People commonly seek acupuncture for
“Seeking treatment when you are sick is like digging a well when you are thirsty.”
Acupuncture can be explained in a number of ways. In a nutshell, acupuncture works on two levels – local and systemic.
At the local level, where the needle is inserted, there is relaxation of the muscles and tissues, which contributes to pain relief in the area. At the systemic level, there is an endorphin response, which also helps in the modulation of pain. Furthermore, acupuncture treatment helps our autonomic nervous system relax. During the treatment, we go from sympathetic (stress, adrenaline, tension, fear and its associated physical symptoms such as vasodilation, increased heart and respiratory rate, muscle tension, etc.) to parasympathetic (rest, digestion, sleep). When the body is able to rest again, and get out of the “fight or flight” mode which our everyday lives often encourage, then we can begin our healing.
Acupuncture is one of the methods used to carry out the therapeutic principles established in the theory of Chinese medicine. Tui-Na, which is a type of medical massage, and Chinese herbal medicine are other modalities used to apply the principles of Chinese medicine.
It is understood in Chinese medicine that the body, under normal circumstances, can take very good care of itself. It can regulate a huge number of activities without any outside intervention, including fighting disease, dealing with inflammation, and regulating hormone levels. Occasionally the body becomes unable to deal with one of these issues, and this is when we get “out of balance” and experience pain, discomfort, or the sense that “something isn’t quite right.” Our tennis elbow doesn’t resolve on its own, or we start to gain weight, or our digestion is off. The main task for the practitioner of Chinese medicine is to understand why the body is unable to heal that particular affliction. Our job, via acupuncture, massage, and herbal medicine is to make connections between the mind and body to heal the area.
Acupuncture is best at supporting the system before it is sick, but can effectively treat the body once it is ill. The acupuncturist will place needles at specified points on the body, depending on the condition needing treatment, to bring the system back into balance, or wellness. People commonly seek acupuncture for pain and sports/work injuries, respiratory problems and allergies, depression, headaches, chronic colds/immune problems, fatigue, digestive problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, acid-reflux, and ulcers, weight loss, addictions and detoxification.