Acupuncture is a method of supporting the body/mind systems in their own natural healing processes. In other words, acupuncture helps the body heal itself. Originating in China over 2000- 5000 years ago, acupuncture forms a part of a rational, personalized, evidence-based system of healthcare. Worldwide, well over one million healthcare practitioners use acupuncture to ease the suffering and restore the health and well-being of their patients.
How Acupuncture Works
Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine surgical-grade needles into specific spots to stimulate the body to heal itself. Traditional explanations of acupuncture involve its effect on improving the flow of qi (‘vital air/energy’ and referred to as ki by the Japanese) and on balancing Yin and Yang- similar to the Western concept of homeostasis.
Due to its popularity and success in the West, a great deal of attention has been focused on demonstrating how acupuncture works in terms of Western physiology. We now know that qi flow corresponds to nerve transmission, fascia communication, metabolic components carried in blood such as oxygen, hormones, neurotransmitters and nutrients as well as the functional energy of an organ system, depending on the context in which it is used. Acupuncture has been demonstrated to regulate and improve the function of all of these components, which are integral to health.
In terms of physiology and biochemistry, acupuncture has been shown to stimulate nerves and connective tissue resulting in profound effects on the nervous system including regulation of key areas of the brain. This improved function results in the body producing its own natural chemicals involved in pain relief and the reduction of inflammation as well as releasing neurotransmitters that create a feeling of relaxation and well-being. Advanced techniques such as fMRI brain imaging and electrostimulation’s effects on the nervous system are continuing to add to a deeper understanding of how acupuncture helps the body to heal itself.
With its long history and expansion throughout the world, there are several approaches to acupuncture, each bringing effectiveness in specific circumstances. A master acupuncturist will have several options for treatment at their disposal and maintain an adaptive, receptive approach to each patient visit based on the results achieved.
I currently employ several styles including Tung’s Style Acupuncture, Tan’s Balance Method, Meridian-Based Acupuncture, Zhu’s Scalp Acupuncture, Auricular Acupuncture, Battlefield Acupuncture, TCM Acupuncture and Sports Medicine Acupuncture.
Sports Medicine Acupuncture is especially beneficial for pain conditions of all types because it allow me to:
- Diagnose based on Western physical exam
- Combine diagnosis with Chinese medicine holistic assessment of your mind-body complex
- Outline a realistic prognosis and treatment plan
- Treat effectively using motor point acupuncture, electro-stimulation, trigger point therapy, dry needling, and any of my other acupuncture styles
- Compliment care with manual therapy, gwa sha, cupping, stretching, and rehabilitation exercises as needed