Since I’ve been involved in addiction recovery, I’ve been able to get closer to, and learn a little more about, some holistic treatments. In this blog I’ll pass on some of what I’ve heard and give you one person’s real life experience–mine.
Acupuncture (auricular acupuncture, to be specific using the posh name) is offered for free at the Drug and Alcohol Service in our county. I think this is worthwhile investment in treatment because it’s quick, it’s easy and it’s inexpensive. Research seems to show that it reduces stress, helps with detoxification (easing urges) and more. There’s plenty online to read about, but I’ll focus on what I’ve heard and my own experience. People I met who have run hundreds of sessions talk about many positive experiences that are had. Others avoid it, but those who tried it and wished they hadn’t seem to be few and far between. Some feel their addictive urges are eased, but plenty come back for the sense of relaxation they enjoy. Many say it helps them to sleep better. If nothing else, sitting comfortably in a quiet space for an hour is therapeutic and peaceful–meditative really.
Needles! Lots of people don’t like needles. And maybe it’s not for you. The people I’ve met who administer the acupuncture are all trained, not only in administering the very small sterile needles, but they are nurses or key-workers who have proven their ability to gently reassure people and make sure no one feels overwhelmed. The needles are smaller than those used for medicine. The vast majority of people I talked to echoed the same message, ‘I hardly felt the needle at all’. When it was my first time to try it, I can confirm a slight feeling like a tiny pinching sensation as a few of the needles went in–which lasted for less than a second. But then I felt no discomfort at all. Most of the process didn’t register as painful at all. Did it ease any urges? I’m not sure. But I did feel relaxed.
Agency: Remember you are in control. If you want to give it a try, but maybe you feel nervous, why not share your feelings and worries before starting? It’s your decision. It might be a good way to get a sense of how much you feel you can trust the person, and it might help just to talk about it. You can decide to try one needle and only proceed if you decide it’s okay for you afterward. That’s my report on acupuncture. I hope it’s somewhat interesting for someone.
Would you like me to blog next month about meditation, PTSD or CBT? You can vote on which topic you think I should write on here.
Remember Keep Your Head is a website with mental health support information specific to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
And finally, don’t scroll down to see this picture of a photo of my ear with the little acupuncture needles unless you want to see what it looked like when I tried it recently:
scroll down for (hopefully harmless) photo of my acupuncture experience
scroll down for closeup of my ear with the harmless needles in place