I Tried Acupuncture for the First Time. Better Sleep, More Relaxation



By Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD, Founder


Let’s talk about acupuncture. If you hate needles, I still encourage you to keep reading. I recently underwent my first acupuncture session, and it was not as bad as I anticipated. I am happy to report that it was overall a pleasant experience with grood results.

I’m afraid of needles, except acupuncture needles.” - Catherine O’Hara, Actress

If you look at a person who is receiving acupuncture treatment, he or she may look like a human pin cushion. It may look painful, but trust me it is not bad at all if done properly.

“Acupuncture is done using hair-thin needles. Most people report feeling minimal pain as the needle is inserted. The needle is inserted to a point that produces a sensation of pressure or ache,” according to John Hopkins Medicine.

This treatment is a form of traditional Chinese medicine believed to have originated more than 3,000 years ago. The needles are inserted at strategic points on the body.

“Acupuncture points are believed to stimulate the central nervous system. This, in turn, releases chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These biochemical changes may stimulate the body's natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being,” (John Hopkins Medicine).

I noticed that I slept exceptionally well after getting acupuncture. To be clear, I usually have no difficulty sleeping but I was literally knocked out by 7pm that evening.

Acupuncture has made all the difference to my sleep.” – Toyah Wilcox, Musician

Wilcox actually credits acupuncture for ending her 40 year-long battle with insomnia. Because acupuncture helps the body release chemicals that promote relaxation, it makes sense that this treatment would also promote good sleep. Acupuncture may also help the body release melatonin, the sleep hormone.

One of the biggest potential benefits of acupuncture is pain relief. This previous pH Labs blog discusses a report from the American Society of Anesthesiologists which found evidence from a study exhibiting that veterans who had acupuncture treatment before surgery had less pain and needed fewer opioids to manage their pain. They also said they were more satisfied with their pain control than those not receiving acupuncture. 

Furthermore, patients not receiving acupuncture needed almost three times as much of an opioid painkiller when compared to the group who received the treatment. Acupuncture patients also reported less anxiety as well as less nausea and vomiting after surgery.  

There must be something to acupuncture. After all, you never see any sick porcupines!” – Bob Goddard, Author

In addition to acute pain management for several causes of pain from labor pains to sciatica, acupuncture has also been reported to be an effective treatment option for:


                              • Depression
                              • Fertility issues
                              • Seasonal allergy symptoms
                              • Asthma symptoms
                              • Urinary incontinence
                              • Hot flashes due to menopause
                              • Helping with smoking cessation


The power of your mind.

Although acupuncture has been proven to help the body release certain hormones and chemicals that have the potential to help treat certain issues, I do want to point out that the mind also plays a very key role.

“Acupuncture has nonspecific effects (effects due to incidental aspects of a treatment rather than its main mechanism of action). Nonspecific effects may be due to the patient’s belief in the treatment, the relationship between the practitioner and the patient, or other factors not directly caused by the insertion of needles,” according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, a branch of the NIH.

I think this is important to bring attention to because although medicine and treatment can be powerful, our attitudes and minds can have a major impact on our health as well as anything in our lives from relationships to careers.

I plan on doing more acupuncture soon in order to see if I can reap more potential benefits. I am a big fan of red light therapy, cryotherapy and pressotherapy, so why not add another tool in my wellness arsenal. We all deserve to pamper ourselves, especially when this pampering can aid in better mental and physical health.

It is also good to seek the advice of a competent healthcare professional before attempting acupuncture. If you are pregnant, have a skin condition or any health issues, it is especially important to speak with your doctor before trying acupuncture.

As always, it is good practice to maintain your health by following a nutrient-rich diet, managing stress, avoiding smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation (if at all), exercising regularly and getting routine nutrient tests in order to identify any nutrient imbalances or deficiencies. If there are, a competent healthcare professional can work with you on making the necessary dietary changes and recommend quality supplements if necessary.


Enjoy your healthy life!


Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or another competent healthcare practitioner to get specific medical advice for your situation.   


The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.


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