Acupuncture for Lung Disease
Acupuncture is a huge part of my self-care routine. Keep reading to discover why...
Acupuncture derives from traditional Chinese medicine and has been practiced for over 5000 years. It involves inserting very thin needles through the skin at different key points on the body. These needles are about the thickness of a human hair, so they don't hurt when inserted.
When these points are stimulated, the body’s natural healing abilities are engaged to encourage optimal functioning of the body and homeostasis, -(a rebalancing of the body's systems so that they all work together in harmony).
Acupuncture also rebalances the flow of energy (qi) in the body by removing any blockages of qi, further enabling the body to heal optimally.
It also works by stimulating the central nervous system which consists of the brain, spinal cord, and muscles. This releases chemicals called neurotransmitters and hormones. These chemicals dull pain, boost the immune system, and regulate bodily functions. Acupuncture also stimulates serotonin and endorphins which are the body’s natural pain killers and cause the feel-good effect. They are known to be natural mood lifters. Sometimes this gives me a fit of giggles after a session!
I love this ancient therapy because truly, it has significantly improved my health! I don't view it as a luxury treatment, I view it as a necessity.
When I feel a chest infection coming on, I book an acupuncture session. When I feel stressed, have sinus pain, headaches, back pain, congested, constipated, can't sleep, hormonal, when my allergies flare up, when I'm fatigued, anxious, or feel low, or even when I have a big check-up or procedure coming up, I book an acupuncture session.
I've attended four different acupuncturists to date, each one better than the last. However, I recommend finding a reputable therapist who engages in a high standard of hygiene and professionalism. As with most things, I find word of mouth the best, but you should also check out the therapist's qualifications and make sure that they are registered with the Acupuncture Council of Ireland, before booking an appointment. You can usually find this information on the therapist's website.
Acupuncture is a wonderful form of self-care too. Once the therapist has gone through your initial consultation, assessing your symptoms and overall wellbeing, they will apply the needles to certain points in the body while you lay on the therapy bed. Once this is done, they usually play some relaxing music, dim the lighting and leave the room, allowing you to rest and reap the benefits of the treatment. As with many alternative therapies, the more you relax throughout the session, the better the treatment will work.
I often feel quite dazed after an acupuncture session and need to rest and rehydrate. I tend to feel similarly after a deep tissue massage. It's like a therapy hangover, if I don't rest and get the fluids into me I will get a headache and feel groggy. This is due to the release of toxins being broken down by the body and also the unblocking of energy.
Another reason I love this treatment is that unlike many Eastern 'solutions' to illness, acupuncture gets to the root of our illness and symptoms, rather than just masking them.
However, this can take time and money, which can be an issue for those of us who don't work full time or at all due to our health conditions. In my personal experience, being too proud or protective about my financial state never serves me. When I decide to share my dilemma with practitioners, they are often more than willing to help me out by offering me some free-of-charge treatment or discount rates. After all, they have chosen this path of service, -or for some, the path chose them, for a reason. They are often more driven by the purpose of helping others, especially those in need, rather than financial gain.
It's also worth noting that if you have health insurance, you can usually claim back 50% of the cost of your sessions. You will need to double-check this with your acupuncturist before claiming on your health insurance.
This is further useful as it often takes more than a couple of sessions to make good progress on the ailment/symptoms at hand. Although in saying that, I have always felt the benefits after my first sessions starting back, (sometimes I take breaks from sessions or spread them out more as my symptoms reduce).
Some of the CF-related symptoms acupuncture help with are;
Congestion in my lungs
Congestion in my sinuses
Hemoptysis (coughing up blood)