Did you know this week is National Acupuncture Awareness Week?
If you don’t already know about acupuncture, it’s an ancient holistic treatment for just about anything. It’s based on Chinese energy healing, and the idea that life force, or ‘Chi’ flows around our body using channels called meridians. These meridians can become blocked, which causes illness, and in simple terms, an acupuncturist is trained to find the areas that are blocked, and unblock them with very fine needles. It really is as simple as that.
A lot of people swear by acupuncture for sleep problems and general relaxation, and it’s even been available on the NHS in some areas for lower back pain for some years. Acupuncture is the most popular complementary therapy in the UK for a very good reason - it works.
I had acupuncture for back pain in 2004 and it worked a treat. I’d been suffering from problems when I was sitting all day at work and I also had a two hour commute to and from the office. I wasn’t getting to the gym and my poorly back was protesting in no uncertain terms. The doctor gave me ibuprofen and told me to take it three times a day indefinitely…oh, and gave me a sheet with some physio exercises to do. Which didn’t make a lot of difference. A friend of mine suggested I tried acupuncture so I thought “Why not?”
I had six sessions in all. I’m not going to pretend it was the most comfortable feeling in the world, having pins stuck in between my toes, and when she inserted a needle in my armpit I swear I almost fell off the couch. But that six sessions of acupuncture made my back feel so much better, and although I get the odd twinge if I’ve been sitting down too much, it’s never come back again.
Acupuncture is available at many spas in the UK as an extra treatment, and if you wanted to tag a taster session onto your spa day, I’m sure the spas would be only too happy to oblige. Champneys Spa in Tring offers a 55 minute acupuncture session – although it has to be booked in advance, you can also try it at Ragdale Hall, and other spas are starting to offer acupuncture as a staple on their spa menu too. Acupuncture Awareness Week is a great time to find out more about the therapy, and maybe sample one of the 2.3 million acupuncture treatments that are carried out every year. It’s not just a last resort; it can be great for relaxation as well as a cure for illnesses – even infertility.
So, why not find out more about this great relaxation treatment – and if you want to get more information about acupuncture before you sign up, go to the British Acupuncture Council website and there’s a whole wealth of information there too.