For someone who doesn’t love needles, acupuncture was never a top priority on my self-care list. Even with my community raving over how incredible it is, I was hesitant to the idea of having someone stick needles in me for fun. I’m supposed to sit alone in a room covered in needles and try to relax?
However, after the holiday hustle and bustle, I was craving a couple of moments of calm, and gathered up the courage to try my first acupuncture session and it was well worth it. My experience was soothing, calming, and led me into a deep trance of relaxation.
Acupuncture has a wide range of health benefits from managing discomfort to PMS. It works by stimulating the immune system and promotes circulation and blood flow to the areas being worked on. And no, it doesn’t feel anything like a needle.
If you are new to acupuncture and are feeling nervous, follow some of these tips that helped me.
- Let your therapist know all of your concerns: your aches and pains, as well as any nerves you have and anything else that may help you relax. I struggle with anxiety so I was nervous heading into my session, but my therapist was very understanding and made sure to assure me that I was safe with her. It also made for a perfect session, hitting all of the nerve points that affect my stress levels.
- Do your best to try to allow your body to relax: once all of the needles are in, let your weight and body feel heavy, and doze off to your happy place. If you’re feeling nervous, try imagining yourself on the beach in Maui, or at your favorite ski resort in the Alps.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need: if something doesn’t feel comfortable, let your therapist know and they will take care of you.
- Focus on your breathing: acupuncture is the perfect time to zone out, and practice your meditation. If you need a breathing pattern to follow, try the box breathing pattern (4 counts in, 4 counts hold, 4 counts out, 4 counts hold and repeat).
- Remember that this time is for you: self-care comes in many different ways for each of us, but the end result is the same; prioritizing you. Allow yourself to sink into that time away from work or your daily stressors, and be with yourself. In the midst of life, it is easy to get caught up in the day, week, or even year; take time to remind yourself that you are important and it’s okay to put yourself on your priority list.
New treatments can be nerve-wrecking, but acupuncture is a great way to indulge and treat yourself. If you are looking for something new to try in your self-care routine, look no further and try acupuncture for yourself.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kinsey Hansen is a Health Science major with a focus in Community Health. She is passionate about fitness and health, and used to teach spin classes at her local studio. She believes in self-care and loves to find new ways to relax while balancing school and work.