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A line drawing of a heart with a jagged crack down the middle, held together with three acupuncture needles, in recognition of how acupuncture can help with a broken heart.

Community Acupuncture for Heartbreak

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

by Stef Cordes and Lisa Baird

“Can acupuncture help with a broken heart?” is a common question at GCA. The short answer is Yes. Both of your practitioners here have had post-breakup acupuncture treatments … a lot of them. One may have even done so in the safe space of GCA.

It’s surprising how difficult breakups can be. Of course it’s an experience that is very unique to everyone, but it is not uncommon to have moments of all-encompassing emotion and despair that can be really difficult to contain. It can be a very scary experience and cause difficult questions like “Who am I?” to come to the surface. It’s all very complicated and extremely exhausting.

We know that acupuncture activates our parasympathetic nervous system (the part of our nervous system responsible for feeling relaxed) and that it’s been shown to increase those “feel-good” hormones called endorphins, which are known to improve mood and decrease perception of pain.

Heartbreak is complicated, and its effects usually extend beyond our emotional health and wellbeing. Here is a partial list of the emotions, as well as mental and physical symptoms you may be experiencing or may remember from the past:

Signs and Symptoms:

  • overwhelming sadness
  • anger
  • triggering of past trauma
  • feeling alone
  • intense emotion that takes a lot of energy
  • insomnia
  • fatigue
  • difficulty concentrating
  • low immune function
  • indigestion and/or abdominal pain
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • restlessness
  • racing thoughts
  • change in appetite

These are things we successfully treat all the time at GCA, as separate complaints as well as together. People report that acupuncture helps them to feel more balanced, grounded, and more themselves. (And don’t worry about crying, Stef has definitely done that in one of our recliners before. It happens all the time. Someday we might put a sign on that wall that says “It’s Ok To Cry.”) Plus, you will have the unspoken support of our lovely community nearby, dozing and napping with their needles in.

So yes, acupuncture is amazing for heartbreak! We sincerely hope you don’t need treatment for heartbreak, but if you do, we’re here for you.

In solidarity,

Guelph’s acupunk team Lisa and Stef

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