Patients are always so surprised when I talk about my seeing my acupuncturist. “YOU get acupuncture?!” is the typical response when I mention something about my own treatment. When I’ve asked into these reactions, I learned that there is still so much people don’t understand about the medicine. Here’s my attempt to fill in some of those gaps with a few reasons I get regular treatment:
- I LOVE ACUPUNCTURE. I was first introduced to acupuncture as a patient. I was a competitive athlete and benefited from a medicine that could support me physically while addressing the mental/emotional stresses that came along with training (and being a teenager). I couldn’t exactly put it all into words to it but I knew it was helping me. I felt stronger, had fewer aches, was happier and less stressed overall. It does the same for me now. Though my needs have changed, acupuncture is still able to support me.
- I don’t always want to treat myself. Yes, I can and sometimes do give myself treatments. I prefer to go to another practitioner. There are so many great points on the back that I simply can’t reach myself! More importantly, I love to get another opinion about what is going on with me. I, like many people, can’t always look at myself objectively to see what I need. In my acupuncture treatment, I step out of practitioner mode and trust someone else to offer the best care and support.
- I practice what I preach. When I suggest that you drink more water, I’m reminding myself. When I teach you to take some quiet time before bed to focus on your breath, know that I’m doing it too. When I tell you you’ve moved into a maintenance stage in treatment and would like to see you every 6 weeks, it’s because that’s what I’ve learned works well for most people (myself included). I saw people going five months between treatments then come in feeling overwhelmed with stress or symptoms. Sure, we were able to shift back fairly quickly but there was no need for them to struggle as much as they did in the off period. In all honesty, I learned it further when I waited that long between visits. When nothing acute is going on, my sweet spot for maintenance treatments is about every 4-6 weeks (keep in mind that #1 may play into that some). I feel good about suggesting more regular treatments to clients because I am on the same schedule with my acupuncturist.
- If I keep up with maintenance, I have less need for acute treatments. Acupuncture is great preventatively. It has my body function at its best so I can fight off illness and heal from minor issues more quickly. If I am taking good care of myself overall, I have less need to rush to any doctor with a concern. Acupuncture isn’t a cure-all, of course. We get sick or accidents happen and we know how to manage those issues. I just notice they happen less often when I am taking good care of myself and getting regular treatment.