Acupuncture and self-care when you can’t visit the clinic
So here we are, about to emerge from another period of lockdown, albeit a one that has been in place for a much shorter period of time than we all endured during the spring and summer. At least, that’s the plan.
Stopping Covid-19 is a priority for the government, and rightly so, but what it does mean is that a great many people whose wellbeing would ordinarily be supported through acupuncture – not just here, but anywhere in the world where a lockdown is in force – have been unable to access the help they depend upon.
It’s important to say that unlike the measures that were put in place earlier this year, the current government restrictions in the UK have still allowed The Acupuncturists and other complementary healthcare providers to treat urgent and high-need patients.
But what about those who don’t fall into the category of those requiring urgent support?
In recent months there have been a great number of reports about the growing mental health crisis and the fact that social distancing has either exacerbated the severity of symptoms for those with existing mental health issues or have created mental health problems in those who did not previously consider their mental health to be at risk.
There is some recognition that people with serious or chronic mental health conditions that would worsen if they were unable to access vital acupuncture therapy fall under the definition of urgent care and if you are one of those patients, please get in touch so we can either continue or start to manage your care.
The most vulnerable in our society – those aged over 65 (with or without a pre-existing mental health condition) – are also those most likely to be affected by the more stringent social distancing measures that have been introduced and could perhaps be introduced again in the future, and for a variety of age-related reasons they may also be unable to leave home to receive care.
But they are not alone. The consequences of these measures also place other, otherwise healthy, people at risk as any lockdown plunges jobs and financial security into a new period of uncertainty.
Those who are unable to visit their acupuncturist for the treatment of conditions such as anxiety and depression may well find their symptoms worsen and become more difficult to manage.
So, what are the options for those who are unable to access urgent care services but still need ongoing regular support to maintain good mental and physical health?
The first thing to say is that if you’re unsure about whether the issue you’re experiencing meets the criteria for urgent or high-need care, please get in touch so we can assess your needs and advise you appropriately until the measures are lifted (supposedly on December 2nd).
For those who either don’t ‘qualify’ for urgent care or are unable to travel to receive care, one option may well be acupressure – a form of treatment that can be self-practised with instruction and uses the pressure points used in traditional acupuncture to stimulate the body’s inner healing energy flow.
During the first lockdown, I created some video tutorials to help patients practise acupressure in the comfort of their own homes and gain some relief at a time when we were unable to see and treat anyone – even those in most urgent need.
So how exactly does acupressure work?
As I’ve already alluded to, acupressure uses the meridian points on the body – the places where acupuncture needles would traditionally engage the body’s natural energy pathways – to stimulate healing energy.
The technique is based on the same principles as traditional acupuncture, but instead of needles, it uses the fingers to ‘move’ vital energy along these pathways and promote the natural healing powers that we all have.
It’s a completely safe way to practise self-care and is a highly effective technique to maintain or improve mental and physical wellbeing. What’s more, it has the same holistic benefits that traditional acupuncture brings – meaning acupressure, when practised correctly, can have a healing benefit on underlying health issues you may not even know you are experiencing.
Most of us know that applying pressure in the correct way to the right areas of the body increases blood circulation and eases tension, both of which are an integral part of wellbeing.
This application of specific and health-specific pressure forms the basic principle of physiotherapy as well as acupuncture and acupressure – and goes some way to explaining why these two health disciplines complement each other so effectively.
If you have trouble accessing or following the videos on my YouTube channel, you can always get in touch with me by phone or email and I can help you to learn the techniques that can bring much-needed relief at a time when we all need a bit of TLC.
And if you’d like to know more about acupressure or acupuncture and the health benefits they can bring, why not get in touch for an informal, confidential and no-obligation chat? I’m always happy to answer the many questions people have about this remarkable ancient treatment.
Stay safe and be kind to one another.