It´s said that by placing small needles on certain points of the body, it would stimulate and restore the energy flow. This is known as acupuncture, most commonly used for pain relief, but is also said to help treat various health conditions.
Acupuncture originates from China, as long back as 2,500 years and is linked to the belief that there are patterns of energy flowing through the body that are essential for our health (called qi). Acupuncture stimulates points on or under the skin, releasing this qi and correcting the imbalances of energy flow in our body.
A common assumption is that acupuncture hurts and the fear of pain is one of the most common reason people don’t try it. Many also don’t believe that needles can heal them. Two of us in the Best of You team have tried acupuncture, for different reasons, and we thought we would share our experience with you. Maybe some of you want to try, but are scared, or maybe your just curious? Whatever the reasons, here are our stories.
What made you try acupuncture?
Henriette: A few years back I had a lot of trouble with my stomach. The pain could set in at any time and only thing I could do was wait until it past. I went to doctors, specialist and I even wrote a food journal, but nothing seemed to help. Until one day I was introduced to acupuncture. I was nervous, and honestly I really didn’t believe that needles could help. I had a hard time understanding what the energy flow was all about.
Victoria: I’ve always loved sports and exercising and wanted to become a better runner. I even had a PT who helped me when my knees started to hurt all of a sudden. I ignored it at first and thinking I just needed to cut back on my training sessions, but after a while they were hurting all the time, even when I wasn’t moving at all. I panicked and thought, “this is it, I can never run again”. Luckily my doctor suggested acupuncture. I was sceptic at first – how could needles ever help my knees work?
How was it?
Henriette: We always started the session talking about how I felt: was I was stressed, happy or sad? Then we moved on to setting the needles. In my opinion the needles didn’t hurt. Most of the time I couldn’t even feel them. The “hard” part was lying there, trying to relax, knowing I had several small needles in my face and on my body. However, after a few times I got used to it and actually fell asleep. But this one time I came in my stomach hurt, I was stressed and had a bad day. She then sat a needle right between my eyes and what happened next is hard to explain. It was like a flow of energy was sucked to the needle. It actually hurt a lot, like this big pressure in my head. Then suddenly it was gone, and when I left I felt better. A very strange experience, but I think that made me open more up to the whole concept of acupuncture.
Victoria: I was scared at first – would it hurt? I told the physiotherapist about my knee problems and she got to work right away, putting four needles around each knee and one needle in each palm, right in the thumb muscle. It tingled, but didn’t hurt at all. She screwed on each needle to make my muscles contract and it hurt a bit, but it was totally fine. I could feel the needles making my muscles tense and at the same time relaxed.
Did it work?
Henriette: I went every second week for a period of about one year, and my experience was that it helped. I couldn’t feel an imitate change, but after a few weeks I realized the pain came less frequently and I had more energy. It also made me realize how my stomachache was my body’s way of telling my brain I had to slow down, change pace.
It actually did! I felt better after five sessions once a week and after the ten week treatment, together with rehab in the gym my knees were as new again. I didn’t run for 6 months but as summer came I tried and it worked! The good thing is that if I should feel any pain again I can just come back and do one or two sessions and the result will last for another year or two. I love the fact that I wont have to give up running and can leave those pain killers on the shelf.
By: Henriette Danielsen and Victoria Thoors