What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture has been practiced widely in Asia for more than 2,000 years and is an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Based on TCM, the Qi (vital energy) of all organs must be in balance for optimal health. Acupuncture is the main treatment that is used to assist the process of regulating Qi and promoting the body’s innate healing mechanisms.
I use varying acupuncture techniques and protocols that include:
- Local acupuncture
- Trigger point acupuncture
- Meridian therapy acupuncture
- Scalp acupuncture
- Auricular (ear) acupuncture
How does acupuncture work?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Viewpoint:
According to TCM principles our bodies are comprised of a system of energy vessels called meridians. Each meridian corresponds with a certain organ and each meridian has points that come close to the surface of the skin. These points are stimulated with the needles which can help get qi (life force) flowing properly which leads to healing and a reduction in symptoms.
Western Medical Viewpoint:
Current research is underway to explain acupuncture using scientific language. The following are a few mechanisms that have been proposed:
- Gate control theory of pain: acupuncture may activate peripheral nerves to block pain signals.
- Endorphin model: acupuncture may assist in production of endorphins in cerebrospinal fluid and up-regulation of opioid receptor binding availability.
- Neurotransmitter model: acupuncture may modulate serotonin, norepinephrine, and neurons that transmit/secrete GABA.
- Nerve damage model: The idea is that by putting the needle in, you stimulate the brain to secrete some nerve growth factor which helps the nerve to regenerate.
What can acupuncture help?
Acupuncture can help a wide variety of condition. Here are some of the most common conditions that can benefit with acupuncture:
- Chronic and acute pain – knee pain, shoulder pain, neck pain and low back pain
- Arthritis and joint pain
- Tennis elbow
- Peripheral neuropathy (numbness of limbs)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Anxiety and depression
- PMS symptoms
How to prepare for an appointment?
It’s important to have eaten something that day and to not come to the appointment hungry.
Is acupuncture safe?
Modern acupuncture needles are made of surgical grade stainless steel. All needles used are sterile, non-toxic, and single-use. Acupuncture has been shown to have no serious side effects when used correctly and has an excellent safety profile.