Learning About Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a key component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), one of the oldest continuous medical systems in history. After thousands years of practice, we know acupuncture works. But just how it works is a mystery. Scientists are still attempting to understand.
Although acupuncture and TCM are quite complex and can be difficult for somebody to comprehend. There is little doubt of their effectiveness. The success of acupuncture is evident in the growing popularity in the west and its acceptance among medical professionals
Here are some articles you might find interesting to read and learn about acupuncture
Acupuncture for Women
As a woman, it’s especially important to actively care for your health through all the phases of life. Not only is nurturing your well-being a part of living in harmony with nature’s cycles, but it can also improve your quality of life.
Most women face a wide variety of health concerns as they age, from PMS, fertility and childbirth issues, to menopause and beyond. Whatever your concern, acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offer a safe, natural and effective way to support your health, physically and emotionally
A Whole-Body Approach To Healing
Acupuncture and TCM take a holistic, or whole-body approach to health. According to these theories, Qi (pronounced “chee”) is the vital energy that animates the body and flows though pathways called meridians to nourish all of the body’s organs. When there is an imbalance or blockage in the flow of Qi, the cells, tissues, muscles and organs will receive an inadequate amount of your bodies’ vital energies. When this occurs physical symptoms relating to various medical concerns may result
TCM tells us that specific meridian and organ systems, in this case the kidney, spleen and liver, are related to gynecological health. When one or more of these systems are affected, you may experience uncomfortable symptoms before or during your period
Fertility issues can also be related to these organs. Your practitioner will work to find the underlying imbalances and devise a treatment plan that will help your body regain its natural balance
Your period can provide a great deal of information about your overall health. Unfortunately, many women suffer from a wide variety of symptoms every month. Premenstrual syndrome, known as PMS, can cause cramps, bloating, fatigue, breast pain, headache, mood swings and changes in appetite during the onset of menstruation. But you shouldn’t have to dread your period every month. Acupuncture, along with herbal medicine, dietary changes, can help you regain hormonal balance and achieve symptomatic relief
Fibroids and Endometriosis
Changes in your period can have a number of cause, some of them are serious. If you start to experience intense pain or heavy bleeding, talk to your health care provider
Uterine fibroids are one of the more common causes of menstrual problems for women in their 30s and 40s. fibroids are non-cancerous lumps that can grow on the uterus and in some cases cause long, heavy periods, pain during sex, and a feeling of fullness or pressure in the lower stomach
Endometriosis also affects many women in their 30s and 40s. It occurs when uterine cells start to grow outside the uterus, and can cause low back pain during menstruation, pain during sex, nausea and vomiting, and fatigue. Western treatments for both these conditions often include medications or surgery. While more research is needed, several studies have shown that acupuncture can significantly relieve the painful periods often associated with these and other conditions
Fertility, Pregnancy, and Childbirth
Facing fertility issues can be very stressful for the body, mind, and spirit. But there is hope. Many couples who seek fertility treatments are able to conceive. Incorporating acupuncture and TCM into your overall treatment plan can help. Acupuncture and TCM have been shown success in helping fertility by rebalancing hormone , promoting health of reproductive organs and emotional support, also, increasing the chance of getting pregnant when used in conjunction with invitro fertilization. Whatever fertility programs you take, acupuncture and TCM enhance the health to achieve your dream
Pregnancy comes with its own unique challenges. A woman experiences extreme changes physically and mentally. Morning sickness can follow by a variety of discomfort, even medical conditions. Acupuncture eases sickness, give good support in many ways. Furthermore, acupuncture can correct malposition of fetus. Many women had easier childbirth with acupuncture help
All women have to face menopause, a natural, physiological cycle when they age. Menopause signifies " a change " within a woman's life. This change occurs because a woman's body chemistry is shifting, which results in a variety of symptoms and signs. Acupuncture and TCM understand that those are merely indications of an imbalance deep within the body, and focuses upon correcting underlying imbalances that have occurred over the years
Canadian Cancer Society estimates:
- 25,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. This represents 26% of all new cancer cases in women in 2015
- 5,000 women will die from breast cancer. This represents 14% of all cancer deaths in women in 2015
- On average, 68 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer every day
- On average, 14 Canadian women will die from breast cancer every day
- 220 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer anually and 60 will die from it
Prevention of breast cancer becomes even more important than ever before. Acupuncture and TCM can help breast circulation, rebalance hormone, reduce stress and improve overall health. Most women can live in breast cancer free with the little of effort!
Your Body as a Garden
The concept of gardening gives us an excellent illustration for the theories behind Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and acupuncture. Imagine you are a gardener whose job it is to help a garden thrive. To help nature along, you must provide necessities such as water and fertilizer
You must make sure plants receive the right amount of sun, and you must weed out any undesirable elements. Gardening takes time and effort, but the reward is a beautiful, healthy garden, abundant with flowers and vegetables
One of the philosophies underlying Chinese medicine is that we are not separate from nature. Nature’s constant motion – its flowing seasons and cycles – coincide with our body’s natural rhythms. When we engage in gardening, we strive to be in harmony with nature’s rhythms. This allows us to reap a bountiful harvest. Life flourishes when the elements of air, water, light and earth are balanced
There are basic principles of gardening that you can apply to facilitating the health of your body
Fertilize: Just like plants need fertilizers, we need food in order to re-energize our bodies. In general, a healthy, balanced diet is made up of unprocessed, organic foods such as grains, fruits and vegetables
Water: Our bodies are made up of 70% water. We need its life-giving force to cleanse our bodies of toxins, to regulate body temperature and to aid digestion and circulation.
Sunshine: Just like plants, we also need sun’s energy to grow and thrive. Sun provides our bodies with Vitamin D, which promotes strong bones, supple muscles and a healthy immune system
Weeding: Weeding your garden is vital to keeping the soil clean and properly oxygenated. Our body also needs cleansing. One of the easiest ways to cleanse our body is sweating through exercise
Your goal is to learn how to cultivate and support your inner garden. Your acupuncturist’s goal is to help balance your inner ecosystem so that it can flourish—and you can enjoy health and harmony. Your body is just like a garden, and you and your acupuncturist are the gardeners. He or she will work closely with you to strengthen and balance your internal garden. By taking your entire self into account, your practitioner can help identify— and weed out—any imbalances that could cause problems
Acupuncture isn’t a “quick fix.” It does provide you with the tools and knowledge needed to nourish the garden from within. Your participation in the process is essential. After all, you wouldn’t simply plant seeds in the ground and expect them to bloom unattended. It’s the same with your health. Working with your acupuncturist and committing to long-term care can create positive changes for your overall health.
All Revved Up and Nowhere to go?
What do you think would happen if you kept your car in park and the engine revving as if it was traveling at 65 miles per hour
You guessed it—after a short time your car would break down. If you were lucky, a simple tune-up would fix the problem. If not, the engine might need to be replaced entirely
Stress is a revving engine that, if left unchecked, can wear out the body and mind. Stress in our professional, personal, financial and social lives can lead to a variety of signs and symptoms of poor health
Stress increases our body’s production of cortisol and adrenaline. These body chemicals help activate the “fight or flight” response, a normal reaction that is designed to prepare the body to flee danger or fight an attacker
Unfortunately, many modern stressors are chronic and end up activating the “fight or flight” response for weeks, months, or years at a time. This long-term activation of the body’s stress-response system can wear down the body and mind, setting the stage for illness and disease
The good news is that acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be extremely helpful in reducing the signs and symptoms associated with stress. Using special techniques, a skilled acupuncturist can reduce stress in a few ways
- A customized Chinese herbal prescription can help restore internal health and balance, thus “slowing the engine down.”
- Safe, gentle and effective acupuncture treatments can help “turn off” the fight or flight response and can enable you to feel calmer and sleep more soundly.
- Suggestions for a healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition, meditation, rest and exercise will enable you to maintain a long term healthy lifestyle
One of the unique attributes of Chinese medicine is its holistic approach to health and well-being. Instead of masking or addressing a few signs and symptoms related to stress, an acupuncturist cares for the whole person: body and mind
Stop revving your engine! If you or someone you know is experiencing stress, feel free to give me a call. For five thousand years, acupuncture has helped millions of people cool their engines before they burned out!
Adapting to a Healthier Life
Imagine you are working at your desk and suddenly one of the fluorescent lights overhead starts buzzing. You take notice of it since it is a new stimulus, but don’t think much of it. The longer it persists, however, the more annoying it becomes. But, eventually you are able to ignore it and continue with your work, until finally you don’t even realize that the buzzing noise still continues
Later that night you walk into a movie theater and are met by the overwhelming smell of fresh popped corn. After some time in the theater, the smell of the corn becomes virtually unnoticeable.
So what changed in the examples above? Did the light stop buzzing? Did the aroma coming from the popcorn machine diminish? Or did your body simply adapt to the situation.
The answer, of course, is that you adapted to the external stimuli. The body is designed to do so in order to avoid sensory overload.
Adaptation is a good thing when you are dealing with a trivial nuisance that should not garner an inordinate amount of your focus, but what about when you are dealing with more important stimuli pertaining to your health? More specifically, is it a good thing or a bad thing when you adapt to a stimulus if that trigger happens to be a bodily symptom.
That depends in part on the nature of the symptom, but in general it is not a good thing to simply ignore your body’s signals until they eventually fade into the background.
Headaches that are initially unbearable, or at least a persistent annoyance, can eventually go virtually unnoticed as you learn to adapt to the pain. It is not uncommon to hear people say that daily headaches are just a part of life. You can see that the line between adapting to the headache and adapting to a horrible quality of life quickly begins to blur.
Understand that when you are simply addressing a symptom, whether through your own ability to adapt, or by masking the pain with a medication, you are doing nothing to improve your situation.
Symptoms are your body’s warning system and are there to alert you to an underlying problem. Trying to adapt to (ignore) a continuous symptom is like mentally blocking out the fire alarm while your house burns down around you.
Remember that the symptom is not the problem, but a result of the problem. The only effective way to bolster your health and your quality of life is to correct the underlying cause. Getting regular acupuncture treatments can help you achieve the quality of life you want.