Acupuncture for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
During my fight with Crohn’s disease I have employed the power of acupuncture. Now, I will be the first to admit to you that prior to my diagnosis I never thought of acupuncture as a treatment option for anything. I was very naive to this practice and thought that it was about meditation and things that I didn’t believe in. When I started to research about it and learn about what it does and the benefits my eyes were opened and boy did I learn that I was I wrong.
What is Acupuncture?
This is a loaded question! There is a lot that goes into the practice of acupuncture. It is a very intricate and delicate therapy. It dates way way back for centuries and centuries. Acupuncture is a eastern practice that treats various ailments and pain by stimulating various parts of the body with pressure or small thin needles. The needles or pressure are placed strategically according to the body’s meridians. Meridians are the pathways for energy (electrical current) to flow in and around our body. There are different meridians for the different organs in our bodies. Each organ or body part has its own electrical impulse. By applying pressure or inserting thin needles, the acupuncturist can adjust the flow of this energy or release it. This helps alleviate pain and inflammation.
Fun Fact: In eastern medicine it is believed that in disease certain organs or body functions have their energy flow blocked or sped up. By placing needled or pressure in these areas it an open the circuit back up or slow it down thus easing the disease process or pain in the body.
What can Acupuncture do?
It is a little difficult to explain to someone who doesn’t believe in ‘energies’ in the body and things like that (like me!) but in the western world of medicine acupuncture essentially affects the nerves in the body which in turn communicate with the brain which alleviates pain and inflammation. These can even alleviate the disease process in some cases. Causing this stimulus in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) can also have an affect on our hormones and basic body systems making acupuncture a valuable asset for most ailments.
But, does it hurt? this is the most important question!
There are people out there that would never consider acupuncture because of a needle phobia. It’s true. They use needles. These needles however are extremely thin and if you get an acupuncturist who is good, you will not even feel them. There are some needle points that I do feel, but I have never experienced pain from the needle. Even if there is the slightest discomfort my practitioner will move or remove the needle. So, try to not associate it with the thought of needles
and just close your eyes and relax!
Where can I find a good acupuncturist?
There are “community acupuncture’ sites all over the United States. If you google “community acupuncture near me” I am certain that you will find one close to you. These sites usually take walk in patient’s and only charge about 10.00$ a session. Finding a community site like this is where I would recommend starting. You can get a good feel for if this therapy is for you for very little cost. I initially went to a great place near my house and found my current acupuncturist there. She broke away and started her own practice and I followed her. She is fantastic.
My experience and how acupuncture helps me.
I first went to try acupuncture after my naturalistic dr recommended it. This was not an easy thing for me to do. However, I did notice a serious decrease in my abdominal pain when I went regularly. It relieved the persistent abdominal pain after the first few treatments and as long as I go at least once a month it doesn’t really come back. My acupuncturist treats me for everything. Anything that I have that is a little ache or pain or even when my hair was falling out, she treats me for. And it does help. I haven’t been able to avoid biologic medicines for my crohn’s disease but acupuncture makes my life so much more manageable.