Many patients ask us if it is good to listen to some relaxing music during an acupuncture treatment. In general, we would recommend silence during a treatment to really give the mind a chance to calm and settle down. This is usually accomplished by focusing on the breath. In many cases, it is preferable if a patient falls asleep on the couch during the silence because then we know that the thinking mind has been turned off for a while, so the body can respond to the needles and start to make the changes that it needs to, for this same reason we don’t recommend that patients play games before a treatment, if they wish to practice¬† they can do it after . Often if a person is lying on the couch thinking about something at work or something they are planning to do later that day, it creates a focus of body energy to the head which may not be what is needed at that time.

This is similar to meditation. Ideally a practitioner meditates in silence, and uses observation of the breath to calm the mind. When the practitioner notices that the mind has wandered, they bring it back to the breath to avoid wandering off in thoughts. This is the essence of mindfulness meditation that is so popular these days.

However, in the early stages of treatment a patient may find it hard to just focus on the breath in silence. In this case some relaxing ambient music could be helpful as a transitory aid before simply focusing on the breath becomes possible. Obviously the choice of music is important, but as long as the patient finds it relaxing it can help to prevent thinking about mundane things during the treatment. We have recently discovered an app with a good selection of relaxing music for meditation and sleep. A good feature is that the music tempo can be slowed down as you relax more to match your resting heart beat, taking you to even deeper levels of relaxation.

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

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