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Turning Skeptics into Believers….

Often when I tell people I am an acupuncturist, the next questions that follow are- “Does it work? Is acupuncture a placebo? Don’t you have to believe it will work for it to help?” The answer is No. One of the greatest challenge of my job is convincing new patients that acupuncture does indeed work. Although acupuncture has its limitations and may not help every condition, you really won’t know how effective it can be until you give it try. The wonderful thing about acupuncture is it is natural and with virtually no negative side effects, so there really is no harm in giving it a try. I have been a believer in the power of acupuncture since the age of 15, when I decided to be the family guinea pig and gave it a try. Not only did it help my eating disorder but also eliminated my menstrual cramps and stress. Soon after I began to see results, the rest of my family (excluding my dad) visited my acupuncturist and became full blown acupuncture devotees.

My father is a perfect example of an acupuncture skeptic. He is a scientist thru and thru  and if he can’t understand how something works scientifically or mathematically- forget it. It took quite a few months of me coaxing and begging him before he let me stick one needle into him. My father complained often of low back pain and shoulder pain. After the first treatment, I asked my father the next day how his back felt and he causally told me it felt slightly better but “sometimes it just feels better on its own.” Clearly, the first treatment didn’t make a huge impact on his opinion of acupuncture so I gave him a few more treatments, confident he would feel a difference. Sure enough, after 3 treatments he couldn’t ignore the fact that his back no longer felt stiff in the morning and he had more range of motion with his shoulder. Reluctant to admit to me that he was a believer in acupuncture, he would tell my mom in private that he did feel relief from his pain after my treatments. It is okay that my dad still won’t rave about acupuncture to my face but the fact that he now requests treatments often and tells his friends about how it helps him, is proof enough for me that he is a believer.

Ted Lilly, who plays baseball for the Dodgers, is no longer doubtful of the powerful effects of acupuncture. He found that acupuncture increased his range of motion almost as soon as he got off the table. To read more about Ted’s experience with acupuncture click here.

If you are on the fence about whether acupuncture can help you, my best suggestion would be to schedule a consult to find out whether acupuncture is right for you. And if you do decide to give it a try- it can’t hurt so you have nothing to lose!