Kevy’s Take on Acupuncture
I started acupuncture in SF over 20 years ago in SF at Haight Street Free Clinic, a wonderful progressive community based clinic, serving the disadvantaged. I see now that this clinic as grown since I lived in San Francisco, years ago. Haight Street Free Clinic now has several additional locations.
I continue acupuncture and Chinese Medicine treatments today, every other week at Colorado School of TCM. This community based school provides affordable treatments for its patients. They have mostly student practitioners and staff, many with their own practices, including Sara Kay Lowmeyer, and Thaddeus Hass, at Bodies on Point, Courney Carag, at Community Care Collective, Dr. Yi Cao, at Cao’s Acupuncture Clinic.
Real Talk – For me acupuncture works because of my receptivity to it. I have been treated many times at the Colorado School of TCM, and by each of the practitioners listed above, with great relief and satisfaction. They have helped me with stress, smoking, eye floaters, digestion, immunity, and for me to expand creatively, by strengthening my neurotransmitters, and relaxing my mind.
“I’m afraid of needles, except acupuncture needles.” – Catherine O’Hara
Key for me is belief. It will not work if you go into it, not believing it will.
I have taken friends to the same practitioners, who treated me effectively, but they received no benefits. This, I believe, is strongly because they could not relax (surrender to healing), and never believed in it.
Here’s how I make my acupuncture treatments optimally effective:
- I open my mind to receiving this healing.
- I pray and meditate once the needles are in position, and I am left alone in the room
- I work deeply to control my wandering mind to the point of stopping any itch in its tracks, as well as, the need to urinate. I never want to experience the embarrassment of having to leave the treatment room, with needles all over my body, to go to pee.
- During the meditation, I attempt to visualize healing. In many cases, I visualize the chi flowing through my body.
“I get a lot of the ideas when I’m resting – either when I’m meditating or getting some kind of work done on my back, like physical therapy or acupuncture. That’s where I get my best ideas, maybe because I’m balancing my body.” – Katy Perry
How does Acupuncture compare to Voodoo?
Voodoo is another practice of sticking needles, but into a doll instead of into an actual body. Actually, Voodoo is a religion originating from West Africa. It is not as most people see it today, which is due to Hollywood’s negative depiction.
Voodoo, as it was practiced in West Africa, has too been changed into a hybrid religion by the Haitian practice of the religion, which gave more power to Voodoo priests and witch doctors, over the gods, as originally practiced in Africa.
Also, the slave trade bastardized Voodoo as a religion. Since slaves had to conceal their religious practices, they camouflaged Voodoo, by practicing it in the Catholic Church, due to its similarities with Voodoo. Over the years, the more spiritual version of the practice of Voodoo, has evolved far away from what it originally was in West Africa.
Voodoo arrived in New Orleans with the first slaves in 1719 – Haiti wasn’t even a nation at the time. The first Africans who set foot in New Orleans were from the Bight of Benin, while two thirds of the entire slave population was from Senegambia. Each of the regions from which the slaves were stolen had their own religious and magical practices and these traditions were all brought to the shores of Louisiana with the Africans. It wasn’t until after 1803 when the United States purchased the Louisiana territory that there were several influxes of immigrants from Saint Domingue (Haiti).
Voodoo became syncretized with the Catholic religion as a result of the massive forced migrations, displacements of the slave trade, and the Code Noir (Louisiana’s Black Code). Slave owners forbade the Africans from practicing Voodoo under penalty of death and as a result of the Code Noir, Africans were forced into Catholicism.
It was African ingenuity that resulted in the incorporation of saints into the New Orleans Voodoo pantheon of spirits served – the similarities between some of the saints and Voodoo spirits (loas) were such that a saint could act as a sort of stand in for public worship of the loa. Since one could be whipped, branded with a fleur de lys and killed for practicing African traditional religions, the saints were used to cloak the African spirits which allowed the African traditions to survive. But let there be no mistake, no one is confused about who they are serving – the saints do not replace the loas and saints and loas are not one and the same.
In New Orleans, I don’t believe that most people know much about Voodoo, like me. I only know that people always say that it only works on you, if you believe in it.
We were taught not to believe in it, so it never affected us.
There are also many superstitions that New Orleanians believe in that steers them away from Voodoo. One that comes right to mind, is ‘on eating red gravy’ from someone that you do not trust. If you told someone that you were invited to dinner by someone you suspected was not sincere, folks would say, ‘Just make sure that you don’t eat no red gravy’. Red gravy meals are lightly regarded as containing a spell. I have a friend from New York, and I won’t tell you where she rubbed her husband’s steaks before cooking them, to place a spell on him.
The bottom line is that it’s all in what you believe.
That is why associating acupuncture with Voodoo is not so farfetched. Both use needles in practice, but more importantly, both require strong belief in their effectiveness, if they are going to work. Having a strong belief is critical to anything that I suggest on my website. Having belief separates those who receive beneficial results, from those who don’t.
Also, having the ability to trust the practitioner, and to surrender to the process is most important. If a person cannot surrender, then they will not be receptive to healing. And, if not receptive, they are not likely a true believer in it. I believe in acupuncture’s efficacy, and it has worked well for me, for over 20 years.
It is funny how many principals of life seem connection, in unrelated areas. With Voodoo and Acupuncture, many life principals about which I have posted, are being summoned. For one, ‘Pet No Monkey’. If you don’t believe in Voodoo, don’t pet it or it will remain on your back as a burden.
If you don’t believe in Acupuncture, it simply will not work, as with all things in life. If you surrender to Acupuncture you are making yourself receptive to the healing in which you believe. This works much the same as blessings that God may have in store for us.
“I’m cancer-free. And I’m on antioxidants and acupuncture and a different diet. And I have a different outlook on life. I don’t have resentment any more. It’s wonderful. – Louis Gossett, Jr.
If we want to receive these gifts, we must not be distracted, must believe in them, and be receptive to receiving them.
I will post a separate article on Voodoo, New Orleans, and Catholicism.
Acupuncture Summarized By Kevy
- It directs the natural healing mechanisms of the body, to heal itself.
- Our body does the majority of all our healing…but it needs additional direction at times. Acupuncture provides the signal and direction.
- Acupuncture helps by stimulating the central nervous system to send healing to specific places, since the brain chooses what to heal, and does this job 24 X 7. In this process, the brain decides which healing gets priority and which doesn’t.
- It ignites the brain into action, pushing the emergency button, rushing healing.
- Acupuncture is not an energy medicine, religion or voodoo.
- Acupuncture is based on human anatomy, just as western medicine. Some believe that western medicine began from studying Chinese Medicine.
- Acupuncture improves the flow of oxygen and nutrients to where the body needs it, through specifically identified blood vessels.
- Acupuncture addresses the main cause of disease, blood stagnation, by dilating blood vessels, and therefore increasing blood flow. When there is blood stagnation, the body cannot heal properly.
- Acupuncture improves nerve signals to the brain to release natural opioids to relieve pain.
- Acupuncture treats a number of health and emotional problems, by stimulating the body to heal itself.
- Benefits of Acupuncture for addressing: Neurology Issues, Pain Management, Emotional/Mental Illness, Stress/Anxiety, Headaches, Fatigue/Weight, etc.
- Acupuncture provides an alternative to using heavy narcotics to manage pain, by using the body’s natural opioids instead.
- Acupuncture is 2500+ years ago holistic technique, from China, to stimulate energy flow through various vessels, or meridian points in the body for healing
- Acupuncture has been validated by medical research, but not extensively enough. Various scientists hold differing opinions about the effectiveness of acupuncture.
- Acupuncture focuses on 14 Energy Channels/Medians, namely on located points where the nerves meet the muscle, muscles and joints meet the bone, and on specific organs.
- Major Meridians (Not all issues are directly associated with the organ’s obvious western medicine function):
- Lung – Breathing/Respiratory Issues
- Large Intestine – Constipation/Bowel Issues
- Stomach – Digestion Issues
- Spleen – Bacteria/Fungus/Loose Stool Issues
- Heart – Anxiety/Cardio Issues
- Small Intestine – Digestive Issues
- Urinary/Bladder – Reproductive Issues
- Kidney – Adrenals, Detox, and Energy Issues
- Liver – Detox, Fat Digestion Issues
- Acupuncture, like most alternative therapies, is not suitable for all people
- It is highly recommended that you find a licensed practitioner
- Please consult with your doctor on whether acupuncture poses any additional risk to you.
Acupuncture has been medically proven effective through studies, but its effectiveness has not been consistent. This never frightens me, though. With regard to medical research on the effectiveness of acupuncture, you will find studies both confirming and denying its effectiveness.
This may be because acupuncture does not lend itself to western medicine medicine’s approach to research, trials and testing. And, who would fund such research.
The philosophy behind acupuncture lies outside of western medicine’s realm, and important factors for evaluating alternative healing may be overlooked. This goes with the territory on virtually all alternative therapies. This is yet another reason why having faith is so important.
Medical science also has no real way of evaluating a patient’s belief and faith in this protocol, so may find it impossible to evaluate it, until that problem is addressed on all medical research.
Some studies have given acupuncture credit for effectiveness, but only as a placebo, meaning that it has no real power, but since patients believe that it does, then it works as though it does. But, I say that if a protocol works for me, because it really works, or if it works because I believe it does, it still works. I don’t need western medicine to validate its effectiveness. Such evaluations simply may not be unbiased, since acupuncture’s effectiveness could adversely impact western medical practices and revenues.
Please read our Medical disclaimer and statement about treatments working based on belief, and perhaps not working for everyone. Be sure to consult with your doctor for more advice to make you feel more comfortable before starting acupuncture therapy.
Supporting Acupuncture Info
Here are videos and articles on the wonders of acupuncture, if you believe in them and want to receive them.
Holistic Concept of Chinese Medicine – From Shen-non.Com
In Western medicine, doctor looks for specific causes of diseases, and focuses on particular body components to treat. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) doesn’t work in this way. There are fundamental differences in principles, diagnosis and treatment approaches between Western medicine and Chinese medicine.
|Ancient Chinese believed that their existence was closely tied with the universe, where they were located in the center with the heavens positioned above and the earth positioned below. The concept of the universe was used to explain the laws of nature, and relationships were formed between the cosmos and humans. For example, the skin of the human body corresponded with the flat texture of the earth, the five internal organs corresponded to the five elements of wood, fire, water, earth, and metal, and the eyes and ears related to the sun and moon in the heavens. Read More|
Acupuncture explained – 8,262 views – Fast Track to Health – Published on Mar 15, 2016
An Easy Way to understand how Acupuncture Works to Heal the Body – 7,686 views – Scott Martin Acupuncture – Published on Dec 13, 2016
This video describes how acupuncture works to heal the body in a simple and easy way that anybody can understand. It takes the magic and mystery out, and puts practicality and a modern medical perspective in. Get educated – you may know more about how acupuncture works than your acupuncturist by the end of the video… Like this video? Watch our Frequently Asked Questions here https://youtu.be/YBewC1nSpzU
Acupuncture Benefits to Improve Your Health – 22,763 views – Dr. Josh Axe – Streamed live on Sep 14, 2017
Learn more about acupuncture benefits to improve your health on my website here: https://draxe.com
Oprah’s First Acupuncture Session | The Oprah Winfrey Show | Oprah Winfrey Network – 151,623 views – Published on Aug 29, 2014
Although sticking needles in your body may not seem like an enjoyable way to spend time, it’s a medical treatment that has aided people for thousands of years. Watch as Oprah, with the helping hand of Dr. Oz and licensed acupuncturist Daniel Hsu, tries the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture for the first time.
Acupuncture’s Healing Power – 3,566 views – Healing Quest – Published on Nov 30, 2015
Acupuncture has been in use around the world for over two thousand years. Western medicine by and large has been slow to embrace it for anything more than pain relief. But acupuncture can sometimes have a much bigger — in some cases a life-saving — impact.
Data on Acupuncture’s Efficacy and Effectiveness – 4,478 views – NCCIH – Published on Aug 2, 2013
In this clip (4 of 9), several recent studies on acupuncture’s efficacy and effectiveness are discussed.
Acupuncture Studies – 3,630 views – NCCIH – Published on Sep 29, 2014
In this clip (5 of 9), Dr. Deyo discusses some examples of studies on acupuncture. This clip is part of the lecture “Manipulating the Pain: Chiropractic and Other ‘Alternative’ Treatments for Back Pain,” by Richard A. Deyo, M.D., M.P.H., who is the Kaiser Permanente Professor of Evidence-Based Family Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University, an internist, and a researcher.
Question: Have you ever tried acupuncture therapy? Describe your experience.
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