The fine print: common side effects of acupuncture treatment include an overall sense of well-being, improved circulation and immune response, better quality sleep and lower blood pressure.
I’m sure you’ve seen those drug commercials on TV. Let’s forget the fact that they always seem to involve people in bathtubs and move on to that silver-tongued disclaimer at the end. “May cause heart attack, migraine headaches and urinary incontinence. See your doctor if you suddenly cannot feel your feet.” The commercial itself is so slick that they almost have me (yes, even me) convinced that I need their medication when that disclaimer comes on and I think, “Urinary incontinence? Yuck, forget it!” But most people just don’t pay attention to that quick-talking announcer guy, because these ads make the drugs they promote immensely popular. So much so that patients are going to their doctors and demanding drugs they may not even need!
Then there’s acupuncture. With very few exceptions, my patients walk out of the treatment room commenting on how wonderfully relaxed they feel. In addition, the symptoms that brought them in for treatment often begin to subside within the first two weeks of treatment. ALL WITHOUT ANY DRUGS AT ALL!
If acupuncturists had enough money to make a drug commercial, we wouldn’t hire the quick-talking announcer guy, we’d hire the normal-speed announcer guy so he could say at the end: “Acupuncture may cause an improvement in sleep, digestion, mood, libido and a feeling of well-being. By resolving your health problems, acupuncture may even cause excessive happiness.”
By now you’re asking, “Excessive happiness, really?” But ask yourself this: what are your health problems costing you? Are they keeping you from your favorite hobby? From losing weight? From having relationships with others? From traveling? From trying new things? From having a family? From having the life you want? Then ask yourself this: how would I feel if I didn’t have these health problems?
If you’re just looking for symptom relief and are willing to play roulette with dangerous side effects, then by all means see your doctor and ask for the drug you just saw advertised on TV. But, if you’re looking for wellness, if you’re looking for “excessive happiness”, then I suggest you try some acupuncture first.