I feel fortunate to call Austin, TX home. Great food, great people and a focus on health and wellness that is not found in many other US cities. Although there aren’t statistics to support this, I would venture to guess that more Austinites have tried acupuncture than the national average (which was a paltry 1.4% of the adult American population as of 2007). That being said, there are still plenty of people in Austin who have not tried acupuncture.
It could be that they are not aware of the vast number of diseases it is effective at treating (see my Research Page for a small sampling), how safe and painless it is, or that they don’t know where to go. I honestly am not sure of the reasons people choose not to go to an acupuncturist, but here are 7 good reasons everyone should try it… like right now:
1. It is the original “holistic medicine”
The word “holistic” is a popular buzzword these days as the public recognizes the interconnectivity of our diet, exercise & stress with our overall state of health. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory postulates that smooth communication within the systems of our body (mainly your circulatory, nervous, endocrine, lymphatic & digestive systems) is what leads to health and that disease comes when there is a disconnect or blockage between our systems. These systems are connected and we are fooling ourselves if we think high-stress work environments and low-quality nutrition are not having significant impacts on our health.
2. It’s personalized healthcare
The first thing an acupuncturist will do at your first appointment is sit down with you and work to understand your illness and what led you to this point. Acupuncturists will use diagnostic techniques to understand what systems are blocked and develop a plan specifically to help you back to a path of health.
3. Acupuncture is safe and painless
Licensed acupuncturists attend graduate schools for typically 3-5 years to learn how to practice safely and effectively. Most people report that they do not feel the needle at all or it feels like an ant bite initially. Afraid of needles? Acupuncturists have ways to make the needle insertion less painful or other techniques that don’t involve needles, but still employ TCM theory to make you healthier.
4. Acupuncture helps the body heal itself
Acupuncture needles are placed in specific points on the body to stimulate the nervous, endocrine and circulatory systems to regulate what has become out of balance. When this happens, your body effectively re-calibrates itself to move you back toward a state of equilibrium.
5. Acupuncture has no negative side effects
Unlike ultra-powerful pharmaceuticals, acupuncture is a gentle way of nudging your body to heal itself. The side effects that come from pharmaceuticals is often due to an incomplete understanding of the intricacies of the body and how all of the systems work together. Allowing your body to make those decisions for you takes out the possibility of negative side effects.
6. Acupuncture is cost-effective
Even though acupuncture is rarely covered by insurance in Texas, it is still more cost-effective to be preventative with your health than reactive. If regular acupuncture can keep you out of the hospital or off of long-term drugs, your wallet will thank you!
7. Acupuncture works!
Acupuncture has been used for more than 3000 years to treat everything from allergies to fertility, and from chronic pain to mental disease. Current schools of TCM teach the theory behind the medicine and guide students on how to effectively treat modern illnesses that plague our society.
So the only question left is… what are you waiting for?
If you do have further questions, contact your local acupuncturist. I am an Austin acupuncturist, currently accepting new patients. NCCAOM (the national certification commission for acupuncturists in the US) keeps a searchable database of acupuncturists here: http://www.nccaom.org/find-a-practitioner-directory/