Acupuncture is a holistic treatment that originates from traditional Chinese medicine practices. Thin needles are placed in areas of the body to promote healing and improve function. The needles are strategically placed within energy channels called meridians. By adjusting the channels, the acupuncturist reestablishes the flow of energy or Qi, an Eastern term for energy, and helps the body correct imbalances that could be leading to pain and illness.
Acupuncture is also thought to stimulate the nervous system and releases brain chemicals that can influence the body’s response system to pain, stress or injury. The newly established brain-body balance supports the body’s natural healing ability, which translates into improving physical and emotional wellbeing. Acupuncture may be recommended as a stand-alone treatment or in conjunction with other services as part of a comprehensive wellness package.
The philosophy guiding ancient Chinese medicine states that energy or Qi flows through meridians in the body, which is responsible for keeping opposing forces (yin and yang) in balance. When there is a balance, there is health. When the balance is disrupted through interruptions in the energy flow, sickness and pain can result. Acupuncture is designed to release those blockages, allowing the energy to move freely once again.
Western practitioners also subscribe to the use of acupuncture to treat some conditions, but they do so for a slightly different reason. They have found the insertion of the needles stimulate muscles, nerves and connective tissue. The stimulation influences the activity of adenosine, an amino acid that is instrumental in relieving pain. The treatment has also been found to have a positive effect on other areas of the body’s health and wellness by many of these practitioners.
Acupuncture is primarily used to address both acute and chronic pain conditions, such as:
The treatment is also used to relieve nausea attributed to chemotherapy and surgery and may be helpful in reducing symptoms of some digestive disorders. It has also been found to improve symptoms associated with stress, anxiety and depression.
Research suggests that acupuncture aids in stimulating the release of endorphins and enkephalins, which are the body’s natural pain-reducing chemicals. In addition, the procedure affects the central nervous system by balancing hormones, supporting healthy immune function and altering the body’s reactions to stress. Acupuncture may be used both as a treatment for current conditions and as a preventative measure to ward off disease.
To begin your acupuncture treatment, you will be instructed to lie down in a comfortable position. Your provider will start inserting the fine needles into the appointed area at strategic locations to maximize energy flow. The needles do not cause pain as they are inserted, and many patients do not feel anything during this step. It is common to some mild aching as the needles reach the proper depth, but the procedure is not considered unpleasant or painful.
The needles will be left in position for anywhere from 10 minutes to one hour, depending on the goal of the treatment. Your practitioner may gently manipulate them during that time. Heat or mild electrical impulses may also be applied. There is no discomfort when the needles are removed, and most individuals return to their usual routine immediately following their appointment.
We offer acupuncture at Avalon Integrative Wellness either alone or in combination with other wellness services. Our practitioner will take time with you before your procedure to identify your concerns and examine your general health to ensure your treatment is as effective as possible. To learn more about the benefits of acupuncture or schedule an appointment, contact Avalon Integrative Wellness today at 888-266-9048.