WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE
Acupuncture stems from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which originated in ancient China more than 3000 years ago. The practice of acupuncture involves gentle insertion of fine, sterile, disposable needles into strategic points on the body by a trained practitioner. Today acupuncture is one of the most popular practices of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in the West.
From the Chinese Medicine perspective: The Qi (prana/ vital energy) of the body flows through a network of 12 meridians (organ systems) pathways in the body. Acupuncture points are plotted on the meridian network over thousands of years by the works and experiences of healers. When the body is in an unbalanced state (illness) or suffers an injury, various meridians can become deficient, excess, or blocked. Stimulating strategic acupuncture points helps the body to bring attention to the injury area for repair and healing, and the free flow of Qi can then resume. When Qi in the meridians is balanced, the result is a state of health and well-being.
From the Western Medicine perspective: Acupuncture is a popular pain management modality; it achieves this by improving the body’s pain receptors' ability to bind to natural opioids. Furthermore, acupuncture stimulates various neurophysiological changes in the body that western science is still trying to fully understand. This includes releasing muscles, increasing blood flow, overriding brain signals, stimulating the endocrine system and the hypothalamic-pituitary axis to balance hormones. There is also a theory in the science community that equals Qi with some of the energies found in sub-atomic and quantum physics.
*Interested to learn more about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)? Read my TCM 101 crash course here.
WHAT CAN ACUPUNCTURE TREAT?
Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical disorders. Some examples of conditions that acupuncture can treat are:
Pain Relief: back pain, sports injuries, migraines, post-surgery, joint pain, fibromyalgia
Digestive Health: abdominal pain, IBS, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, weight gain, heartburn
Women’s health: PMS, menstrual disorders, PCOS, endometriosis, fertility support, egg freezing support, menopause
Emotional Well-being: depression, anxiety, insomnia, stress, chronic fatigue syndrome
Respiratory Health: allergies, reoccurring colds, sinusitis, asthma
Pediatric Care: digestive disorders, bed-wetting, nose bleeds, poor concentration