I’ve shared that I struggled with depression for many years. My depression has actually turned out to be one of my most blessed gifts. I know that may sound weird, but it has forced me to take care of myself, and the fear of it coming back keeps me motivated to continue living a healthy life. I know that my depression will come back if I don’t continute to exercise, keep my stress level low, treat my anxiety, minimize my intake of coffee and sugar and get acupuncture. I wouldn’t have discovered acupuncture if it hadn’t been for my depression.
My first acupuncturist was at East Wind Acupuncture in Chesterton IN. I went to her to try to get off my anti-depressant. She taught me a lot about Chinese Medicine and the difference between it and Western Medicine. I believe that both have their place. I use acupuncture to keep me healthy and prevent health issues. Once I get sick, I use Western Medicine as an intervention unless its something mild like a cold or stomach virus. Acupuncture works really well on colds and stomach viruses. I went initially for my depression, but I continued because of all the things acupuncture does for me.
This is the way acupuncture works. The needles stimulate the “chi” or “qi” which travels along the meridians in the body. Don’t ask me what they are, I just know they have some charts that show the meridians and the acupuncture points on the wall in my current acupunturist’s office. She, Marlene Bair, can probably tell you the scientific reasons it works better than I can. I know that when my chi is blocked in a certain area, and she sticks a tiny, hairlike needle in there, I can feel the chi jolt into action around the pin prick. It does hurt, but it stops hurting as quickly as it started. If I get regular acupuncture, I find that I have more energy, I’m drawn to healthier habits, I crave healthy foods, and I have less pain.
I think acupuncture is pretty amazing. I had an upper back injury for about 5 years from lifting weights the wrong way. Keeping the pain at bay was one of the reasons I did yoga. One day when I was having an acupuncture treatment, I asked my acupuncturist if she could do anything about my back pain. She said she would try. She stuck a needle in my right hand. Within 5 minutes, I could feel the pain melt away….AFTER FIVE YEARS!!!! I couldn’t believe it. I literally felt the pain melt away as if it was butter dripping off an ear of corn. She told me that I was holding my emotions in that spot. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do believe that we hold emotions in our body, and I was going through the grieving process during my divorce. Whatever it was, it stopped hurting and didn’t come back.
This is what you can expect if you go to an acupuncturist. They will ask you a lot of questions about your emotional, physical and emotional life. In Chinese Medicine, they believe it is all connected. You will go to a quiet room where you can lie down. The practitioner will come in and place needles in a variety of different points that they deem necessary for treatment of your specific problem. Typically, I get stuck with about 5-10 needles. Then, I rest for about 40 minutes to an hour. The practitioner comes back and removes the needles. During the session, I get very relaxed. Some people sleep, but I rarely ever do. When I’m done, I always feel very balanced and centered, no matter what state I was in when I got there.
The best way to get an acupuncturist is to get a recommendation. There are a couple of websites where licensed Acupunturists are listed, but if someone you know has had a good experience, that’s the best recommendation. I recommend my acupuncturist to everybody, and I’ve never had anyone that was disappointed. I have sent people to her for menopausal issues, menstrual problems, depression, food issues, addiction problems and anxiety. I’ve heard it can help with infertility but I’ve had no experience with that. If you are in the Houston Area or in Memphis, I recommend Marlene Bair. She’s awesome and is really good with women’s issues. She has a gentle style and works with diet, herbs, aromatherapy and Reiki.
My friend Rachel who sees Marlene said, “I’ve never recommended acupuncture to anyone that they didn’t get some benefit from it. I know, for me, it keeps my pain and my fibroid problems at bay. I couldn’t work without it.” Thank you, acupuncture…anything that alleviates pain and promotes wellness is a gift to me.