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Why did I study acupuncture?

I've been asked a few times this week why I studied acupuncture?

So I thought it would probably be a good place to start blogging from and explain a little about what brought me to practice this form of medicine and why it can help you as much as it helped me. 01/ I came to acupuncture as a complete skeptic; my mother had used acupuncture for quite some time for pain management for early onset osteoarthritis and when she mentioned trying it for stress and a stomach problem I was suffering from that was consuming my life I foo-foo'd it but reluctantly went along to the appointment to make my mother happy. I didn't feel instantly better but each appointment my stress was at a lower level and at around treatment 7-8 I had a shift with my gut and the symptoms I was experiencing and it gave me a piece of my life back that I'd been missing for 18 months. I wasn't locked to the loo and worrying about every journey to work, frightened to eat in case my stomach flared up and that I had to spend hours chained to the toilet. There was freedom and a bit of flexibility in my life again. This piqued my interest as to the potential of scope for acupuncture but it took me another two years and another real a-ha moment with acupuncture before I would enrol to study acupuncture. 02/ I've been where you are so I can relate; I worked in a high stress job for a decade before retraining in acupuncture. I worked in television for ITV News and working 12 / 14 hour days to get a programme made and on air were not unusual, sometimes eating and going to the loo were forgotten because of the latest crisis / breaking news but gradually I began to notice that this daily stress was affecting my overall health. I was tired all the time, my guts were in bits from grabbing food on the go all the time, or forgetting to eat and I couldn't remember what work-life balance looked like. I loved what I did, but I wasn't sure the lifestyle I had was really serving my health or my friends and family.

I'm not saying that acupuncture solved all these problems, but it definitely made space for me to think about what direction I wanted my life to go in and helped me to refocus, destress and give me a different direction to life prioritising health over work.

03/ The more I have dived in and studied acupuncture, worked in this field of healthcare for the past 7 years, the more this ancient method of medicine has been connected to modern medicine / research has appeared to back-up the benefits of acupuncture regularly for pain, allergic rhinitis, menopause, and anxiety. I feel the duty of care to share this medicine with more people in the UK and offer an alternative way of treatment alongside conventional medicine if people wish to explore acupuncture.

04/ And finally, (sorry I couldn't resist; for anyone that was / is an ITV News watcher this is how most of the programmes were signed off). A little known fact is that I was actually scared of needles prior to retraining in acupuncture. I'd had one too many blood tests in my teenage years and I still think back to that first appointment with my acupuncturist and wonder how I made it onto the table, but I'm so happy I did. I still don't like blood tests but they're more well tolerated these days.

"I'm afraid of needles, except acupuncture needles"

Catherine O'Hara


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