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My dad said this to me with a sleepy smile on his face as I was taking his needles out after an acupuncture treatment at OAP. He was talking about that warm, fuzzy, googly eyed, delicious high that acupuncture often leaves you with. Between the oxytocin release that acupuncture lets out, the calming down of our nervous system and the gift of silence and feeling unplugged, this post acupuncture feeling is unlike any other. It’s calming and rejuvenating all in the same magical moments.
I’ve been thinking of my dad saying this a lot this past week; “acupuncture” and “world peace.” Clearly, it’s not so simple, but maybe he’s onto something? In this post election world we’re currently dragging through, this idea has been popping into my mind while seeing patients. It’s been challenging to go about as normal this past week. People have been saying how hard it is for them to get away, to put their phones down just for 30 minutes to get acupuncture or really, to do anything other than stay plugged in. But when these folks do finally take the time to come in, shut off their phones and their minds to the best of their ability, the effort is always worth it. All of our “fight or flight” systems are in full gear, we are running from that tiger in the forest and our cortisol is searing through our bodies. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to help our minds and bodies cope with challenging times. At a time like this, when the world is even more contentious than normal, it becomes even more essential to take care of ourselves: don’t forget to take care of your body, to sleep, look at the moon, eat well and get acupuncture.
Our lives pre-election had already been filled with frustration, stress, grief, anxiety, insomnia and depression. We already had our plates full. And now we’re getting into the full swing of holiday season, seeing family, making too many social commitments, cooking recipes we’ve never made before and figuring how to navigate that conversation with that awkward uncle, taking those moments to yourself become ever more necessary. We can make a million excuses to stay home, avoid going for a walk or to yoga, saying there isn’t enough time. But taking the time for self care, to get some acupuncture love and feel grounded is essential to staying present and whole.