Acupuncture from a newbie’s point of view

In this blog our yoga teacher Maryann Huynh tells the story of trying acupuncture for the first time.

I believe in energy and connection

As a yoga teacher, I’m a firm believer in the energetic body, how energy can get stuck and stagnant within us and that finding ways to get rid of blockages can help us live more freely and fully. I also completely subscribe to the fact that our heads, hearts and bodies are inextricably connected – and that what’s going on for us mentally and emotionally will impact us physically, and vice versa.

But I wasn’t sure about acupuncture

You might think I would have no problem climbing on to the acupuncture bandwagon, and while many friends and colleagues sang praises for this traditional Chinese medicine technique over the years, I have never had any real urge to try it myself. Frankly, I wasn’t really sure how it would work for me. But as they say, seeing is believing – or in this case, feeling is believing.

At the beginning of this year, I found myself dealing with a number of hormonal imbalances. I was out of whack emotionally and physically, and was experiencing skin issues, bloating, low self-confidence, painful periods, etc. While visits to the GP, yoga and diet modifications were helping, I wondered whether there was anything else I could do to feel better. Friends kept recommending acupuncture – and this time I listened.

About the needles(!)

For those of you who haven’t tried acupuncture before, I’ll get this out of the way from the start, because I’m sure you’re wondering… I found the needles were nowhere near as bad as I thought they might be!

What exactly is acupuncture?

To be clear for the newbies, ‘acupuncture is the practice of penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles which are then activated through gentle and specific movements of the practitioner’s hands or with electrical stimulation… By applying acupuncture to certain points, it is thought to improve the flow of Qi, thereby improving health.’

Acupuncture explained by Johns Hopkins Medicine

What to expect at your first acupuncture appointment?

  1. A detailed conversation – about your medical history, what brought you in and what you’re looking to get out of the treatment. I found conversations with both therapists I used incredibly refreshing because they asked about everything – they wanted to know about my physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
  2. Some time to be still! I found my treatments had a meditative quality to them. I didn’t feel rushed in or out. In fact, I felt like part of the treatment was the slowing down.
  3. Sensations during the treatment – from the super subtle to the more intense. For me, I felt anything from a slight tingle to a flood of warmth, or a dull, continuous ache in targeted areas where the needles were placed. But the most significant result of my treatments was how calm and balanced I felt after I left – a feeling that lasted hours and sometimes days. I was incredibly surprised at how centred the treatment made me feel. Everything seemed to relax – body, head and heart.

How I feel about acupuncture now

After experiencing acupuncture myself, I believe this complementary treatment can assist in healing a range of issues – big and small, as well as physical or emotional.

In my opinion, acupuncture would work best alongside a range of other treatments and lifestyle options used to keep healthy. We can use ongoing treatments, like acupuncture, to maintain our health and prevent disease rather than frantically looking for a solution to heal a problem after it has already manifested.

Prevention is a key cornerstone to Chinese medicine that I wholeheartedly believe in. I plan to keep up with my acupuncture treatment alongside yoga, meditation, healthy diet, etc – a continuous MOT for my whole being.

Acupuncture at APPI

We have a number of acupuncture providers at both APPI clinics. At Wimbledon we have Mel, Alex, Kione and Cassie and at Hampstead we have Vasileios and Kelly. Get in touch to book an appointment and find out more.