At BodaHealth, we have several acupuncture practitioners on our staff for a very good reason. Acupuncture is a safe and natural treatment that is an effective therapy for a wide variety of health conditions. Originally developed in China thousands of years ago, acupuncture involves the insertion of sterile hair-thin needles into various points in your body.
Healing with acupuncture involves taking into consideration your whole body and understanding the underlying cause of your symptoms. Where a Western physician typically treats symptoms, an acupuncturist must first understand why your symptoms are happening before they can begin to treat you. To determine the source of your problem, your practitioner begins with a thorough evaluation of all your body’s systems. They may also look at your tongue and feel your pulse to better understand your overall health.
After careful consideration, your acupuncturist will arrive at a diagnosis, which is described in terms of a pattern of imbalance, not necessarily in terms of your symptoms. That’s because similar health problems may be caused by different patterns. For example, two patients may seek out acupuncture for insomnia. The first struggles to fall asleep, is restless, feels slightly warm, and has a lot of job-related stress. The second patient is able to fall asleep easily, but wakes during the night, and can’t get back to sleep. This patient complains of having poor energy, dry hair and skin, with a pale complexion. While both of these patients deal with sleep problems, the underlying cause of their insomnia is very different, and therefore would have different treatments by an acupuncturist.
What Can Acupuncture Treat?
The effectiveness of acupuncture has been extensively researched by scientists all over the world. Many early studies concluded that acupuncture can treat a great number of health conditions, most notably those associated with pain. However, as more and more research is being conducted and clinical results accumulate, scientist and practitioners alike are finding that acupuncture can help treat a large number of health conditions, including:
- Hormonal imbalances, including thyroid issues
- Menopause symptoms
- Digestive problems
- Skin conditions
- Reproductive health conditions
- Stroke recovery
- Chronic pain
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Pregnancy-associated complications
The science on acupuncture’s effectiveness for many conditions is extensive and convincing. Researchers have concluded that acupuncture our-performs usual care for osteoarthritis of the knee. It is the most effective of 17 adjunctive treatments for shoulder impingement and is more effective than drugs for treating chronic constipation. In addition, acupuncture was second only to medications in effectively treating sciatica, out-performing epidurals, disc surgery, opioids, exercise, and radio-frequency denervation. https://www.evidencebasedacupuncture.org/acupuncture-scientific-evidence/
Researchers have also turned their attention on why acupuncture works. They discovered that acupuncture stimulates a number of positive biochemical actions in your body. It relieves pain through the increased circulation of certain neuropeptides and neurotransmitters that have analgesic effects. In addition, acupuncture decreases inflammation, stimulates muscle relaxation, and regulates brain function associated with stress and illness. Scientists have also found that acupuncture helps boost your parasympathetic nervous system, which enhances relaxation, supports digestion, stimulates tissue healing, and promotes recovery. https://www.evidencebasedacupuncture.org/acupuncture-scientific-evidence/
What’s Involved in an Acupuncture Session?
During your first acupuncture appointment at BodaHealth, one of our acupuncturists will work with you to fully understand the nature of your health concerns. They will take your full health history and a history of your current symptoms. Your practitioner will then arrive at a diagnosis and choose an acupuncture point prescription specific to your unique needs. You will lay comfortably on a treatment table while your acupuncturist inserts the needles. It’s ideal for you to wear comfortable and loose clothing during your treatment. This enables your acupuncturist to easily access the commonly treated areas of your body while remaining as fully-clothed as your treatment permits.
Many patients who have never had acupuncture before are concerned about what a treatment session feels like. The needles are extremely fine, and may elicit a sensation of heaviness, distention, tingling, heat, cold, or a feeling of movement along the treated pathway. However, you may not feel anything at certain points. Once the needles are placed, you’ll rest on the treatment table for about 20 minutes while the needles do their work. Other healing tools may be used as a part of your treatment, such as electric stimulation (microcurrent or tens), cupping, Tui Na, or heat therapy. At the end of the treatment, the needles are removed and you’re free to go.
At BodaHealth, we see the healing power of acupuncture on a daily basis. In fact, we frequently treat patients whose health conditions have failed to respond to other therapies. That said, we understand the strengths and limitations of both Western medical treatments and Chinese medicine. We are committed to honoring your healing journey and are happy to integrate our treatment plans, where possible, with your other health care providers. To find out more about how acupuncture can help you, contact us today for a free consultation.