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Acupuncture – What Do You Use It For?

A frequent question which arises when presenting acupuncture to people is “what do you use it for?”.  And this is a very good question.  We acupuncturists, having studied the use of acupuncture for a wide range of health issues, are tempted to answer “anything!”.  But we usually point people to a list of medical conditions, such as the one composed by the World Health Organization. You can find a similar list on almost any acupuncture-related website, including this one.

But it often strikes me that, once people start coming in to get acupuncture, they figure out what works for them and what they want to use it for. In the past week, for example, we have seen a lot of people who are looking for pain relief (this is the most common reason to see an acupuncturist), but also:

  • *people with a lot of job stress, that aggravates either their symptoms or their undesirable habits (like smoking, overeating, drinking too much coffee or alcohol),
  • *people who are taking medication, and have found that the acupuncture reduces the side effects and helps them feel better,
  • *people going through emotional transition, mourning the loss of a parent or the breakup of an intimate relationship,
  • *people who just want to be somewhere that they can rest completely for an hour or so.

One person remarked on their way out, that during the session she had come up with a creative solution to a problem she had been struggling with at work. She hadn’t gone into the session with that intention; she’d been there for knee pain. But in the process of relaxing and quieting her mind, which often happens during acupuncture, the inspiration came to her and she left feeling both relieved and motivated.

People use acupuncture for all kinds of things, many of them not listed in any book. I hear about more and more of them with each passing month. If you get acupuncture, what do you use it for?