Acupuncture is a complete medical system that is used to diagnose and treat illness, manage chronic disorders, alleviate pain and promote health through prevention and maintenance.
It is the most widely used healing system in the world and yet here in the West it is still shrouded in mystery. It has been used for thousands of years to effectively treat everything from chronic pain to pregnancy to sleep support.
Acupuncture uses stainless steel, disposable needles that are roughly the width of a strand of hair. The fine, single use needles are placed just under the surface of the skin, usually without any pain or sensation.
Acupuncture helps to stimulate detoxification, enhance organ function, increase energy and mental clarity, reduce inflammation and promote blood circulation.
Western medicine has identified 9 systems which integrate in the human body (e.g. circulatory system, lymphatic system, etc.). In Asian medicine, an additional system is understood to be just as vital and dictates how we manifest pain and disease.
The 10th system is the energy system.
● It is comprised of 14 networks of channels called meridians.
● These channels run through the body. They intersect their respective organs and traverse the body, running all the way through to the extremities.
● The meridians form a transportation pathway for energy (or Qi- the vital life force akin to blood and lymph.)
● It is along these channels that the 400 acupuncture points lie and where the energy is accessed (in order to affect the respective organ functions).
When a channel becomes blocked and the flow of energy is impeded (such as when there is a traumatic injury/internal bleeding/benign growth) the body falls into a state of imbalance, setting the stage for injury, pain and illness. This imbalance, if left untreated, can damage the organ whose channel has been injured.
Acupuncture is the tool used to balance the energy and return channels to their uninterrupted state.
Our Diagnostic System
5000 years ago x-rays and blood tests didn’t exist. Symptoms of the body were the only way to detect illness and imbalance, and an accurate system of diagnosis developed. Chinese Medicine uses an intricate form of diagnosis by looking for physical clues to know when there is an internal imbalance.
We see a symptom as the tip of a tree branch. Our job is to follow the branch to the trunk and down to the root, in order to treat the underlying cause (root), as well as the manifesting symptom (branch). It is this principle which acupuncture relies on to reach true patient health and balance.
As acupuncturists, we have been trained in a variety of diagnostic techniques that enable an evaluation not only of the problem itself, but also of any other factors that may be contributing to the current dysfunction.
Using a combination of:
- Patient observation
- Query about symptoms (that can range from night sweats/bloating/menstrual cycles)
- Lifestyle & Emotions
- Palpation: radial pulse, the abdomen, tender points on the body
Through this methodology, we can identify specific systems that need treatment. The placement of needles in these points can then restore the movement of energy and reestablishes healthy tissue and organ function.
One way to describe it, is that we are like car mechanics. You know when something is wrong with your car, you can see the emergency lights coming on, you can hear when it starts to make weird noises, or it just doesn’t “feel right” but you have no idea what is actually wrong. It’s the trained mechanic who can put all of these signs and symptoms together, who takes into account the make and model of the car and who can look under the hood to know what the root of the problem is and how to fix it.
We are learning that 80% of all illness is preventable – so staying healthy by using diet, exercise and supporting the body with balancing modalities can prevent most long-term illness.
Chinese Medicine in Western Terms
Although the exact mechanism to explain how acupuncture works is still unknown, recent studies have identified the body’s physiological reaction to acupuncture and its ability to engage the body’s defenses, and to treat pain and inflammation.
Acupuncture stimulates peripheral nerves that trigger the release of endorphins, which are opiate-like substances produced in the brain whose function is to control pain in the body. Endorphins have been found to be nearly 1,000 times stronger than morphine. This is one of the ways that acupuncture controls pain.
Another substance called cortisol is simultaneously released. Cortisol is the body's own natural anti-inflammatory drug. Controlling pain and reducing inflammation help to promote healing.
Because prolonged inflammation can cause scar tissue formation and may prevent the regain of proper joint mobility, consistent acupuncture treatment after an injury is crucial.
When a muscle is tired, the contraction of its fibers is limited. Acupuncture, from the slight irritation that the needle produces is able to promote increased blood flow to an area, which stimulates healing and releases tight muscular constriction. The increased circulation cleanses muscles of lactic acid — which produces the sensation of muscle soreness and fatigue — faster than the natural process would.
Why Holistic Health?
Insomnia isn’t just trouble sleeping. It’s stress, anxiety, emotion…
Migraines aren’t just headaches. They’re tension, fatigue, inflammation...
Arthritis isn’t just joint pain. It’s overwork, a systemic symptom of other deficiencies...
Your body wants to be healthy. Let’s make your body’s work a little easier by using treatments that work with its infinite wisdom to stimulate your natural healing capacity, strength and balance. What’s more, Holistic medicine not only addresses acute (right now!) pain and disease, but goes far beyond, to promote your long term radiant and wrinkle-free future.
Let a holistic Eastern approach focus on your body’s clues and detect imbalances before they become serious health issues. Diagnose and prevent problems before they knock you down.
Have a healthier life for yourself and a longer life for those you love.
Trust your body...I do.