~guest post by Isabel Spradlin
Acupuncture is such a huge help to my clients. For almost a decade I have been working with people suffering from abdominal pain and dysfunction. Along with the actual physical distress, most people suffering from belly pain are also feeling a tremendous amount of mental and emotional stress. The pain and the stress together can create such a profound loop of dis-ease that people start to lose hope that they will ever really feel better.
When I sense someone is in this space, one of the first things that has to happen is that the central nervous system has to calm enough so that we can find a true starting point for their treatment. If their nervous system is too jangled, it is almost impossible to make any progress with the actual manual therapy.
The tools of acupuncture are incredibly powerful in this situation. Because acupuncture has such direct and immediate access to some of the deepest energetic channels of the body, it can not only help us start to drop out of the stress response, but because it helps our nervous system actually become calmer, it can begin to relieve some of the symptoms.
There is an intimate connection between the physical processes of our body and the energetic processes of our body. At times they are one in the same, at times they seem almost completely separate. Especially with chronic pain, the physical and the energetic systems are often out of synch with each other.
Yes, it might be true that your digestive problems are due to very physical adhesions around your stomach or intestine or gall bladder. It might be that your struggles with infertility are at heart a result of physical restriction of your uterus. But adhesions or physical restriction rarely happen in a vacuum. There is a tremendous amount of central nervous system action throughout all of our organs and a tremendous number of energetic channels which, when functioning well, create health in every aspect of our beings. In addition, these energetic channels, if blocked or not functioning properly, can have a big impact on how we feel mentally and emotionally. If we ignore any of the pieces of this puzzle, it can lengthen treatment time by a lot.
So, if you’re feeling stuck in your manual treatment, if your stress seems to be driving your symptoms or you’re just not getting the progress you were hoping for, then it may be time to try acupuncture. The tools of acupuncture offer profound access to the central nervous system, the energetic body, and our whole being.
Isabel Spradlin is a licensed massage therapist and teacher. She specializes in abdominal manual therapy. Resources for belly practitioners and for those suffering from abdominal distress can be found at abdominaladhesiontreatment.com.
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.