By Cheri Hinshelwood
Western North Carolinians are looking to the east — the Far East — for relief of health issues. The ancient practice of acupuncture, a component of traditional Chinese medicine, is an alternative that’s catching on.
Finding Balance Within
Commonly known for pain relief, acupuncture is based on the belief that balanced body energy known as qi (pronounced “CHEE”) creates good health, said Chris Jacobs, a licensed acupuncturist with Mission’s MyHealthyLife Wellness Services.
“Pain occurs when energy becomes trapped in the body’s channels. Trauma, climactic factors like cold and wind, or poor lifestyle choices can cause energy to get stuck,” said Jacobs. Tiny needles inserted at key acupuncture points release trapped energy.
“I was skeptical at first,” said Bob Graham of Etowah. “But now with firsthand experience, I recommend it to people I know.” For Graham acupuncture relieved several conditions over the last year, including hand pain. “My fingers throbbed at night and kept me up,” said Graham. “After a couple of visits, I started getting relief.”
What to Expect
“Strong acupuncture points are on the arms, hands, legs and feet. I use those areas most often,” said Jacobs. “Patients sometimes feel a slight prick and then a tingling. Once the needles are in, my patients are so comfortable, they sleep during their appointments.”
Jacobs recommends wearing loose fitting clothing and eating a small meal before your appointment to keep your blood sugar normalized.
Getting to the Root of the Problem
Acupuncture works by going to the underlying energetic source of health issues. Deep-rooted conditions with a stronger hold may take longer to counteract. “I foresee a point when I won’t need to go so regularly, but will come back just for a tune-up every now and then,” said Graham.
Signs of Success
The first signs acupuncture is working include pain relief, sleeping better, increased energy, being more relaxed, heightened awareness and more regular bowel movements.
Chris Jacobs is a licensed acupuncturist with Mission Health’s MyHealthyLife Wellness Services.