How Acupuncture Works
Acupuncture works by balancing and optimizing healthy Qi. Qi (chee) doesn’t quite have a western medical definition. It can be described as the vital force in the body. This Qi can be accessed at specific points on the body referred to as Acupuncture points. Energy flows through the body like water flows through a river. When the flow of energy is interrupted, it is like the river gets blocked. When Qi is blocked or in excess, this causes imbalance in the body and creates an environment for illness or pain. When Qi is deficient, an Acupuncture treatment can replenish it. Inserting Acupuncture needles into the appropriate spots on the body will resolve the imbalance, allowing the free flowing of energy and health to resume.
In Western medical terms, acupuncture stress treatments will release endorphins, which are natural pain-killing chemicals. It also works to boost the blood circulation in the body, making sure to oxygenate its tissues and eliminate the waste chemicals. It’s also been found to reduce the heart rate, drop blood pressure and help the muscles relax.
Repeated treatments and occasional herbal formulae (if deemed necessary) extend the effectiveness of the treatments until the Qi’s disharmony is resolved.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Quit Smoking with Acupuncture
Oriental medicine and acupuncture has proven a high degree of success in helping cigarette smokers to quit. Acupuncture can alleviate withdrawal symptoms like moodiness, restlessness, and jitters. Acupuncture treatments will also make the body feel more relaxed during the withdrawal process.
A study by the University of Oslo has found that one’s desire to smoke can be completely removed with acupuncture. People tested have reported that after receiving treatment, they have found that they dislike the taste of tobacco and refuse to touch it.
The extremely thin needles used in acupuncture are completely safe and sterile. They are extremely small, scarcely larger than a hair. There definitely will not be any pain involved in treatments. The acupuncture points in the ears are a focus point to quitting smoking so naturally they will be targeted. Often a small pellet (called ear seeds) will be put on these points in order to stimulate them if a craving occurs.
Acupuncture is not a magical cure for any addiction, though it is one proven to help quit smoking. In order to make quitting easier, give me a call or send me an email to set up a consultation so that we can help you take control of your life and live it smoke-free.
Acupuncture for Digestion and Gastrointestinal Problems
How Acupuncture Relieves Digestion and Gastrointestinal Pain
More than 30% of the population of the US report issues with the gut or digestion. These issues can be disorders such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, food poisoning, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. Thirty percent was figured only based on people who visit the physician’s office due to a digestive problem, which means there could be thousands of unreported cases. Gastrointestinal problems are not usually cured with standard medications, but effectively treated with oriental medicine and acupuncture.
It was found that acupuncture and oriental medicine treatments have been used since before 3 AD originating in ancient China. Literature from this time period suggests that there are certain acupuncture points on the body and specific herbs that can help treat digestive disorders like diarrhea and abdominal pain. Traditional Chinese medicine says that digestive problems are due to an imbalance of the patient’s spleen Qi (life energy), since the spleen is responsible for managing the nutrients we take in and turning it into energy.
Below are the top three complaints physicians hear about and how acupuncture can help
Keep in mind that acupuncture can be used for any digestive conditions, not just the three below.
Acid Reflux (GERD)
Several studies have been conducted on how acupuncture affects acid reflux. Most notably is one published by the American Journal of Physiology. Research states that by stimulating certain acupuncture points on the body, esophageal sphincter disorders are reduced by over forty percent. There are many prescription and over the counter treatments for this disease on the market, though many of them come with side effects whereas acupuncture does not.
In the notable study, electro-acupuncture was used to treat this disorder. When the esophageal sphincter is relaxing at abnormal times it will cause stomach acid to flow upwards causing symptoms such as heartburn. When a specific point on the wrist, called Neiguan, is stimulated with electro-acupuncture, abnormal relaxation of the esophageal sphincter was greatly reduced.
Besides acupuncture, oriental medicine will suggest specific Chinese herbs for you to take, like ginger. Ginger is not only used for acid reflux, but all kinds of digestive problems such as diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, and indigestion. It increases the production of gastric juices which means food is digested more effectively.
This common digestive malady, also known as gastroenteritis or infectious diarrhea, is caused by consuming foods infected with viruses, parasites, and bacteria. It can cause symptoms such as fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and cramping. The bacterium typically responsible for this condition is either E. coli, salmonella, or staphylococcus. If you were to let the body fight off food poisoning without any medical help, it would take anywhere from one week to a few months to fully recover from it, assuming you are consuming the proper amount of water and getting enough rest.
Food poisoning will weaken the overall immune system over time. This will make the immune system much more susceptible to getting infected again. This is why it isn’t always the best idea to let the body handle the problem itself. If the problem persists for longer than two days, it is advised that you seek treatment.
Acupuncture and oriental medicine techniques are best used for mitigating symptoms, like severe diarrhea and vomiting. It helps the immune system remove the toxins from the body. Once the food poisoning is treated, acupuncture should be continued until the body regains its strength.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
About twenty percent of adults in the United States will experience irritable bowel syndrome at some point in their life. It occurs when the lower digestive track is irritated. Common causes of IBS can be stress or a poor diet. Symptoms include diarrhea, fatigue, headaches, bloating, constipation, and gas.
Oriental medicine states that IBS is a result of imbalanced Qi in the liver and spleen. The liver is said to be the central control system of Qi while the spleen is responsible for our digestive systems. Stress, an unhealthy diet, fatigue, and overeating all can disrupt the flow of our Qi and cause IBS. Acupuncture, a proper diet, exercise, and frequent relaxation exercises will help treat IBS and prevent it from reoccurring.
The Acupuncture Treatment
When you meet with the acupuncturist (me), explain your exact symptoms so that a customized treatment plan can be created for you. You will also get suggested lifestyle and dietary changes.
If you are affected by any digestive disorder, call or send an email to set up an acupuncture appointment
Acupuncture Nutrition Herbal Treatment and TCM
Nutrition for Natural Health
Traditional Chinese medicine is a medicine of balance. In order to achieve optimal health, four basic pillars must be strong. They are diet, exercise, adequate rest and relaxation, and “a good mental attitude.” A healthy and balanced dietary practice is just one portion living a healthy lifestyle.
The Chinese diet of balance is not the same as what is considered to be healthy diet in the west. A balanced diet is achieved by eating according to one’s Chinese medical diagnosis. Each and every person requires different properties in their diet. In order to understand what is required for each individual, a Chinese medical diagnosis must be obtained. There are certain foods that should be incorporated into some diets, and different foods that should be avoided in others. In addition to this, foods should be fresh, and eaten in season. All should be free of pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones. Animal protein should be free range and fed according to what is natural for their species.
There are certain tastes that resonate with certain organ systems. Predominant tastes according to meridians are as follows: The spleen/stomach goes towards sweet, liver/gallbladder is sour, heart/small intestine is bitter, and lung/large intestine is spicy.
One follows a diet appropriate to their constitution, dramatic improvements in health can be realized.
Chinese Herbal Therapy
Chinese herbal formulas are prescribed to reinforce the acupuncture treatments and help to restore balance in the patients body. Traditional Chinese medicine including herbal medicine has been used to promote optimal health for over 2500 years.
Chinese herbal remedies have been used for many years, long before the introduction of western medicine. Westerners have only recently learned of the amazing benefits these herbs contain. As Chinese herbal remedies grows in use and popularity, people are wondering how exactly they work. It is confusing to some individuals that a plant could offer healing. What they may not realize is that much of western medicine is derived from plant sources. The following explains how Chinese herbal remedies work in the human body.
Treating the Source
Much of western medicine treats the symptoms rather than the source of an illness or discomfort. Chinese herbal remedies target the source of the problem. For example, depleted blood causes problems with eyesight, sleep, and mood. Blood enriching herbs assist in fixing the deficiency thus eliminating the symptoms. Many issues are caused by fatigue, so specific herbs are taken to increase energy. There are also herbs to treat specific symptoms related to things such as pain, colds and allergies. They are quite effective in this area. But for the most part, herbal medicine focuses on the causes of the disorder rather than particular symptoms.
Herbs are used in combinations to boost effectiveness. They work together, promoting other. In essence, they help each other to increase usefulness. The proper mixture of herbs can have a powerful impact on the body. The use of a single herb in treatment is rare. There are a number of excellent formulas available on the market today to treat virtually any ailment.
3 Basic Functions of Chinese Herbal Medicine
- Supplement – These are used to correct any deficiencies in the body.
- Cleansing – These are used to clear toxins and harmful substances from of the body.
- Balance – These are used to bring organ systems into balance.
In the past, most western physicians have overlooked or simply denied the benefits of herbal remedies. However, they are now beginning to understand the role of herbs in treating illness. You do not have to choose between western medicine and herbal remedies. They often work very well together.