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Ulcerative Colitis & Acupuncture

In the quest to alleviate the symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis, we will try nearly anything. Most of us who have had the condition for any amount of time have tried both the pharmaceutical medications that are available and some for of naturopathic medicine as well. Personally, I tend to want to support natural remedies as much as possible. I truly believe that there are natural ways to heal our bodies without the use of chemicals and Chinese medicine, in particular, has a lot of potential for helping us achieve that healing.

My pre-existing feelings aside, I must confess that I cannot in good conscience recommend acupuncture as a therapy for Ulcerative Colitis. In the early stages of my condition – when the symptoms were in full bloom, but before my actual diagnosis – I tried this form of natural medicine hoping that it could cure my chronic digestive issues. I lay in the room for about 15 minutes as the practitioner gently tapped needles into strategic locations. If I remember correctly, the main points were in my forehead and feet, with a couple of spots in between. While the idea of having needles systematically poked into your flesh may not sound comfortable, let alone pleasurable, I actually rather enjoyed the whole process. I rested with the needles in, supposedly restoring the correct and harmonious flow of my life energy, or chi, for about 45 minutes or so before the naturopath returned and removed them. Afterward I felt rested, energized and a bit euphoric. It was quite a nice and relaxing experience. But it did nothing for my Ulcerative Colitis symptoms. Not a lick of noticeable difference. I would love to say that it did, that it fixed all my problems, but it just isn’t true. I think that things like acupuncture take a certain amount of belief in order to achieve results, and at that particular time, I was beginning to lose faith that anything would work. I had been through tests for parasites, months of dietary restrictions, different herbal medications, colon cleanses and fiber drinks. I had been through so many things that hadn’t worked, I wasn’t ready to believe that this would finally fix me. I think that had a distinctive effect on the outcome. For me, acupuncture had no place in my healing process, but that doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t work for anyone at all. I can see how the relaxation and de-stressing properties of the treatment alone would be helpful, but for my money, this therapy wasn’t the answer.