Acupuncture has grown tremendously in popularity in the United States and for good reason. It works. It can help reduce pain and has a regulatory effect on the body which means better health, improved digestion, more balanced hormones, stronger immune system, better mood, and less anxiety.
Acupuncture treatments can also facilitate and improve blood circulation throughout the body, and help to stimulate and balance the body’s hormones. Some researchers believe that acupuncture’s ability to improve blood circulation in the uterus and ovaries, as well as help to balance reproductive hormones explains why acupuncture for infertility has been so successful.
Here are some facts about Acupuncture:
- Acupuncture needles are extremely thin, approximately 10 times thinner than the needles used at your doctor’s office. So in most cases you will hardly feel the needles!
- All needles are sterile and single-use only. Meaning we never re-use any needles.
- Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that has been around for at least 2,500 years.
- The needles are placed at various acupuncture points on the body to stimulate the body’s self-healing mechanism.
- Recent studies have shown that acupuncture needles communicate with the body to send signals to the brain causing the brain to secrete chemicals such as opioid peptides, endorphins, and enkephalins.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) lists over 30 different disorders that can be helped by acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. The National Institute of Health (NIH) have also endorsed acupuncture for certain conditions.
- Acupuncture has a very high safety profile, especially when administered by a licensed acupuncturist. There are no side effects with the treatment.
- Acupuncture is a great alternative to medications and more invasive medical procedures.
- Medical doctors refer their patients to acupuncturists more than any other ‘alternative’ health provider.
- Over 51% of medical doctors believe acupuncture to be an effective and valuable form of treatment.
How Does Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Work?
Chinese Medicine believes that a vital energy called “Qi” runs along pathways called meridians in the human body, similar to how there are nerve pathways in the body. When this energy or Qi is blocked and not flowing properly, illness or pain occurs. The needles help to stimulate the circulation of Qi, thus restoring health and alleviating pain.
Recent research has shown acupuncture to have many physiological effects on the body. When a needle is inserted, it communicates with the body to send signals to the brain causing the brain to secrete chemicals such as opioid peptides, endorphins, and enkephalins. These are known to induce relaxation and alter our perception of pain thereby decreasing the pain we experience. Acupuncture has also been shown to regulate hormones, have an anti-inflammatory effect, and improve circulation.
Other Treatment Modalities in Chinese Medicine that May Be Used
There are many different treatment modalities in Chinese Medicine with acupuncture being one of these modalities. These include cupping, moxibustion, gua sha, tuina massage, and herbal medicine.
All treatments modalities in Chinese Medicine aim to restore the body’s balance and bring it back to homeostasis.
Chinese herbal medicine is an important and integral aspect of our treatments. Many conditions would be greatly helped by adding Chinese herbs to the treatment protocol. Some conditions respond much quicker when combining Chinese herbs with acupuncture. In fact, Chinese herbal medicine is the main treatment that patients in China and most parts of Asia receive. Acupuncture is typically secondary to Chinese herbal therapy.
Certain conditions such as infertility, digestive issues, autoimmune disorders, and allergies respond best when Chinese herbs are used alongside acupuncture.
We often prescribe herbs when treating infertility since combining herbs with acupuncture can increase the effectiveness of the treatments. We typically prescribe formulas tailored specifically for your condition. Herbal formulas will also be formulated based on where you are in your menstrual cycle and will be modified according to your symptoms and how you respond. Because the Chinese herbal formulas prescribed to you are highly customized, it is important to work closely with us on a regular consistent basis so we can monitor your progress.
Here are some facts about Chinese Herbs:
- Unlike western herbal medicine which typically use single herbs, Chinese herbs are combined into a formula containing between 2-15 difference herbs in a formula.
- Chinese herbs consist of roots, barks, minerals, and occasionally animal products.
- You can take the herbs 5 different ways (from most to least potent): raw decoction, concentrated powder, capsules, pills, and tincture.
- Many Chinese herbs contain potent anti-oxidant, anti-viral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties
- Herbs should only be prescribed by an experienced and licensed herbalist. When prescribed by a qualified herbalist, Chinese herbs are very safe and effective.
- All the herbs we use at our clinic are from reputable companies that are GMP-compliant and regularly test their herbs for heavy metals, pesticides, and authenticity.