I was once asked by a very nice young woman if I had always believed in acupuncture.
Here’s the issue for me: Do you always believe in your doctor? In your medications? In your treatments? Do you think what you believe matters? Do you think your doctor always believes in the pills he suggests or in the surgeries he does? Does that matter?
What matters is at the point that I am treating you in the room, I believe that this is the best thing to help your health.
Acupuncture is not about belief. It is a proven medicine. It’s been studied and it is shown that acupuncture works. We don’t know how. I’m not even sure that Western Science understands why but we can show it does work.
No, I didn’t always believe. I was born before Nixon went to China and his aid had surgery in China using acupuncture for anesthesia. Even then, acupuncture didn’t touch my life for another twenty plus years. I do acupuncture because I am a healer. My worst nightmare is to do harm to another. With acupuncture, and a little care, the worst I can do is not help. It’s very difficult to hurt someone using acupuncture.
Frequently people start out a phone call with “I’m a Christian. What religion are you?” I have to wonder what they are really asking in that question.
Are they asking me for my religion or are they worried that somehow with acupuncture I can magically steal their soul?
I usually tell them that if they want someone who believes very closely with what they believe they might want to check with their minister, the same way they would look for a doctor referral from their minister. Sometimes this opens the conversation to the fact that they wouldn’t demand this of their minister.
But here are the answers people have been looking for:
- Acupuncture is a healing modality. It does not require that you subscribe to a belief system
- The philosophy behind acupuncture comes from taoism which predates Christianity so many of the terms will seem different.
- I don’t have subliminal messaging in my soft music.
- You don’t have to have soft music
- I don’t require that you do anything you aren’t comfortable with and this will be true of most practitioners.
Really, if religion is important, get recommendations from your church. If you are just worried that your soul might be in jeopardy for trying acupuncture, consider that many people who have acupuncture are Christians and they are just fine with the idea.
Are you afraid of needles? Tell your practitioner. There isn’t a practitioner around who hasn’t had patients who are terrified of needles. Many do other therapies as well as acupuncture. This way you can see what they do and feel comfortable with this person before you even try out needles (if you ever do).
You should feel comfortable with the practitioner and understand that if you really don’t want something, you don’t have to do it. You may not get a real effective treatment, but it’s hard to get a great treatment if you can’t relax either.
Most people when they are afraid of needles aren’t afraid of the tiny filiform needles that acupuncturists use. These are not the hollow syringes that your medical doctor uses. These are closer to the pins that you use if you sew. However, pins are usually thicker in diameter than most acupuncture needles. Many patients after seeing the packages that the needles come in and how small they are, are suddenly far less afraid of the treatment than they thought they would be!
Consider reading more about acupuncture needles.
Posted in Questions
Chanting is not typically part of an acupuncture treatment. Chanting is more typically a form of Tibetan Medicine.
This is not to say there are not acupuncturists who chant. Acupuncturists are an eclectic group and many of them have elected to study healing methods from many energy medicine traditions, including Tibetan medicine.
However, if chanting makes you uncomfortable, it should not be a problem to find a practitioner who just uses acupuncture and perhaps herbal medicine.
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