‘How It Helped Ease My Anxiety’
I’ve never been a fan of needles. In fact, I’ve spent most of my life avoiding them at all costs. Which is why acupuncture was never something I’d considered. But, after a bout of bad health and a few anxious months, I found myself sitting with Mike Wong, an acupuncturist at Neal’s Yard, venting about my life.
I was overly stressed and couldn’t switch off. As a result, I’d been struggling with nearconstant anxiety, panic attacks, and my neck and back were a mess. Meditation and boxing had helped slightly, but the anxiety was still there and I was in pain sitting at my desk each day. A friend had told me how acupuncture had helped her, so after some research I gave it a go.
After asking me about my lifestyle, Mike took my pulse and then, weirdly, asked me to stick out my tongue. He said my pulse was weak, indicating high levels of stress (no shock there) and poor circulation. Stranger still, my tongue showed I was apparently holding on to some repressed anger. Who knew?
Now, on to the needles. Do they hurt? In all honesty, no. At certain points they felt sharp, particularly in my legs, but it wasn’t painful. Once all the needles are in, your acupuncturist adjusts them, which is an odd sensation and feels like increasing pressure at each point.
I left my first session relaxed but very tired. That night I slept like a baby and awoke feeling somewhat better than before, but I was sceptical about how long it would last and after two days the pain in my back started to return. But after seeing general improvement, I booked another appointment for the following week. Four sessions later and I’ve made it through more than a month without feeling even remotely anxious. There’s no feeling of impeding dread, no panic and my chronic lower back pain has gone. To put it frankly, acupuncture’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Do I still get stressed? Of course, but I feel much better prepared for it.