Should A Christian Get Acupuncture Therapy?

“In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe.”Psalm 4:8

I came across this verse last night during my daily Bible reading. After I read the day’s selections (slated to get me to finish the Bible in a year’s time), I promptly fell peacefully asleep, as the verse — and my heart — professed.

Zzzzzzzzzz

An hour later, my legs jerked me awake.  I do not use the term “jerked” lightly.  The episode begins with a tingling and muscle contraction in the tip of my tongue and around my mouth.  Then a muscle in the top of my lower thigh, just above my knee, contracts just to the point before pain.  The muscle contraction then moves from above my knee, wraps around the knee and invades the muscles of my calves before spreading down to my ankle and my feet.  Sometimes my toes curl or my entire leg jerks.  After about twenty seconds of rest, the cycle starts up all over again.  Usually these contractions are worse in one leg than in the other, but both are affected.  The hallmark of all of these contractions is that they are uncontrollable.

Traditional “restless leg syndrome” sufferers describe a creepy or crawling sensation that forces them to move their legs.  In my case, I am not in control of my leg movements.  They contract without my permission.  The muscles contract whether I move my legs around or not.  It’s gotten to the point where I wonder if I have developed a form of epilepsy. In the middle of one of these attacks, not only am I unable to control the contractions, but I also am unable to detect when the muscles have relaxed again.

Obviously I am not getting quality sleep.  If I do manage to drift off to sleep despite these contractions, a particularly sharp one will jerk me awake again, usually within the hour.

In the early days of this problem, I applied Icy Hot to my leg muscles.  The hot and cold sensations seemed to override the contractions and restless feelings so I was able to go back to sleep.  Now I can’t feel Icy Hot on my legs — or anywhere else on my body, either.  Then I switched to a heating pad to help my discomfort.  Now, even on the highest setting possible, I don’t get relief from the contractions.  I also do not always feel the intensity of the heat, especially at night when I am having one of these episodes.  So I switched to capsasin, a derivative of hot peppers.  The hot, burning sensation from this medication occurs only sporadically…usually not until I wake up in the morning!  I bought compression sleeves for my legs.  They just make my legs throb while the muscles are contracting.  I did not use the homeopathic remedy for restless legs (Hyland’s Restful Legs) last night because they didn’t work on me in the past AND they made my heart feel strange, like it was skipping beats.

The only relief I find is when I stand up.  So last night I got up out of bed at 2:22am and stood in my dining room with my iPad for a full thirty minutes.  Just standing there.  If I had enough duct tape I’d construct a device that would allow me to sleep standing up.

Obviously there is something going on with my nerves, aside from the usual anxiety disorder.

Western medicine has no explanation for restless legs.  It has several pharmaceutical treatments for them of varying dosages, but not a cure. Mirapex.  Requip.  Neurotonin. These synthetic drugs sometimes work, sometimes they don’t work, and sometimes they require larger and larger doses to work effectively.  Sometimes they have the unique side effect of causing a patient to wake up and suddenly vomit.  Since my phobia is rooted there….the chance of me voluntarily taking something with that kind of side effect is just about zero. My anxiety over whether it would cause vomiting would keep me up all night even if it did make the muscle contractions stop!

Eastern medicine has non-drug therapies like acupuncture, acupressure, NET, NAET, and JMT to help treat patients.  Many of these techniques have been used successfully for thousands of years — but the scientific research behind their success hasn’t quite caught up.  Acupuncture releases endorphins in the brain, which relieve pain.  Whether or not people’s bodies are really made up of zones of energy, as the ancient acupuncturists believed, is up for grabs.  I don’t find anything in my Bible that discusses mitochondria and other cellular energy factories…but science tells me they are there.  I’m not the kind of person who thinks that if the Bible doesn’t say it’s there, it’s not there.  The writers of the Bible did not know about cells, mitochondria, DNA, proteins, and cellular division. Yet the scientific discovery of these things only enhances my belief in the existence of our incredibly complex Creator!  Who else but the Creator of the Universe could have made us so specifically, with such attention to detail?  If macroevolution was the means by which we exist in our current form, then why do we still have single celled organisms?  Why didn’t they evolve like us?  I don’t understand HOW God created, nor do I have to.  I don’t have to know everything there is to know! After all, as Proverbs 20:24 teaches:

The Lord directs our steps,
so why try to understand everything along the way?

However, I DO want to understand what’s going on with my body, especially since it’s leaching out to my family as I struggle with constant fatigue.  My poor husband was up all night with me as I tossed and jerked and read awhile, trying to distract my mind from the fact that the muscles in my face, stomach, legs and feet were undulating to a rhythm all their own.

Since I don’t want to take those drugs, what options do I have?  I hesitate to seek out oriental medicine because of the unknowns.  When I googled “Should Christians seek out Acupuncture?” I received information all across the board…from people who wrote that God is the one who created our trigger points and that anything that heals us is good in His eyes as long as we give ultimate glory to Him…to people who say that allowing an acupuncturist to pierce your skin is allowing demons to invade your spirit.

I have a more pragmatic view.  I love the Lord.  I know the Lord loves me.  I know Jesus is my healer.  When I had my hysterectomy, I prayed that God would guide the surgeon’s hands.  Couldn’t I also pray that God would guide the acupuncturists hands?  Is anything too difficult for the Lord?  Even if those “out there” people are correct and acupuncture allows evil inside…couldn’t God use it to allow goodness inside?

What is the difference between allowing a surgeon to remove my uterus and allowing a technician to test my muscle response and prepare an acupuncture therapy for me?  Is it better for me to ingest toxic, but legal, drugs, to mask my symptoms than it is to use non drug therapy that purports to not mask but HEAL the problem by stimulating the nervous system?

I read one website I probably should not have read, but I am genuinely seeking truth and direction.  This particular website said that the reason acupuncture has been clinically proven to help with nausea and vomiting is because when demons exit the body they typically induce vomiting.  The reason acupuncture gets rid of the pain is because Satan needs a “hook” to keep us open to New-age, mystical, one-world energy philosophies.  This website did not give any proof except Biblical examples of laying on the hands and the verse admonishing us to keep ourselves pure of worldly trends and philosophies.  They also said that occult practitioners use acupuncture.

So what’s a sleep deprived girl to believe?

I certainly don’t want an acupuncturist whispering incantations over me while they stick needles in my body.  But I also don’t want to swallow synthetic drugs to help mask symptoms of a disorder nobody understands.

I do know that God designed our bodies to need sleep.  Something is wrong with mine.  I’ve prayed for healing. I’ve claimed healing scriptures over my body. The last thing I ever want to do is sin against God — I NEED him to love and accept me, not condemn me!

So.  What do you think?  Is it a sin for a Christian to get acupuncture? Do you have any verses you could share with me that might help me decide whether I need to go this route or a different one?  My sleep deprived brain is feeling rather foggy today, so the picture is murky.  I won’t pursue any therapy, Western or Eastern or something in between, until I can get a handle on what God wants me to do.

Or maybe I should just try the duct tape route.  My husband could secure me against the wall with several strips across my shoulders, my waist and hips, my knees, and probably my ankles.  You think I’m joking.  Maybe it’s the sleep deprivation talking, but I’m seriously considering it.  At least duct tape doesn’t have any demonic controversy or sudden vomiting side effects.  I wouldn’t be the first to try it, though.

Here’s one principal after she allowed her students to duct tape her to the wall:

 

The only thing is, though, if I did it, my feet would have to be on the ground.  Otherwise those muscle contractions would strike, and I can’t imagine anything worse than being stuck in that one position all night long, with continuous, unrelenting muscle contractions.  Unless, of course, it was being stuck in that position all night long with a full bladder.

So maybe duct tape isn’t the answer, after all.

I’m open to suggestions, though!

About everfaith

I am a homeschooling mom who enjoys reading, writing, gabbing, photography, desktop publishing, and letting someone else do the cooking. I love my Superman husband, precious daughter, 2 dogs, my neighbor (that means you!) and Jesus.

Posted on April 1, 2012, in anxiety, fibromyalgia, spiritual warfare and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Acupuncture is not religious. Acupuncture is medicine. It has nothing to do with buddhism, since it existed before buddhism has been introduced to China.

  2. I met with an acupuncturist yesterday and decided to research why christians are opposed to acupuncture. After my research I am inclined to go ahead with acupuncture treatment. God is about balance,, night and day, sun and moon, man and woman, predator and prey, etc., went not get my body balanced?
    I will pray and come against any demonic
    forces, etc. and believe God for my healing through the acupuncturist I believe God directed new to

  3. Thank you so much for this site, I am considering it for fertility. Have had one miscarriage and was looking up information as well and my spirit was leading me just as it lead you. You have helped me a lot with my decision. Again Thank you. And I will keep praying as well.

  4. I am considering it for the relentless pain and fatigue of Lyme disease. Praying as well. :)

  5. A thought to ponder, the greek word for pharmacy is ” pharmakia” meaning drugs it appears 5 times in the N.T, Pharmakia is translated in the english bible as “witchcraft or sorceries” and we all know what God says about that, so should christians be taking perscription drugs? acupuncture for pain or drugs from a witchdoctor, I have awful leg and feet pain, I pray God will bring healing for you all,and the right decision will be made.

  6. Hi there, I really want to know what you have decided and why. I struggle with anxiety, a nerve disorder that keep me awake, and the rare times that I don’t have the tingling, painful burning sensation, I have insomnia. Also have secondary infertility. I would love for you to answer me. Kind regards.

  7. HI, I am just now seeing this post. I am also a Christian very strong in my faith. I have fibroneuralgia and chronic back pain from previous surgeries. I went to have acupuncture and it made a dramatic difference in my pain after just 1 session. I have had 2 now and still seeing results. I haven’t told many people because of the reactions. So I like you also decided to Google “is it biblical to get acupuncture”. I couldn’t find anything in the scriptures to tell me it was a sin. So I firmly believe that it is a “heart thing”.

    I truly think that if you are going to give credit for healing, it needs to be to Jesus! Yes, He can guide the therapist, but I choose not to participate in any of the eastern religions typically associated with these practices. Just like I choose not to participate in the healing practices of the toxic drugs that plagued my body for many years. Acupuncture has worked for me, and I will probably continue. I also have a therapist that is a Christian, so that makes all the difference. Blessings to you all for healing in Jesus name.

  8. marjorie neal

    In the middle ages they thought cutting a person apart to do surgery was against God, in the early part of the last century women were expected to experiance the pain of childbirth due to the curse the God put on women as a result of Eve’s sin. I am a Christian too and in reading what you endure in the night I would say if you feel peace about doing it then pray for the one doing it and get some rest and sleep. I am going to pray myself about it.

  9. Having experienced real discomfort / pain for the past few months and no “normal” doctor or medication having helped relieve it, nor receiving an actual firm diagnosis, I have decided in the interest of my sanity to visit an acupuncturist tomorrow. I do not believe that this is evil or will open me up to demonic possession etc. If God has granted the acupuncturist the skills and ability to relieve this pain then I am able to freely access this form of treatment. All healing comes from God anyway.

  10. I’ve been learning that problems with your thyroid can cause a lot of the symptoms that are mentioned above. Check out the site http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com. Fibramyalgia, depression like bipolar/schitzo, learning disabilities, lupus, you name it, has it’s roots in low thyroid or hyperthyroid. I’d try this first. I’m very concerned that we as christians have made ourselves bound to the enemy of our souls by what we’ve let in. I’m now checking out different sites to see what they think. I really don’t feel good about accupunture. I even stopped using homeopathy because of this concern and yes, homeopathy, it worked, but why?!! There was no biological, scientific proof, but they said the “energy” was left after it was diluted. That bothered me and nagged me. So I found a website that said that there was a lady from a homeopathy company in Germany or Europe somewhere, that said that you had to be a “medium” to work there and that they prayed over their homeopathics so that it would work. That scared me. I repented and pulled all my homeopathics out of my home. Anyway, try getting your thyroid checked, but read the above website, because the medical doctors, most don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing in regards to thyroid. God bless you all, Teresa

  11. I had same problem as you. Doctors had no idea. God told me to go see my chiropractor. It ended up being my atlas was shifted. Check it out

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  13. Hi there! I am a Christian and ministry leader for women who deal with anxiety… I started acupuncture treatments a week ago and felt a little ‘funny’ about it at first as well. However, this is a sweet time of relaxation. I invite the Holy Spirit to heal my body and help me to become more aware of what I’m feeling. I believe whole heartedly that Jesus is the ultimate Healer but I also believe we were created by an awesome God that made our bodies incredible with their own chemical makeup. God has designed us with the will to live. He created us with the “fight or flight” response. He is not surprised that we have “energy” running through our physical bodies and neurological responses. I think acupuncture can be a very spiritual experience. Just as ancient Chinese culture used it to allow “chi” to run freely through the body… western culture can use it as a holistic approach to feeling better. Jesus is Lord… ALWAYS!

  14. As a Christian acupuncturist I will leave you with this idea. Like many modalities, there are good and bad practitioners. There are also “spiritual” and non spiritual practitioners. The verse that is coming to my mind is the one about being unequally yoked. In my opinion that verse applies to more than just marriage. If you have a practitioner who is Taoist or Buddhist they Might not yield you the same results that a Christian practitioner would. If you do seek acupuncture, please ask about their spiritual life, what church they attend and so forth. I believe that our bodies and health is such a personal aspect that we need to seek like mind believers to help us on our way to health. I personally believe that God led me to acupuncture and away from my auditing job about a decade ago. I regularly bring up that it’s God using me as a tool and not just the science behind acupuncture. I’ve also seen some results that only can be explained as God.

  15. I had restless leg syndrome. I am of the opinion that it is a lack of calcium in your system and that your brain sends impulses to your body and legs to move. When your legs move it creates calcium. So this helped me (1) to walk or exercise (2) take 1 or 2 calcium tablets before you go to bed with a glass of milk and eat 2 bananas after that. Bananas contain zinc. It certainly helped me and I don’t suffer from it anymore.

  16. There’s certainly a great deal to know about this topic.
    I love all the points you have made.

  17. Yes it is true that a calcium deficiency can cause severe muscle cramping, twitching. Many pregnant women experience this, increase their calcium intake their symptoms disappear. Another thought is magnesium deficiency, try eating magnesium foods and see if the symptoms subside. Also increase your water intake, you may be slightly dehydrated and not realize it. Finally I have personally experienced great healing from acupuncture, for migraines, allergies, inflammation of digestive regions, low immunity each time with great success. Our busy stress filled world can take a huge toll on our bodies and lead to chronic diseases. This is why I believe that we need to take care of ourselves the best we can by eating fresh foods, exercise, movement, deep breathing, fluids, and by giving ourselves rest. For every stress, we need to build in time to relax to counterbalance. We need to make time everyday to read God’s word, pray, and develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit. He is our comforter, our counselor. He cares about all of our concerns, stresses, ailments, and every part of our being. I know Christians from China and Korea that use acupuncture as their means of medicine. I believe that we need to pray for ” our” acupuncturist as for all those we encounter. I’m sure it would be simpler if there was a listing of “christian” acupuncturists. As with anything we need to continue to daily seek God’s guidance and peace with all of our decisions from the Holy Spirit.

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