day has given one of my patients smoother skin than she has ever had!
I hope you found this helpful, please comment below if you have any questions (like, what the heck is moxabustion and gua sha!?!?). If you are looking for someone in your area, please see the acufinder.com website or ask on a holistic health Facebook page in your town or city!