People often ask me if acupuncturists can treat themselves, or if I do acupuncture on myself. Two people have asked me today, so I thought I’d write a bit about this. The answer is yes, where I can reach. Sometimes I’ll do some points on my legs that benefit digestion and energy level. When I’m busy and stressed to the point where I have headaches, I’ll do a couple points on the top of my feet and feel that frantic tension drain right on down out of my head and into my feet and eventually the ground. It’s a pretty dramatic shift that takes place in a matter of minutes.
There are other needle-free techniques used in acupuncture treatments that I use on myself. I have a home cupping set that uses a handheld pump to create a suction, and I can use this on my shoulders and other accessible tight areas. I also use a moxa stick on myself. If you’re not familiar with these techniques, visit the “Services” page for a description and pictures.
If I’m feeling really crummy, though, I completely forget how to take care of myself, and need outside help. I do receive acupuncture, and also massage, craniosacral, and chiropractic treatments.
Beyond acupuncture, I incorporate Chinese medicine into all aspects of my life. I vary my diet based on what I need according to TCM. For example, if I’m stressed and cranky and overheated, I know I need to avoid greasy or spicy food and alcohol. Instead, I choose raw green vegetable salads, juices, and smoothies, and make myself do some yoga or take a hike in nature. Or, if I’m tired and scattered and droopy feeling, I eat warm nourishing soups and things like oatmeal.
I also eat with the seasons, which means I try to eat things that I would be able to grow in my garden at that time of year, or when it’s snowy, things that are traditionally stored in the fall and eaten through the winter. I don’t eat imported fruits in the winter because they would be too cooling (and probably tasteless and covered in pesticides or very expensive). Dried fruits would be more appropriate in the winter, and would also be energetically more warming to the body.
Anyway, you get the picture. But, if you’d like to learn more, please go to the TCM Dietary Therapy corner of my website, and scroll through my blog for other diet and lifestyle articles.