What is acupuncture ?
Acupuncture is the use of very thin, sterile, single use needles that are inserted into specific points on the body to promote circulation and mobilize your body's natural healing and immune response.
Acupuncture was developed over a period of 3000 years in China. The early practitioners found that there are energy pathways or Life force pathways called Meridians that conduct the flow of Qi ( pronounced “chee”) throughout the body that is responsible for overall health. Disruption of the energy flow can cause disease. By needling specific acupuncture points the flow of Qi is restored.
Qi can be affected by trauma, stress, emotional states and external causes that interrupt the flow of Qi leading to a stagnation of the Qi and resulting in physical pain, irritability, emotional shutdown or diseased organs. It can also be elevated by being out of balance in ones life or eating poor quality foods leading to states of mania, volatility or being easily distracted as in ADHD.
How does Acupuncture work?
In Chinese medical theory the acupuncture points are thought to be vortexes of energy that behave like gates and can be opened with needles or pressure to allow the smooth flow of Qi to resume thereby reducing pain and increasing blood flow in the body.
According to Johns Hopkins Integrative Medicine website, “Acupuncture points are believed to stimulate the central nervous system. This, in turn, releases chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These biochemical changes may stimulate the body's natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being.” (Johns Hopkins website: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/acupuncture) Copy and paste to view website.
Will Acupuncture hurt?
Most people report minimal pain. Normally there may be a feeling of pressure or a brief ache sensation. Sometimes the patient may actually feel a sensation of the Qi flowing along all or part of the meridian. The general response is to feel either energized and or relaxed.
What does acupuncture treat?
In my experience Acupuncture can help people with physical and emotional problems such as: low back pain, pain from cancer and cancer treatments, headaches, body aches, digestive problems, induction of labor, post-partum depression, depression, anxiety, ADHD, stress and trauma. Many physical health issues have their origin in emotional problems and over time begin affecting different parts of the body.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) studies have shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment alone or in combination with conventional therapies to treat the following:
Nausea caused by surgical anesthesia and cancer chemotherapy
Dental pain after surgery
Low back pain
Carpal tunnel syndrome
It may also help with stroke rehabilitation. (Johns Hopkins website: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/acupuncture) Copy and paste to view website.
What is Five Element Acupuncture?
Chinese Medicine is a nature based medicine. By observing how plants and animals grow and live in the environment practitioners learned that living in harmony with one’s surroundings promoted life and wellbeing. The Chinese viewed themselves as being part of nature, not separate from nature so they were affected by seasonal changes and their specific geographic environments whether by wind, heat, damp, dry or cold or any combination of the five conditions.
The five elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Each element represents a season, a cycle of human growth, a personality type, an organ system in the body, a color, a sound, an odor and an emotion. The elements also represent constitutional types. So in treating a patient, the practitioner is determining the primary constitution and any other elements at play in the present moment. The benefit of this style of treatment is to bring balance and grounding to the individual because he or she is having their primary constitution nurtured and supported by the treatment allowing the body to be in more of a flow state so the body systems can repair and heal with greater ease.
It’s a marvelous system that honors each persons specific characteristics and health conditions. It is also important to note that in addition to receiving treatments that other factors affect our health including our diets, our physical activities, relationships, our emotional and spiritual lives. All of these must be taken into account and nurtured as part of living healthy and balanced lives.
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