Have you been thinking about trying acupuncture for relaxation or as an alternative treatment for a persistent health problem? Lana Huf-Germain shares some personal experience about seeing an acupuncturist and a list of acupuncturists recommended by other Amsterdam Mamas.
We live in a spectacular day and age. Vast amounts of information are readily available at our fingertips and constant new improvements to everything in our daily lives keeps us on our toes. The field of medicine is no exception. But even with new medicines and procedures, there are times when going to the doctor just doesn’t seem to help. Many people find alternative approaches to health care problems can be very helpful. These can range widely, from massage to vitamin therapy, homeopathy to ayurvedics and yes, acupuncture, too. It's always a good idea to check with your insurance to see if acupuncture, or any alternative treatment, is partly covered under Alternative Medicine.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture may improve the body’s functions and promote the natural self-healing process by stimulating specific anatomic sites, commonly referred to as acupuncture points. The most common method used to stimulate acupoints is the insertion of fine, sterile needles into the skin.
Acupuncture is not a “cure-all” treatment, however, it may be very effective in treating certain conditions. Acupuncture can be very effective during pregnancy for relieving the list of ailments that comes with it, such as nausea, heartburn, and high blood pressure. It can also be effective in treating chronic (long-term) pain, such as headaches, menstrual cramps, and lower back, neck, or muscle pain. Acupuncture may improve the functioning of the immune system (the body’s defence system against diseases), and can even be used in beauty treatments!
What Can You Expect During a Treatment?
Your acupuncturist will ask about your health history. They may examine your tongue’s shape, colour, and coating (so make sure you don’t eat any coloured candy before you go!). They may hold your wrist to feel your energy flow. Using these and other unique assessment tools the acupuncturist will be able to recommend a proper treatment plan to address your particular condition.
Then the needles will get placed. The most pricked places are feet, hands, wrist, belly and face. Most people feel no, or minimal, discomfort as the fine needles are gently placed. It’s often the anticipation of the needle that gives the most discomfort. The needles are usually retained between 5 and 30 minutes. People report that they feel very relaxed both during and after treatments. Some people feel extra-energised after an acupuncture session, depending on symptoms and treatment. Even if you don’t feel anything specific improved after treatment, you at least had a little lie-down rest and relaxation without your child(ren), and that can be a relief, too!
Japanese or Chinese Acupuncture?
Japanese Acupuncture tends to use finer needles than Chinese Acupuncture and the needling is more surface level, so not as deep. Chinese needles tend to be slightly thicker, and the needling is deeper and stronger. For a first-time acupuncture patient who is worried about needles, Japanese Acupuncture might be the better style to try because it tends to be a bit more comfortable for the patient. Again, keep in mind that anticipation of discomfort can cause more discomfort than the actual treatment, so remember to close your eyes, breathe, and relax. Chances are you won’t even notice the prick!
So if you would like to change your approach to a stubborn health problem and want to explore acupuncture, here are some places in Amsterdam that have been recommended by our Mamas (in alphabetical order):
Schaepmanstraat 3, 1051 JC
Highly recommended for physical and psychological problems, Chinese acupuncture.
Keizersgracht 178, 1016 DW
Digestive issues, hormonal balance, migraines and AcuFacials.
Jacob van Lennepstraat 72, 1053 HM
Specialises in overall healing and cosmetic Acupuncture, Japanese acupuncture.
Geldersekade 67, 1011 EK
Chinese acupuncture. Widely recommended by our mamas. Also a source of herbal medicine.
Brouwersgracht 270, 1013 HG
Specialises in overall healing and dietary problems, Chinese acupuncture.
Laurierstraat 109, 1016 PL
Recommended by a lot of mamas! Focus on natural and herbal healing, Chinese acupuncture.
Overtoom 112-3R, 1054 HL
Recommended for pregnancy problems and hayfever problems, Chinese acupuncture
Aalsmeerweg 25, 1059 AB
Highly recommended and most recommended by our Mamas – for all problems.
Rietwijkerstraat 40, 1059 XB
Recommended for back problems, Chinese acupuncture.
Oude Waal 6, 1011 BX
Recommended for assistance with fertility treatments, Chinese acupuncture.
Strawinskylaan 517, 1077 XX
Specialises in Pregnancy problems, stress problems, Chinese acupuncture.
Wg-Plein Unit 330, 1054 SG
Recommended for overall pains and for children with allergies; Japanese acupuncture.
This article has been compiled from the recommendations of our members on the Amsterdam Mamas Facebook group and does not reflect the views or opinions of Stichting Amsterdam Mamas. The information is current as of the date of publication.
Disclaimer: This information has not intended as medical advice. We urge our readers to seek counsel from a qualified medical professional when necessary.
Lana Huf-Germain is a born and bred Amsterdammer. She understands the difficulties faced by international families with no grasp of the language or history, and the extra problems this brings raising a family in Amsterdam. She started Amsterdam Family Assistance to help families new to the Netherlands overcome these barriers and make them feel at home.