By Michelle Arms
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture involves the use of needles that are inserted into the skin along meridians. Typically, insertion is painless and provides a variety of sensations beneath the surface. Sensations can include heaviness, a deep ache, spreading, warmth, and electrical sensations among many others. Sometimes the sensation travels throughout the body, as if the needles are going surfing! By working along these meridians of the body, we are able to treat the entire being on multiple levels. The meridians are connected to the various organ systems in the body, musculature, fluids (blood + lymph) and the nervous system. This means we can treat physical and mental/emotional conditions with very thin needles. Magical!
What makes Acupuncture effective?
There are many things at work that make acupuncture effective. A major school of thought centers around the needle’s ability to stimulate endogenous opioid receptors in the body, reducing pain. This is especially true when electrical stimulation is included. Acupuncture also stimulates the flow of qi. Qi has been described as energy, electricity, and a life force, among many other things. It is both all and none of these! It is its own unique force that is at the foundation of all things in the world. And, several thousand years ago, someone discovered how to help it flow throughout the body to promote health.
Dis-ease is often caused by internal and/or external forces that disrupt the smooth flow of Qi. These forces can include Influenza sp., heat stroke, depression, or physical trauma. Acupuncture unblocks what is stuck, removes what is in excess, and builds up what is deficient. By doing this, the body is is allowed to heal itself in the best way. This is why we say acupuncture is not about us healing you. It is about us helping your body do the healing.
Tailoring Treatment to your Needs
For the best results, acupuncture is often combined with bodywork, moxibustion, and/or herbal medicine along with other modalities. Even delicious food can play a part in your healing! Take a look at this great recipe for congee. Your practitioner will choose what is best for your condition at the time. That great thing about acupuncture is that every treatment is different! And, we are constantly striving to make it optimal for you.