Acupuncture is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine. It involves the use of very thin needles, inserted into the skin at specific points on the body. Acupuncture is commonly used to treat pain and increasingly recognized as a way to address overall wellness including mental health.
There are two viewpoints or approaches to Acupuncture. Traditional Chinese medicine explains the practice as a way to balance the body's energy flow. Western medicine sees acupuncture as a way to stimulate nerves, muscles and other soft tissues.
Regardless of the approach, The World Health Organization officially recognizes and recommends the use of acupuncture in treating many conditions.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK
Neuroscience explains the process of acupuncture as stimulating nerves, muscles, and other connective tissue in order to stimulate function, increase blood flow and elicit the body's own natural pain killers.
Acupuncturists will examine their client and assess the condition(s) looking to be treated. A patient will be asked to lie down in a position conducive to the treatment about to take place. Sterile, single-use, disposable needles are used during treatment and the patient may feel a very brief stinging or tingling sensation at this time. However, acupuncture is usually relatively painless.
In some cases the needles may be heated or stimulated with electricity after insertion.
The amount of treatments needed to achieve a specific treatment goal will vary depending on a myriad of factors including, but not limited to, the current health of the client, the significance or seriousness of the condition being treated, the client's lifestyle or activities engaged in, etc. Consultation appointments are scheduled for first-time clients in order to assess and determine the best course of action and establish reasonable expectations.
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Acupuncture works to relieve pain by activating the release of endorphins, the body's natural pain killers. It can be used to treat a long list of acute and chronic causes of pain throughout the body.
The central nervous system (CNS) is stimulated through acupuncture in a way that causes the CNS to release serotonin, a chemical in our body that modulates virtually all human behavioural processes. Acupuncture can be used to treat high levels of anxiety and stress as well a various other mood disorders including depression.
Digestion is addressed through acupuncture by targeting the root causes of almost all digestion issues; chronic stress, improper diet and poor sleep. Acupuncture can reduce sympathetic nervous system activity and increase healthy digestive function by doing so. Acupuncture also helps to relieve pain and inflammation which helps regulate stomach acid.
Many issues relating to women's health are addressed through regular acupuncture. Issues such as menstrual pain, menopause and perimenopause, endometriosis, and infertility are positively affected by the ability of acupuncture to improve blood flow and regulate hormonal fluctuations. Acupuncture also offers support during and after pregnancy.