Acupuncture is a holistic health care system that can enhance immunity, support physical and emotional health, and improve overall function and well being. It is a safe, painless, and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical conditions. At the base of this ancient medicine is the philosophy that Qi, the vital energy that flows throughout the body, flows through specific pathways in the body called meridians. The balanced flow of Qi nourishes the body and all it’s processes. Qi can become blocked or imbalanced due to physical and emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise, overexertion, seasonal changes, poor diet, accidents, or excessive activity. Normally when a blockage or imbalance occurs, the body can easily bounce back and return to a state of health and well being, however when this disruption is prolonged or excessive or if the body is in a weakened state, illness, pain, and disease can set in.
Once an imbalance is detected by an acupuncturist through an exam and health analysis, they structure a treatment specifically designed to the patient, generally including needles placed at certain points of the meridian channels and possibly a course of Chinese herbs. The needles can unblock the flow of Qi which frees it to circulate through the body providing nourishment to cells, organs, glands, tissues, and muscles. This can eliminate pain and restore balance and harmony, as well as the body’s ability to heal itself leading to optimal health and well-being.
Asian Medicine includes acupuncture, herbology, cupping, gua sha, tui-na (massage), special exercises (such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong), lifestyle and nutritional education, and is a complete medical system unto itself. It is not a branch of modern Western medicine, but can be very useful on its own or when used in conjunction with Western treatments to complement them or reduce the negative side effects of those treatments.
The intent of acupuncture therapy is to aid the body’s ability to heal, promote health, alleviate pain, reduce stress and insomnia and various other conditions from simple headaches or heartburn to complex conditions like infertility or menopause. The method by which this is accomplished is inserting very thin, medical-grade, sterile, single-use, needles along specific points in the body. Just as the Western medical doctor monitors the blood flowing through blood vessels and the messages traveling via the nervous system, the acupuncturist assesses the flow and distribution of your qi (chee) or “vital energy” traveling within its pathways, known as “meridians or channels”. The acupuncturist is able to influence your body’s capacity to repair by stimulating certain areas along these “meridians”.
Chinese herbs are also often used in conjunction with acupuncture. A vast array of herbs, barks, flowers and seeds are used to treat a variety of symptoms and conditions. The active components of plants are the basis for many of the most potent pharmaceutical drugs used in Western medicine. The herbalist uses the whole plant, taking into account the complex attributes and characteristics of the individual herb. These herbs are then combined to make a formula with special care being taken to make sure that the combination will work with your specific needs and other medications you may be taking. Chinese herbs are usually taken in capsule or pill form but can also be taken as a tea or a compress. Depending on the condition, you may begin to feel immediate relief, while others may require taking the herbs for a more prolonged period of time.
Who offers these modalities at Pura Vida? Rikki Gensheer, LAc
Source: “What is Acupuncture.” Acupuncture Media Works, 2012