Acupuncture beneficial for adventurous

Katrina Mossberger

To the needle phobic, inserting a multitude of tiny needles into your body to relieve pain or promote well-being seems like an oxymoron. But for the more adventurous, acupuncture is now available at the Klotz Student Health Center.

Acupuncture seems like one of those love it or hate it kind of things. Considered a form of traditional Chinese medicine, it has been embraced by the alternative medicine community. Critics say that it has no empirical data to prove existence since chi and its blockages can’t really be proved or disproved.

Despite the lack of empirical data, many people swear by it. When my roommate injured his ankle, he went to an acupuncturist and said the needlework around his ankle made him feel almost instantly better. And when he later tore a ligament in his knee, he had the acupuncturist work on him again. He recovered much faster than his physical therapist anticipated. Coincidence? Maybe.

It has been argued that a positive result to acupuncture doesn’t necessarily mean that the needles helped restore your chi, but instead the placebo effect convinces you that it did help and your brain makes the changes that you think the needles were responsible for. That may not be such a bad thing though, especially if you can get the relief you need.

The needles used for acupuncture are so incredibly thin that you’re not supposed to be able to feel them when inserted into your skin. I heard it actually kind of tickles. I should hope so too, with some of the incredible and somewhat frightening pictures of acupuncture patients with at least 50 needles sticking out of their face. I don’t like the idea of looking like a human pincushion.

What is encouraging that the Student Health Center continues to offer new services that CSUN students can take advantage of. I’m still excited about the institution of inexpensive massages that the health center offers. Instead of adhering only to Western medicine practices, students can try different methods of healing and see which works best for them. Even though I’m interested in trying acupuncture, I’m not sure I could get over my needle phobia in order to do so. Still, it’s nice to know that I could get it done at the health center at a low cost if I wanted to.

Even if acupuncture doesn’t sound like the treatment for you, it’s great that students have that new option at the heath center.