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wellness and natural medicine

How to Know if the Acupuncture is Working or Not

acupuncture addiction wellness

If you Google “wellness,” you’ll find images like this -

silhouette of woman raising her right hand

The reality is that wellness, especially when we’re first deciding to seek it out, rarely feels or looks like that.  It can get pretty ugly! 

Detoxing reactions.

Addictive behaviors we don’t want to give up. 

Trial and error. 

Healing happens when you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired.  It’s not pretty.  Sometimes there’s tears or yelling, or both.  You may have to disagree with family members who have different opinions of what you should do with your health. 

Sometimes things get worse before they get better.  

Sometimes things get better, and then suddenly, are worse again.  

If you want to feel different, you have to be willing to experience some discomfort. 

It’s like the opposite of “comfort food.” 

You may have to eat foods you don't wanna eat.  You may have to move your body when you don't wanna move.  You may have to decide to make your acupuncture appointment instead of hitting happy hour with the rest of your work crew.  

Plus, even as things heal, there are ups and downs that are bound to happen.  That's life.   

A big frustration for natural health practitioners are patients who want to feel cured immediately:

Patient:  “I’m not better yet!”

Me:  “It’s been 2 weeks of treatment and you’ve had the pain for 10 years.”

Patient:  “I’m just going to take some (pain medication) my doctor gave me.”

Me:  đŸ€·đŸŒ‍♀

ć…ˆè‹ŠćŽç”œ ” Bitter first, Sweet later ” ~ Chinese Proverb

Sweet as in, you feel good. 

The bitter could mean literal bitter foods - we get so used to everything tasting sweet

It could mean going to sleep earlier or spending less time scrolling social media (FOMO!).  

It could be doing something new and different that makes you nervous - seeing a different type of a doctor, trying a new exercise class, etc.  

In the realm of herbal remedies and physical medicine like acupuncture, massage, and cupping, we’re gently trying to nudge your body in a healthier direction.  At first, depending on the person and the condition of the dis-ease, we can expect some pushing back. 


Resistance comes from your mind / your partner / your insurance company / your body.  But ultimately you’re in charge of how you handle it.  Focus on your values. 

What do you really want to achieve/do?  Put it on your daily planner and make it happen. 

It’s like uncovering layers of an onion. 

We start with the first layer, covered in dirt and a little crusty, then we go to the next layer which is still a little firm, until we finally get to the tender, juicy insides.  It takes some time. 

What you can expect is - the health problems that started recently will go away faster than the issues you've been struggling with for years.  

I tell my patients, you should feel some slight improvements, which may be very subtle, within just the first one or two treatments.  

This is why I do a very careful consultation before I treat anyone.  People tend to forget the problems once they're gone.  I can remind them, "your shoulder pain used to be all the way from here (neck, upper back, to down the arm), and now it's just this one spot."  That's progress. 

That's what we want to start seeing.  

For other patients, it may be that the health issue isn't as severe as it used to be.  Or it doesn't come up as often.  Like headaches that used to be a constant 7/10, now it only gets to 7/10 for a few minutes in the evening, and then it goes away.  That's progress.  

We can’t predict what it’s going to feel like.  To get to the other side, you have to go through it.

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