The Art of Acupuncture: Traditional Chinese Medicine

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine treatment that uses thin needles inserted
through the skin to stimulate specific points on channels within the body.

How Does it Work?

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical treatment that has been utilized for over 2500 years. There has been extensive research into how and why it works, and, thus, there are several theories on the mechanism of action of acupuncture.

One theory is that the insertion of needles in specific points on the body stimulates the
central nervous system creating biochemical changes in the body. This chemical release
activates the body’s innate ability to heal itself while also stimulating the individual’s sense
of physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing.

Another theory is that the insertion of the needles causes microtraumas that alert the body to respond and heal itself. Other research has found that the use of acupuncture changes gene expression and promotes protein synthesis. In regards to reducing pain, research has shown that acupuncture influences the Limbic system in the brain. From a Chinese medicine theory standpoint, illness is seen as a blockage in the flow of Qi (energy/life force, pronounced “chee”) or a deficiency of Qi. The insertion of needles stimulates the flow and tonification of Qi to promote physical and mental balance.

What conditions can acupuncture benefit?

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Joint pain
  • Sprains/strains
  • Chronic and acute pain
  • Sciatica
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Menstrual irregularities and PMS Infertility
  • Hyper/hypotension
  • Cancer treatment symptoms
  • Gastrointestinal complaints (diarrhea, constipation, IBS, etc)
  • Acid reflux
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Ears/eyes/nose/throat complaints (i.e. tinnitus, vision changes, sinusitis, sore throat, etc)
  • And many more!

What to expect when getting acupuncture:

Try to eat something about 2 hours before your appointment, wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing, and avoid coffee/caffeine at least 2 hours before your treatment. Acupuncture aims to relax the fight-or flight response caffeine can cause.

The naturopathic doctor will ask several questions pertaining to your chief concerns, but
they will also ask several questions that may seem unrelated. These questions are important to understand what is happening in the patient internally so we may understand potential root causes.
After the questions, your doctor will ask to look at your tongue and feel the pulses on both
wrists. Both give more information about what is happening internally.

During the acupuncture treatment, needles will be inserted in specific places according to the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) diagnoses. Depending on the location of the acupuncture point and the sensitivity of the patient that day, the insertion of the needles is many times unnoticeable. Sometimes patients will feel an odd sensation throughout the body during needle insertion called the “Qi sensation.” It has been described in many different ways. Some say it is the feeling you get when you hit your “funny bone,” some describe it as a “wave” or “whooshing” sensation, and others say it feels like electricity. Dr. Sydney describes her experience with it as non-cold chills throughout the body or a “tickle” deep within. These sensations last seconds and are actually a great sign that the needles are promoting Qi/energy flow.

Drink more water than you usually do to aid in the removal of toxins and allow yourself time to rest after treatments for even better results.

For additional information or to schedule a consultation call (480) 906-3283.

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