What is Acupuncture Good For?
We get this question all the time! "I'd love to try acupuncture! But, what can it help me with?" The short answer is - everything! Yes, really. Let me explain further. Acupuncture helps restore the body's natural healing process, so that is why it can help with virtually everything. First, it is useful to understand just how acupuncture works. Then it is easier to see what it can be used to treat.
Acupuncture is a system of Chinese Medicine that has been practiced for over 2,000 years. You are probably more familiar with Chinese Medical theory than you think. One of the most basic principles of acupuncture is one that most people have heard of - yin and yang. These are two opposite energies that exist in the universe, and also in our bodies. Yin is the coolness of the shade, while yang is the warmth of the sun. Yin is dark, yang is bright. Yin is night, yang is day. That is why when you look at the yinyang symbol, it has a light half and a dark half. And just like light and dark - yin and yang can't exist without the other. And in fact, they represent extremes on a continuum from one to the other. Again looking at the yinyang symbol, you see a small dot of light in the dark, and dark in the light. Just as this symbol represents, in order for our bodies to function best, our yin and yang energy must be in good balance with one another.
What does this all mean?
Well often times our yin and yang energy isn't in balance in our bodies, and we have numerous symptoms that result. When there is not enough yin energy, or it is not strong enough, then people suffer with insomnia, infertility, hot flashes, night sweats or anxiety. When there is not enough yang, you'll start to notice things like chills, loose stools, cold limbs and spontaneous sweating. By rebalancing the yin and yang energy in your body, these symptoms can be resolved.
There is another principle of Chinese Medicine that is very easy to understand and that you are most likely already familiar with! Our bodies are made up of energy, known as qi, which travel along channels, or meridians. These channels are like rivers, and the qi that flows through them is like the water. The qi must continue to run smoothly through the channels for our bodies to function at their best. However, just like a river, there are things that can happen that interfere with the smooth flow of energy in these channels. A river can become dry with not enough water, or overflowing with more water than the river can hold. It can also become blocked so that the water pools and overflows. These same conditions happen to the channels of energy in our bodies too, and we start noticing physical symptoms like fatigue, headache, irritability, pain, asthma, indigestion, nausea, and the list goes on and on. By correcting the flow of qi in the channels, these ailments are corrected as well.
How does acupuncture do all this?
Acupuncture uses very tiny needles to tap into your body's energy and correct the imbalance. The acupuncture points that are used are specifically chosen by your acupuncturist based on their understanding of Chinese Medicine and their knowledge of which points address your particular condition. That is why it is important to choose an acupuncturist that you trust and that has been properly trained and fully licensed. Your acupuncturist knows which points to pick and the effects they'll have on your body, and most patients report little to no sensation with acupuncture needles, so you don't have to worry about whether acupuncture hurts! You get to just lie back and enjoy an hour of deep rest and relaxation!