Most of us don't realize how "stuck" we really are. It's our nature to accumulate things, ideas, people. It's a lot harder to let go of something than it is to hold on to it-even if letting go is in our best interest. If you don't believe me, just take a good look around you. Do you really need everything that is in the room with you, taking up space? Is everything in the room either attractive or useful? If not, why is it still there? Ladies, take a moment to dump out your purses. What is it that is making them so heavy? Is it full of things that you actually need and use everyday, or have you discovered items that have been tucked away in there for months?
This need to hoard extends to our emotional lives, as well. We tend to hold on to our pains and regrets, embracing and savoring them. How many times have you had a bad situation play over and over in your head? You know that brooding over it is only making you feel worse, yet it is so much harder to stop and move on than it is to torture yourself with it. We hold on to people who we know aren't good for us, dreading the loss more than the pain they cause. We are conditioned to hold, so much so that letting go of anything feels daunting.
In my world, anything that is being held on to causes stagnation, or a lack of movement. There are three things that we acupuncturists are able to do within the body, and these three things are the catalysts for all healing. We can build up weaknesses, drain excesses, and get things moving. In my experience, getting things moving has the most benefit to the health. Most people suffer from stagnation, and relieving that stagnation is usually instantly gratifying. True, sometimes patients are purely deficient or excess, but even then, an element of stagnation comes into play.
So what should you expect when we relieve your stagnation? Well, first of all, pain relief. Smoother periods, better digestion, and a release of stress and anxiety are also to be expected. When stagnation moves, you will have more energy, more motivation, and clearer thinking.
But what sort of effects show up immediately after stagnation is cleared? Well, since things are moving within the body, it is not uncommon for the digestion to get moving, as well. Rumbling stomachs are very common on the acupuncture table; in fact, we like hearing the noise, knowing that it means the treatment is working. Many people need to urinate immediately after getting off the table, since we are moving the fluids in the body. Increased bowel movements after a moving session are also common.
Emotional release frequently occurs, as well. Often people will tear up without knowing why. I have noticed that even my most taciturn patients share details about thoughts that are bothering them once the needles are in. It's almost as if their emotions come bubbling up to the surface through the needle holes! I have also had patients report bursting into tears after the treatment, which led to a sort of spiritual cleansing afterward. I have heard from these patients that this cleansing emotional release leads to an evaporation of unresolved issues. Old resentments, fears, and grievances seem to rise to the surface and disperse once the episode of crying is over. Yet another reason why acupuncture is good for the soul.