Health & Wellness: The ins and outs of acupuncture

You’ve probably heard something of acupuncture before but if you are not familiar with this ancient Chinese method of achieving wellness, please read on.
Acupuncture is a time-tested, clinically proven alternative medical modality that involves inserting thin (very thin, solid stainless-steel needles into specific points in the body. The goal of acupuncture is to regulate the flow of life energy through your body, which is known as “Qi.” This is based on the belief that blockages develop within the body that prevent energy from flowing and cause health issues, including headaches, nausea, insomnia, sinus congestion and chronic pain, to name a few.
Today, we have a clearer understanding of how Acupuncture works, thanks to modern medical scientific research. Studies have shown that when the needles are inserted into acupuncture points, the peripheral nervous system is triggered which then in turn triggers the central nervous system (you can even see certain sections of the brain light up!) to respond.
This causes a chain reaction that causes the brain to release endorphins. Endorphins are peptides that activate the body’s opiate receptors, resulting in an analgesic effect.
How can it treat issues like chronic pain?
By triggering pain-relieving nerve responses via endorphins, acupuncture can relieve chronic pain. The needles are inserted along various points on the body to elicit these responses and promote healthy energy flow. This allows more oxygen and blood to reach congested areas, improving your body’s natural healing process.
This time-tested treatment is also considered a relaxing and restorative practice, as it involves reclining or lying down in a tranquil setting that allows the patient to rest deeply. As the body relaxes, our fight or flight (sympathetic) nervous system relaxes, and the rest & digest (parasympathetic) nervous system takes over. It is in this state that healing occurs, much like when you are asleep at night.
Whether you experience chronic knee, hip or back pain, migraines, cramps, even neuropathy – dealing with chronic pain can make even simple tasks more challenging.
While over-the-counter pain medicines can offer some relief, they do not treat the underlying cause of the issue, which means you will likely continue to experience chronic pain. If you’re looking for a long-term solution, consider acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. These ancient Chinese practices can help relieve and prevent chronic pain from various causes.
Acupuncture can help with all forms of chronic pain. In the event (rare, but does happen) that Acupuncture can’t help, our office will direct you to the best person/provider who can. We will work with other medical providers to make sure you get the very best results of eastern and western medicine.
Can acupuncture treat other health conditions?
The answer is yes. Acupuncture can help with migraines, digestive disorders such as gas, bloating, indigestion, acid reflux, and irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy, diabetic neuropathy, arthritis — even fertility, pregnancy, and post-delivery care.