How does acupuncture work and what are the main benefits
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM, like Naturopathic Medicine seek to restore balance and harmony in the body that has been compromised from stress, wear and tear, injury or disease. Acupuncture has been used around the world for over 3000 years to restore vital energy or “qi” (pronounced chee). How Acupuncture works is through the insertion of sterile, stainless steel needles, (one-use only needles) that serves to encourage the flow of bodily fluids, including blood, cerebral spinal fluid, lymphatic fluid, and reproductive fluids, as well as to stimulate the qi, or energy of the vital organs associated with the treated regions. The placement of tiny needles encourages the release of chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord and brain enhancing the production of neurotransmitters and endorphins to assist the recipient in feeling more relaxed, energetic and vital.
In 1997, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) documented and publicized the safety and efficacy of acupuncture in treating a wide variety of physical, emotional and neurological conditions.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine, (TCM) is based on the ancient philosophy that describes the universe, and the body, in terms of two opposing forces: yin and yang. Yin being feminine energy, associated with the water element, subdued, night time energy; and yang, being masculine energy – bright, bold, strong, powerful, daytime energy. These two energy systems must be balanced for the person to be healthy.
A licensed acupuncturist will be able to identify imbalances in the body by evaluating the tongue body and coating of the person, as well as the pulse. As a naturopathic doctor, I use additional signs and symptoms to understand the needs and imbalances of the patient.
Some of the Benefits to Acupuncture
Applying acupuncture needles to an area of inflammation and pain such as the back, may reduce the tenderness and swelling in one or more treatments. I have had patients with high blood pressure, a yang condition, have their systolic and diastolic pressure reduce as much as 45 combined points in one treatment. For many of my patients, I enjoy giving them a relaxing, yet energizing treatment, which assists them in sleeping (many times right on the table). After a 20 minute treatment, they feel relaxed, refreshed and ready to resume the day. Some benefits of acupuncture include reduced stress, depression, anxiety, back pain, and migraines. Acupuncture treatments have benefited my patients with delayed menses, cramps, and even constipation. In essence, acupuncture is a lovely part of a holistic wellness program. It provides an opportunity for deep rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.