By Sara Calabro
Welcome to a new AcuTake series, Acupuncture Success Stories. This is where we’ll share first-hand accounts of the various ways in which acupuncture changes people’s lives for the better.
“How does acupuncture work?” is a popular, contentious question these days. Many people want the answer but most are looking for it in the wrong place. Acupuncture research and clinical trials, while useful in some regards, do not paint a complete picture.
Understanding how acupuncture works requires an eagerness to listen and an openness to ideas that challenge conventional thinking. One way to practice this kind of listening and openmindedness is through stories about how acupuncture improves quality of life and inspires new perspectives on health. This series will tell those stories.
And so, without further ado, here is the first of many acupuncture success stories.Patient: Brendon
Location: Los Angeles, California
Profession: Works for an internet advertising software company
Acupuncturist: Laura Drago
What initially brought you to acupuncture?
I was playing a lot of disc golf and doing a lot of road cycling. Through those activities—combined with 1.75 hours per day in a car and 8.5 hours per day in an office chair—I began to develop very tight hips. I was receiving a lot of deep-tissue massage. It helped, but I needed more.
Did your first experience with acupuncture line up with your expectations?
I didn’t know what to expect. I was surprised that so many needles were used. I was also pleasantly surprised that it didn’t hurt. I was so happy to see that the acupuncturist didn’t fit the stereotype of “wavy gravy,” push-my-opinions-on-you, and try-to-sway-you-to-view-things-a-certain-way personality. I was treated like an adult, not like a lost soul who was trying out a new world and needed guidance.
How has acupuncture helped you resolve the symptoms that initially brought you in the door?
My tightness and discomfort, on a scale of 1-10, started at 6 and went down to a 2 after the acupuncture treatments. Now that I’m doing more stretching—thanks to my acupuncturist telling me to keep it up between sessions—I feel much better. I’m sleeping better, and my exercise is better and more beneficial.
What other benefits or side effects have you noticed from your acupuncture treatments?
The side effects of acupuncture immediately superseded the benefits to my primary symptoms. The overwhelming sense of 100 percent relaxation and recalibration blindsided me, and it served as a much needed recharge every time I went. I didn’t realize how “not relaxed” I was.
Each time I go for acupuncture, I pass out within the first three minutes. Out. Done. Acupuncture has now graduated to a dual benefit. I’m so thankful. It’s way beyond the relaxation I experience when I get a massage.
How has acupuncture helped you view your physical or emotional health differently?
Acupuncture became an indicator of my stress level and a reminder of the need to continuously check how stressed I’m feeling. That was a major eye opener for a corporate guy who had never done acupuncture before.
Interested in sharing your own acupuncture success story? Great! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Acupuncturists, tell your patients! If they’re selected, your name and a link to your practice/directory profile will appear with the article.)
Photo by Sara Calabro
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