Friday, May 06, 2011
I had my first acupuncture experience this week, to help treat hot flushes without using hormones.
First, the practitioner took a history and spoke with me regarding my nutrition.
The concept of “hot and cold” is very standard in Chinese medicine. Spicy foods and cinnamon are considered hot; collard and mustard greens, cool. Likewise, sleep cycles, with night considered cool and day hot, were discussed. She looked at my tongue to help with her diagnosis. Pulses were taken at all extremities.
The thought of needles may scare some people, but these are NOT the ones used to draw blood or give injections, and are even thinner than sewing needles (for those who have ever pricked their finger). It did not hurt. The concept is to open meridians of the body and promote a mind-body connection, and the proper flow of Qi (“chi”). Deep, relaxing breathing is part of the treatment.
I got to relax and listen to Deuter ambient musical compositions after placement.
She also gave me a treatment along the spine for my chronic back pain.
Acupuncture is not simply the use of needles. There are herbs that are prescribed for use in conjunction with the treatment. In my case, I was given powdered herbs to use three times a day. These can be brewed as a tea. Occasionally, herbs will also be burned on the needles during treatment (or electric current applied) – burning herbs on the needles is called moxibustion, or acumoxa.
I’ll let you know how it goes over the next couple of months!
Have you ever tried alternative medicine?