What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a system of complementary medicine that involves pricking the skin or tissues with needles, used to alleviate pain and to treat various physical and emotional conditions. Originating in ancient China, acupuncture is now widely practiced in the West. In 1997, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) documented and publicized acupuncture’s safety and efficacy for treating a wide range of conditions.
How does it work?
Acupuncture improves the body’s functions and promotes the natural self-healing process by stimulating specific anatomic sites--commonly referred to as acupuncture points, or acupoints. The most common method used to stimulate acupoints is the insertion of fine, sterile needles into the skin. Pressure, heat, or electrical stimulation may further enhance the effects. Other acupoint stimulation techniques include: manual massage, moxibustion or heat therapy, cupping, and the application of topical herbal medicines and linaments.
acupuncture in action
Studies show that acupuncture raises endorphin levels which corresponds to decreased withdrawal symptoms and cravings for substances. A specific ear protocol has been developed to treat addictions and there is also a special stop-smoking point found on the wrist.
IVF & ART
Gaining attention following the German ART study published in 2002, research has shown that acupuncture treatments aimed at relaxation and increasing blood flow to the uterus directly before and after embryo transfer significantly increase pregnancy outcomes.
Due to the engagement of the "fight or flight" (stress) response , nonessential functions like ovulation can be halted to conserve energy. Acupuncture taps into the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for eliciting the relaxation response, but acupuncture does so much more than that!read more
Headache & Migraine relief
There are as many different acupuncture treatments for headaches as there are causes. Taking an aspirin or other medication treats the symptoms only. Acupuncture addresses the cause of the headache to prevent them going forward.
There are over 400 acupuncture points that run along meridians of the body from the top of the head to the bottom of the feet. All the meridians are interconnected and acupuncture points used to treat a particular condition can be located far from the trouble spot. For example, one of the most effective points to treat headache is located between your thumb and forefinger and one of my favorite infertility points is located on the lower leg about halfway between the knee and ankle.
On the ear is a microcosm point system reflecting the entire body and points can be used to enhance specific treatments. Someone trying to get pregnant might have the uterus point on the ear added to a body treatment. Specific to smoking and other substance use, the National Association for Detox Acupuncture supports a 5 needle protocol known as “NADA” which are certain points used on both ears to aid in detoxification and relaxation processes.