7 Ways Acupuncture Helps

The World Health Organization list acupuncture for the treatment of over 200 different diseases and conditions. The list is quite extensive and contains many more issues than just pain relief.

Here is a great list of the top 10 conditions that acupuncture can be used. It is from the Naturo Medica:

1. Acupuncture promotes relaxation:

In today’s non-stop world it is a rare occasion for me to meet a patient that is not “stressed out”. Many people feel there are just not enough hours in the day to meet the demands of work, family and self-care. This results in most of us operating in a state of chronically high stress, which not only feels awful but is actually quite damaging to the body. Acupuncture is one of the best ways to relax the nervous system and promote a state of calm and relaxation. The majority of my patients enjoy a state of deep relaxation during and after acupuncture visits and often fall into a peaceful sleep.

2. Acupuncture can help improve sleep:

10% of the US population suffers from chronic insomnia, which is difficulty falling or staying asleep. This lack of sleep is detrimental to a person’s quality of life and has significant health consequences. Many people turn to sleeping pills for relief, but these too can have serious adverse effects that need to be considered. They can be habit forming, leading to abnormal sleep behavior such as sleep walking, sleep eating and long term cognitive decline, depending on which medication is used. Acupuncture is a safe and effective option for insomnia. The best part is that acupuncture treats the root cause of what is causing the insomnia and actually benefits your overall health at the same time!

3. Acupuncture can boost your energy:

Fatigue is the number 1 health concern I encounter in my patients. Most people are burning the candle at both ends with fast paced, high stress lives. In Chinese Medicine the term “qi” can be most closely defined as energy. The majority of people I encounter are deficient in qi. This can be due to many factors including chronic stress, strong emotions, improper diet, too much or too little exercise, and even lack of breathing fresh air can contribute to qi deficiency. The good news is that acupuncture and Chinese herbs can do wonders to nourish a person’s qi, thereby increasing their energy levels. Instead of turning to another cup of coffee, consider increasing your energy in a balanced and sustained way with acupuncture.

4. Acupuncture can decrease musculoskeletal pain:

Acupuncture is one of the best options to consider for both acute and chronic pain. I use acupuncture with great success helping my patients with pain and recovery after injury, pre and post-surgery as well as after motor vehicle accidents. There are several ways in which acupuncture helps to decrease pain and promote tissue recovery including:

  • signaling your body to release pain moderating chemicals called endorphins and enkephalins
  • increasing blood flow to surrounding tissue to bring in nutrients, oxygen, hormones and chemicals to increase the healing process
  • stimulates your body’s release of natural anti-inflammatory compounds that decrease pain and promote healing
  • micro-trauma induced by the needle helps to stimulates your body’s immune system to promote healing

5. Acupuncture can treat headaches:

Headaches can be crippling to those that suffer from them. Many of my patients suffering from chronic headaches have been under the care of Neurologists and continue to suffer from headaches even while undergoing conventional medical treatment. Acupuncture is an excellent therapy for headaches of all types. I commonly treat patients with migraines, tension headaches and hormonally triggered headaches with great success. My patients report experiencing a decreases in the frequency and severity of headaches and over time many people experience a complete resolution of headaches.

6. Acupuncture can improve your mood:

Mood disorders such as anxiety and depression impact the lives of many people causing a great deal of pain and suffering. Medications can be effective and are at times necessary to help manage the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for mood disorders that can be used as a stand- alone treatment as well as in combination with mood supportive medications or supplements. My patients report experiencing a significant decrease in anxiety levels and an improved sense of well-being during acupuncture visits and increasing periods of balanced mood with regular acupuncture treatments.

7. Acupuncture can boost your immune system:

In Chinese medicine the “Wei Qi” is the protective energy barrier that keeps a person healthy and their immune systems strong against the various pathogens. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are incredibly effective at both strengthening the “Wei Qi” to prevent illness as well as expelling pathogens from the body when a person is ill to help speed along recovery time. I use acupuncture and Chinese herbs to treat patients that get sick frequently, for colds, flus and respiratory disorders, for environmental allergies as well as with patients dealing with autoimmune disorders.

8. Acupuncture can help improve digestion:

There is an increasingly high percentage of the population that struggles with symptoms of poor digestion. Some of the many digestive conditions I treat with Chinese medicine are gas and bloating, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, inflammatory bowel disease and abdominal pain. In Chinese Medicine a healthy digestive system is the basis for good health. If the digestive system is not functioning optimally it trickles down to all other aspects of health and lays the groundwork for disease. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help to regulate digestion and restore optimal digestive function.

9. Acupuncture can help with disorders related to menstruation and menopause:

Many women suffer with hormonal imbalances that manifest as conditions such as absent menses, painful menses, heavy menses, infertility, fibroids, endometriosis, perimenopausal and menopausal disorders. Conventional medical treatments are often ineffective for these disorders and seldom treat the underlying cause. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are incredibly beneficial in treating the root cause of these conditions as well as providing symptomatic relief.

10. Acupuncture can help keep you healthy:

Acupuncture is an excellent option for those people that are looking to take their health to the next level. Once my patients have recovered from the condition that brought them in to see me initially I recommend that they continue to come in once a month or quarterly for a “tune up” to keep their body functioning optimally. I find that patients that come in for preventative acupuncture “tune ups” experience higher energy levels, and increased sense of well-being and get sick less frequently than my patients that come in only when they are feeling ill. I am a big advocate for using acupuncture as a form of preventative medicine. I encourage everyone to consider coming in for acupuncture at least once a season to help give their systems a boost, which lays the groundwork for sustained good health.

The “Magic” of Herbs

Each, when used properly including precise dosages, exact time and other factors, have tremendous value.

Trace minerals, electrolytes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids can aid the body in many ways. They work well and work almost exclusively on a physical level.

Enter the world of Herbs.

They do all of the above – the help the body repair itself. They assist the organs and glands. They rid the cells of waste products and promote immunity. Just like the trace minerals, electrolytes, minerals, vitamins, aminos etc.

This is where Herbs and Herbal Medicine separates itself from the pack.

Unlike its “relates,” Herbs work on the emotional and spiritual levels. The others do not.

If a person if feeling melancholy, angry, confused or distracted, there are specific herbs and herbal formulas that will provide relief.

If a person is seeking answers to personal questions, herbs can aid in this quest.

If they desire a deeper connection to Spirit, again, herbs provide the solution.

Each herb enters a different pathway in the body (called Meridians). Each affects various organs based upon its innate flavor and each as a temperature associated with it. For example, ginger by its nature is warming. Rhizoma Rhei is very cold.

As a Master Herbalist, I have spent the better part of 25 years learning the details of these remarkable substances. When you know which combinations to use and for how long, it is amazing how not only a person’s health improves but how their overall life takes a quantum leap forward.

Herbs are best used raw. If one does not know how to use them in combination properly or does not have access to them, liquid tinctures are the next best.

Encapsulated ground up herbs (capsules) are 3rd best.

The latter is the most convenient and cost-effective. The former is the best overall. Tinctures are in the middle.

As a general rule, think herbs over anything and everything else. By far, they have the greatest health improving, life-changing impact.

The Point of Inspiration. . . Literally

When you hear the word “acupuncture,” there may be a number of images, questions,  and thoughts that come to mind.

Needles. Do they hurt? (No is the answer here.)

Used for pain. Helps clear addictions. Weight loss, immunity boosting, and depression relief are just a small sampling of the more than 200 conditions cited by the World Health Organization that acupuncture is successful in treating.

You probably know this.

What about when things are fine physically, but the creative part of you is just stuck? What do you do then?

You probably never thought of this answer – get acupuncture from me.

There are points on the body that not only address physical issues but ones that are of an “other than physical” nature to them. In other words, they help with emotions and psychological states.

They help alleviate anxiety, elevate one’s spirit in cases of depression, reduce fear and others.

They also help to stimulate more positive emotions and psychological states. In one particular case, they stimulate the artistic inspiration; that is, you can get more creative.

How would stimulating a point on the body improve creativity? Think of creativity as energy that is flowing. When the energy is stuck, so is the creativity.

Also, various organs are associated with the “production” of creativity. In this case, the liver and the heart are associated with creativity. The liver “releases” the ideas while the heart provides the passion.

Are you a writer, artists, musician etc.? Memorize this point and stimulate it frequently. It is Gall Bladder 40.

Gall Bladder 40 is located in the area of the ankle. It is in the junction between the 4th and 5th toes, toward the ankle (see picture below).

By massaging this point (or getting acupuncture from me), not only is the gallbladder improved in terms of its overall health, but the stored creativity and other skills can be released as well.