Acupuncture is the use of very fine, sterile acupuncture needles inserted into specific points throughout the body. It is useful is aiding the body and mind to return to a balanced state of well-being. It has been found effective in treating a wide range of conditions such as neuromuscular conditions (muscle pain, arthritis, tendonitis), reducing stress, digestive difficulties, menstrual irregularities, infertility and pregnancy concerns, anxiety, insomnia and many other concerns. Our Naturopathic Doctor uses acupuncture in combination with other modalities (nutrition, lifestyle counselling, supplementation and herbal medicine) to restore and optimize your health.
The traditions of acupuncture are entrenched in Chinese Medicine and culture dating back thousands of years. As our understanding of the human body evolves, the integration of acupuncture into the Western scientific model is also evolving. The result is the incorporation of acupuncture in the treatment of Western-defined pathologies as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnoses.
Acupuncture is a modality that is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The ancient Chinese discovered that the body was comprised of distinct energetic channels called meridians that are associated with the organs in the body. By stimulating these meridians at specific points with needles (Acupuncture), the body is brought back into balance and harmony. What many people do not realize is that acupuncture can benefit everyone, as it treats virtually every medical condition and is excellent for helping to maintain optimal health when used preventatively. Here are top 10 reasons why EVERYONE should be getting acupuncture treatments as part of their self-care and wellness routines:
1. Promotes Relaxation & Reduces Stress
In this unprecedented time, now more than ever in today’s world has made us overwhelmed and stressed out. Many people feel there are just not enough hours in the day to meet the demands of work, family and self-care. This results in many of us operating in a state of chronically high stress, which feels awful and is quite damaging to the body. Acupuncture is one of the best ways to relax the nervous system and promote a state of calm and relaxation, by lowering the stress hormones produced by the body. Patient’s enjoy a state of deep relaxation during and after acupuncture visits and often fall into a peaceful sleep. Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension and is a factor that contributes to emotional and mental health.
2. Improve Sleep and Fights Insomnia
The number of people suffering difficulty falling or staying asleep and chronic insomnia, is on the rise. This lack of sleep is detrimental to a person’s quality of life and has significant health consequences. Many people turn to sleeping pills for relief, but these too can have serious adverse effects, can be habit forming and lead to abnormal sleep behaviour. Acupuncture is a safe and effective option for insomnia as it can regulate serotonin and melatonin, hormones of the sleep cycle. The best part is that it treats the root cause of what is causing the insomnia and actually benefits your overall health at the same time.
3. Increase Energy
Fatigue is the most common health concern as most of us are burning the candle at both ends with fast paced, high stress lives. In Chinese Medicine the term “qi” can be defined as energy. The majority of people are deficient in qi, which is due to many factors: chronic stress, strong emotions, improper diet, too much or too little exercise, and even lack of breathing fresh air. The good news is that acupuncture can do wonders to nourish a person’s qi, thereby increasing their energy levels. Instead of turning to stimulants, consider increasing your energy in a balanced and sustained way with acupuncture.
4. Decrease Musculoskeletal Pain
Especially for you hard-working athletes and weekend warriors, acupuncture is one of the best and most effective treatment options for both acute and chronic pain. It is one of the quickest ways to help patients with pain relief and recovery after injury, pre and post-surgery. There are several ways acupuncture helps to decrease pain and promote tissue recovery including:
- signalling your body to release pain moderating chemicals called endorphins and enkephalins
- increasing blood flow to surrounding tissue to bring in nutrients, oxygen, hormones and chemicals to increase the healing process
- stimulates your body’s release of natural anti-inflammatory compounds that decrease pain and promote healing
- micro-trauma induced by the needle helps to stimulate your body’s immune system and healing
5. Treat Headaches
Headaches can be crippling to those who suffer from them. Whether you suffer from chronic or tension headaches, migraines, or TMJ, acupuncture is an excellent therapy. Providing fast results, patients report experiencing a decreases in the frequency and severity of headaches and over time many people experience a complete resolution of headaches.
6. Improve your Mood
Mood disorders such as anxiety and depression impact the lives of many people causing a great deal of pain and suffering. Medications can be effective and are at times necessary to help manage the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for mood disorders, and can ease symptoms by increasing serotonin levels, as well as in combination with mood supportive nutrition and supplements. You can experience a significant decrease in anxiety levels and an improved sense of well-being during acupuncture visits and increasing periods of balanced mood with regular treatments.
7. Boost your Immune System
In Chinese medicine the “Wei Qi” is the protective energy barrier that keeps a person healthy and their immune systems strong against the various pathogens. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are incredibly effective at both strengthening the “Wei Qi” to prevent illness as well as expelling pathogens from the body when a person is ill to help speed along recovery time. It improves the immune system by triggering the brain to increase more T-cells, which kill foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. Increased production of these T-cells can boost the immune system. Acupuncture treatments can target colds, flus and respiratory disorders, environmental allergies and autoimmune disorders.
8. Improve Digestion & Weight loss
There is an increasingly high percentage of the population that struggles with symptoms of poor digestion. Some of the many digestive conditions TCM treats are gas and bloating, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, inflammatory bowel disease and abdominal pain. In Chinese Medicine a healthy digestive system is the basis for good health. If the digestive system is not functioning optimally it trickles down to all other aspects of health and lays the groundwork for disease. Acupuncture helps to regulate digestion and restore optimal digestive function, increasing blood flow to the digestive organs and nourishing them to improves digestion. It may have an effect on hormones involved with satiety and decreases cravings.
9. Treat Menstruation and Menopause
Many women suffer with hormonal imbalances that manifest as conditions such as absent menses, painful menses, heavy menses, infertility, fibroids, endometriosis, perimenopausal and menopausal disorders. Conventional medical treatments are often ineffective for these disorders and seldom treat the underlying cause. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are incredibly beneficial in treating the root cause of these conditions as well as providing symptomatic relief.
10. Keeps you Healthy
Acupuncture is an excellent option for those people that are looking to take their health to the next level. We all want to feel, think, look and perform to our best. Once patients have recovered from the condition that brought them in initially, it’s recommended to continue maintenance monthly or quarterly for a “tune up” to keep the body functioning optimally. If you do this, expect to experience higher energy levels, increased sense of well-being and sick less frequently. In using acupuncture as a form of preventative medicine, it lays the groundwork for sustained peak health.
Also available: Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture, Cupping and Myofascial release techniques.