What changes do you most notice before and after an acupuncture treatment and which are the healing benefits?
While most of my patients come to me for pain related conditions, they typically express a noticeable sense of relief.
I think the most valuable outcome of any acupuncture treatment is the subtle shifts in energy we all experience. While highly attuned individuals report all manner of unique sensations while on the table, a few patients often report feeling a state of bliss during their treatment.
And the vast majority of people report feeling more “relaxed.”
Being present and fully attuned with the body takes practice. Being self aware is a critical aspect of a healthy body, mind and spirit.
Without awareness, our behaviors, thoughts and actions would only serve to fulfill our immediate desires with little or no forethought about the consequences of our actions.
We spend a lot of time “outside” of our bodies and outside of the present moment. We think about the future, what to eat, what to do, where to go, how to get there, or dwelling on the past, who’s at fault, if only…, and why didn’t I…
If there is only one gift I have to give my patients, it’s the gift of slowing down.
Through acupuncture and slowing down, I can help guide them back into themselves; to feel, to observe, to listen, to identify what is happening in the body in the moment.
Awareness is the first step on the path to healing
Lucky for me, the needles are the heavy lifters of this work, I just facilitate the experience.
What I notice is many, many patients are cheating themselves from an even deeper healing benefits experience. Checking email, reading the news or being generally distracted from what’s happening in the moment clouds your awareness.
Every one of us has the ability to be fully present, even if only for a split second before our mind goes back to running the show.
It’s hard to escape the wandering nature of the mind; that’s why Luke Skywalker had to train for years before he was a Jedi master.
For many patients, the never-ending train of thoughts, to-do lists and what if scenarios create an awful lot of internal noise. These thoughts trigger all manner of feelings from anxiety to excitement to fear. Trust me, I get why you prefer distractions.
But if you want to get more out of your acupuncture treatments, be fully present and keep refocusing your attention and awareness every time your “thought train” goes rolling out of the station.
The healing benefits success lies in remembering to come back to attention; not how long you experienced silence. This practice of coming back to the present moment might happen 10,000 times during your treatment.
I don’t judge anyone for the impulse to move away from the strange sensations which often accompany acupuncture. I don’t stand in judgment of you for checking your email. Hey, I’ve done it myself!! I get it.
Sitting with what’s inside can be boring/scary/weird/unenjoyable. But it can also be beautiful, profound and pure.
I invite you to practice self awareness throughout your treatment. If you fall asleep, great. If you feel bored, that’s great too. Just give yourself the space to heal by bringing awareness to your body.