Acupuncture is a 3000 year old medicine, originating from China which was used as their primary treatment for diseases. The theory of acupuncture is shown in old texts that mapped out“meridians” which are channels of energy that run through the body. There are 12 primary channels of energy that run through the body and correspond to different organs including: Lungs, Large Intestine, Stomach, Spleen, Heart, Small Intestine, Urinary Bladder, Kidney, Pericardium, San Jiao, Gallbladder and Liver. Each organ has it’s own responsibilities for balancing the body, expressing it’s own emotion and thought, opening to an orifice such as the eye or ears, controls different types of smells or odors, and tends towards different patterns when not functioning properly.
The goal for acupuncture is to bring the body back to a state of homeostasis where there is no disease. In order to determine disease a practitioner will do an in-depth questioning with a patient and see what type of patterns they tend towards (such as being cold, stressed, allergic etc). Along with the intake a practitioner will look at the tongue for coating/color/cracks and feel the quality of the left and right pulses.
In Chinese medicine the tongue and pulse are a unique form of diagnosing. Each organ has it’s own position in the pulse, we feel for quality/speed/strength to determine how the body is reacting to disease inside the body. The tongue coating comes up from the stomach and shows not only how digestion is but what chronic effects have occurred in different areas in the body. For example someone with chronic digestive problems of not being able to break down food properly may have cracks in the center of their tongue. While a smoker may have a very red tip on their tongue in the lung area.
Once the pattern of a person is diagnosed, acupuncture points will be selected on the affected meridians to bring the body back to balance. These points are located on the feet, legs, hands, abdomen, back and head of the person, and also include local points in the area of pain. With needling a person is supposed to get an arrival of Qi to each point, which may feel like ants crawling, dull ache, or even hopping. This Qi is circulation, and changing the circulation in the body is what allows for acupuncture to have an impact on energy flow and healing.
From a western view the body is electric, full of electrons which the metal acupuncture needles works upon to influence the electromagnetic field. The needles used influence the growth, maturation, and function of cells. Studies have proven that the acupuncture points have a concentration of electric resistance, and that there is a correlation between the electromagnetic field in the body and the energy meridians. Stimulating the acupuncture points will alter chemical neurotransmitters in the body making acupuncture a great option for pain, addiction, and promoting healing of disease in the body.
Medically, acupuncture works with various systems in the body such as the hormonal, nervous, immune, circulatory, respiratory, and muscular systems. Through the stimulation of acupuncture points, it allows messages to be sent to the brain and alter pain and hormonal systems in response. After acupuncture there is an increase of white blood cells, stimulation in cell growth and often lower blood pressure.
Since acupuncture is used to bring the body back to balance, it can be
used to treat almost any complaint. It is great to use as a preventative medicine since the treatments bring the body to homeostasis which prevents disease. Often times it is used combined with herbal medicines to treat common flus and colds. Acupuncture has shown to be excellent for women’s health to regulate the menstrual cycle and hormones including fertility and helping with breast feeding. Since there is such an impact on nerves and circulation many people seek out acupuncturists from the treatment of pain.
Through the theory of Chinese Medicine, each patient who walks through the door will be treated different then the next. It is our job to figure out why someone is feeling this way. Everyone has a different reason for their symptoms, which is why acupuncture gets outstanding results over generic treatments. We always figure out the why and then treat the root cause.
In my clinic experience I have treated everything from: shingles, Chron’s disease, hypothyroidism, depression, headaches, fatigue, addiction, pain, broken bones, common cold, HIV.. the list goes on! I am able to treat such a wide variety of disease because I never treat a western disease, I only treat the patterns someone presents with which most times clears up a handful of symptoms rather then just the complaint.
Many people try acupuncture to see what it is, all people have a pattern they tend toward is life that can be balanced. Some people are so out of balance for so long it leads to disease which brings them in. If there is a complaint or not, acupuncture and herbal medicine is a great way to keep the body in good health.