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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A is for Acupuncture

So there I was lying partially naked on the table with needles sticking out of my back, neck and legs yet It was the most relaxed that I've felt in a long time. I'm talking about acupuncture and this morning I experienced it for the first time.

According to traditional Chinese medicine the body has meridians (or channels) through which Qi (vital energy) flow. The channels and points are attributed to specific body parts and bodily functions/systems, which can supposedly relieve pain and relax muscles through stimulating these channels.

Each time he placed a needle It felt like it was popping a ball of stress, which released built up tension and after awhile I felt like I was one giant, floppy, relaxed noodle. Once all the needles were placed he left the room for about 15-20 minutes and during that time I meditated, which of course relaxed me even more. I began to feel light as a feather and felt like I was floating on a cloud with energy pouring out of every pore in my body and out my fingertips, toes and head.

As I laid there I felt as though the needles had activated endorphins or something because I was tingling with a pleasurable sensation. It was the kind of sensation that you feel from a silky smooth fabric gently sliding along your body but in this instance it was like that feeling didn't disappear like when the fabric moves off your body. Instead that feeling stayed with me along all the points that were stimulated by the needles to where I felt as though I was on some drug or something not unlike some of the sensations I felt when I did ecstasy, which I no longer do.

We talk a lot about the body being interconnected with the mind but meditating while those needles did their work was the most profound experience I've had with that interconnected feeling. And that is saying a lot because I've had some pretty deep feelings of interconnection between my body and mind from just meditation. However, the combination of acupuncture and meditation was very therapeutic to not only my body but also my mind. I highly recommend it if you are having problems with sore muscles, stiff, achy joints and alignment problems with your musculoskeletal system (spinal vertebrae misalignment).

I am a big believer in TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) and It seems clear that it was developed in connection with Buddhism and Taoist understanding of the body and its connection with the mind. The meditation connection seems only natural as well because I am most aware of my body and any new aches or pains that I may have when I meditate.

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13 comments:

Marie Roshi said...

Wow, sounds interesting. I may have to try that. Is it expensive?

They call him James Ure said...

Marie:

Well it was about $60 so I'm not going to be able to do it all the time. I wish I could go every week.

Barry said...

I get needled every 2 weeks and have for 15 years or so.

In addition to the health benefit, it definitely alters my consciousness during the 30 minutes that I'm on the table. And probably afterward.

In the West, we've gotten fairly comfortable that our mind-states have some effect on our physical states.

But, in my experience, our physical states (as in meditation and acupuncture) also have an effect on mind-states.

I guess that's another way of saying - ain't no separation in this particular universe.

Thanks, James!

Netizen101 said...

Interesting! Thanks for sharing your experience. Must try it sometime. :-)

anonyrod said...

It's called sensuality, or attachment to the body. If you practice vipassana correctly (noting and letting go) then you no longer get aches and pains, and if you are really good at it, colds and flu.

Acapuncture and TCM work very well, but of course they are not the best of cures because the real problems are within the mind.

It is somewhat like the many therapy and meditation books that tell you to do the equivalent of singing 10 choruses of "I feel Pretty", maybe it has an effect and does make you feel better but unfortunately it is only temporary.

The effects of vipassana, on the other hand, are permanent and don't cost a dime.

They call him James Ure said...

Barry:

You are very right that our physical condition affects our mental condition. It was great because not only did I get some physical relief but it gave me another chance to meditate for the day.

Netizen:

You're welcome. I recommend it to add to the arsenal of dealing with physical pain.

Anonyrod:

True it doesn't cure thing permanently but it is worthwhile i think. I see your points but I do think it is still important to get physical medicine in addition to meditation, etc. At least for me I see it all as beneficial.

Linda Sama said...

do some yin yoga. it's referred to as "needleless acupuncture". see yinyoga.com

anonyrod said...

James:

I agree, and acapuncture and TCM are better alternatives than stuff that usually has side effects (other than a decreasing bank balance).

Food is the number one medicine, and people often practice yoga or lots of exercise to stay healthy, but interestingly, other than walking around, regular exercise is not necessary to maintain health.

I base my views on a few skilful people who never take medicine, never do exercise, and never get sick, although they do like to point out that there is no cure for old age.

If one is not so skilful then you have to choose an alternative.

PeterAtLarge said...

It's your birthday, right, James? I wish you a great one, and many more to come! Thanks for the continuing stream of challenging thoughts...

Tim said...

James, perhaps you should try adding a few Taoist energy meditations to your practice. It is often used in conjunction with acupuncture.I can send you some links on a few simple and basic meditations if you like.

Riverwolf, said...

Glad to hear about your experience. I haven't tried it yet myself but haven't really had the need, which is a good thing I suppose. However, I do have some recurring pain in my right foot, and I have decided that if it worsens, I'm trying acupuncture first before surgery!

They call him James Ure said...

Anonyrod:

Thanks for the discussion.

Thanks so much Peter.

Tim:

I need to get back to doing Tai Chi. Thanks for the suggestions. I want to check some more stuff out with the TCM and Taoist energy meditations as you suggested.

Riverwolf:

You should try it. He put some pins on my ankles and it felt great!! It felt like draining a tight and pressured blister.

viagra online said...

Acupuncture really scares me because I hate needles, but if it really works, then I think I should take that chance

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