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This ancient technique is an alternative medicine methodology originating from ancient China over 2,000 years ago. It treats patients by manipulating thin, sterile, disposable needles that have been inserted into acupuncture points in the skin along energy meridians of the body. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, stimulating these points can correct imbalances in the body, and bring the body back to homeostasis. Looking at it through a Western lens, acupuncture mitigates brain functions through regulation of the central nervous system.

Imbalances in our bodies are causes by a wide array of things like diet, emotions, lifestyle, environment, over exercising or lack of exercise, and stress level. Below are a list of ailments that acupuncture treats, but it is not limited to these conditions alone:

  • Allergies
  • Skin conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis
  • Arthritis
  • Common cold
  • Sinusitis
  • TMJ – jaw disorder
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Symptoms associated with depression
  • Stress digestive issues poor circulation fatigue
  • Infertility in men and women
  • Impotence or low libido
  • PMS
  • Irregular, heavy or painful menstruation
  • Menopause symptoms
  • Morning sickness
  • Weight management
  • Addiction
  • Smoking cessation
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Migraines
  • Pain
  • Overdue onset of labor (over 40 weeks)
  • Breech pregnancy

Does acupuncture hurt?

Contrary to popular belief, acupuncture is not painful. People think “needles” and feel apprehensive, but where you do feel a sensation of some sort, it isn’t a pricking sensation like that of a needle. In fact, the gauge of an acupuncture needle is so thin, you hardly feel it as it’s being inserted. The sensation the patient feels is something called Deqi, a Chinese term that translates to mean” qi sensation”. This sensation usually comes and goes within seconds, and can feel warm, cold, zingy, or some describe it as a heaviness surrounding the needle, which is a very good sign of energy and blood flowing to the area!

How exactly does acupuncture work from a Western standpoint?

Many studies in animals and humans have demonstrated that acupuncture can cause multiple biological responses. These responses can occur locally, i.e., at or close to the site of application, or at a distance, mediated mainly by sensory neurons to many structures within the central nervous system. This can lead to activation of pathways affecting various physiological systems in the brain as well as in the surrounding areas. Evidence supports the claim that opioid peptides are released during acupuncture, hence resulting it analgesic effects. Stimulation by acupuncture may also activate the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, resulting in a broad range of systemic effects. There have also been documented changes in the secretion of neurotransmitters and neurohormones, as well as in the regulation of blood flow, both centrally and peripherally.

How exactly does acupuncture work from an Eastern standpoint? In traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncturists treat the “whole” patient. What that means is that after an extensive intake, from which we gather information based on the patient’s lifestyle, diet, sleep habits, work conditions, stress level, digestion, energy level, and the like, we then look at their tongue and take their pulse on both wrists. The tongue for us is a map of the body and can give us a clearer picture of the patient’s current state of health. The same goes for the pulses. We are not just measuring heart rate. There are many things we look for, like energy level, blood levels, health of all the energy systems, pain, and more. We can tell if there are blockages in the body, called stagnation, (usually of energy or blood) disharmonies, and or weaknesses in any of the meridians.

After this intake we put all the information together to form a TCM diagnosis. From there we choose the appropriate points that will help treat the condition. We treat the root cause as well as symptoms associated with the ailment.

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