After my Shiatsu massage treatment (which you can read about here) to help me with my bad neck and my digestive issues, my practitioner Lior Levy suggested I come back to see him ten days later for a session of acupuncture. This is the healing practice of inserting very fine sterile needles into specific points, along pathways of the body in order to activate vital energy or “Qi” which can be disrupted by many factors including poor diet, stress and trauma. Acupuncture acts to restore the natural flow of vital energy bringing balance back to the body.
Lior asked how I had been since the Shiatsu massage treatment. I advised him that my neck had eased off but that there was still some discomfort. The one major thing I noticed was how much more settled my stomach was with a reduced dairy intake.
What happened during the acupuncture session?
My practitioner started our two-hour session by asking me to lay face down on a massage table, and he massaged my neck, back and shoulders to help release any tension. He then started to introduce some needles and placed five or six along my back, every time checking my pulse to see how my body was responding to the needles. I didn’t experience any pain, just a little discomfort although when he inserted a needle at the side of my left foot by my big toe, I found that rather sore. This must be because reflexology suggests that this part of the foot represents the neck.
In addition to the needles, Lior also carried out moxibustion, an essential part of Chinese medicine which uses moxa, a soft woolly substance prepared from mugwort leaves. In moxibustion the moxa is placed either directly on the skin or held just above it, over specific acupuncture points or meridians. The herb is lit and as it smoulders slowly, a therapeutic heat permeates the skin and affects the flow of energy and blood in the area being treated.
My practitioner used direct moxibustion with me which is more commonly used for specific areas needing treatment. Lior shaped the moxa into tiny cones and placed them one at a time directly on to my stomach, feet and shoulder area before lighting. He removed the lit moxa cone as soon as I could feel any sensation of heat on my skin. It felt very therapeutic and gave me a nice warming sensation.
Lior asked me to note any side effects I experienced after the treatment. I certainly noticed a boost in my energy level and I had a slight tingling in my left foot. My stomach has improved so much, I have not had the terrible tummy pain I previously had experienced. My neck is a lot better too. We have recently moved house which meant moving my children into a new school and nursery. The neck pain started as soon as we moved house so I believe it was anxiety related. I noticed that my neck eased off the day my son said to me “Mummy, I like school”. I think I was worried about how my boys would settle in their new settings and it was how my body manifested my worry.
What future treatment is required?
Lior suggested we meet again in a few weeks time to work on my feet. I have a bunion on my left foot which causes me some discomfort and if you believe in foot reading (similar to palm reading) this indicates that I bend over backwards and do too much for others and rarely put myself first. I also have scars on the top and bottom of my right foot. This is from an accident I had when I was ten years old, where I jumped on a glass that had been left on the floor. I had to have surgery to remove the glass which involved opening the top of my right foot to remove the deeply ingrained glass. Interestingly Lior advised me that my scar at the top of my right foot runs along a digestive line within the body so he is not surprised that I have had digestive problems.
Every time I see my practitioner I learn something new about my body. I think it is very important to be in tune with your body and I am finding it fascinating.
What do you think? Have you ever had acupuncture and did it work for you? How does your body react to stress and worry? Have you ever suffered with bunions and can you relate to bending over backwards for others? Please comment below.