When you hear the word acupuncture, what is the first thing that comes to mind? If you say needles, then you are among the majority. The needles are the reason most people are reluctant to try acupuncture in Fremont. This is totally understandable. For me, one of my obstacles in studying acupuncture was my personal dislike of needles. From kid to adulthood, I had a fear of getting my blood drawn. My palms get sweaty whenever this epic moment comes. My insides get queasy and I start to take really deep breaths while telling myself “everything will be ok”. Fortunately, I have learned that the needles used in acupuncture are nowhere near the size of syringe needles. An acupuncture needle is almost the size of a stand of hair. To make up the shaft size of a syringe needle it would actually require a minimum of four acupuncture needles together. An acupuncture needle is a tool used not to pull blood out of the body but to help move your energy.
People who come for treatment on a regular basis, have come to understand this and have found they sometimes feel the discomfort as the needle is being inserted into their skin. They say the sensation feels like a quick pinch when they do feel it. They also say that the benefits they are gaining from acupuncture, greatly counterbalance the quick pinch and make another appointment.
Now that we have cleared that up, we could talk about more about how acupuncture can help you. As a human being, you are a ball of energy. Within your body, there are smaller circuits of energy that comprise the body moving and interacting. These meridians or energy circuits, make up a complex system that travels from the organs down to your arms and legs, across your face and skull up your torso and down your buttocks and back. They are basically everywhere. Along the meridians, we call specific points ‘acupuncture points’ or just acupoints. Your body may be prompted to eliminate stagnation by placing into a certain point a small pin allowing the energy of your body to decide what it needs, build energy of the meridian, and eliminate stagnation along the meridians. If your energy accumulates in one area or gets stuck in one area Your spirit, mind, or body may call out with anger, sadness, weight gain pain, tightness, inability to focus, weight gain, sadness, anger, etc.
Practitioners not only treat symptoms they also treat the underlying cause of the symptoms as well. They can do this due to an understanding of energy and because of the medicine’s nature. When the skin is pricked with a pin, it not just touches his body but also his spirit and mind.
The practitioner inserts the pin and you do the work. He does not make your body do what it does not want to. Based on the symptoms you are experiencing, he is offering your body a suggestion. Acupuncture touches you in a deep yet gentle and lasting way.
We will use a certain point – the Zusanli or St 36 point to elucidate more. This acupoint located along the Stomach energy channel, known in English as “Leg Three Miles”, is not just used for constipation, indigestion, nausea, and vomiting, but also for someone who is having a hard time nourishing himself. They may help and take care of others consistently while not doing the same for themselves. A blockage along the meridian may be present if the meridian is too weak to move the energy or if there is stagnation. They may be stuck in life in other ways both physically & mentally which can manifest as cloudy thinking or extra weight. The Zusanli acupoint is “an amazing enriching and strengthening point for the Spirit, Body, and Mind.” When you are strong and grounded, you are able to properly derive nourishment and come back smoothly to yourself. You can eat and process foods in a healthy way when your stomach is strong. You may also be able take in information and process it with clarity. You may have one or more of these issues and let your body decide what it needs. The zusanli is an extremely potent acupoint that can be stimulated with either moxibustion or a pin.
An herbal heat therapy that is combined with acupuncture therapies, moxibustion is used to warm a meridian or an acupuncture point. It is greatly nourishing and helps build energy. Moxa refers to the actual herb used – mugwort, and the therapy. When dried, Mugwort, a common weed, is rolled into a cigar or small cones. This “cigar,” when lit, is placed above the skin along certain meridians to add and build warmth. Practitioners also use it to warm areas of the body, like the soles of the feet to warm the entire body after coming in from playing in the snow or the lower back for back pain associated with cold. Moxibustion is an ideal form of treatment for cold seasons. These days, moxa can come in pre-made cones and other shapes such as those that can sit on the needle or your skin. To help lessen the amount of smoke in the treatment room, there is even a “smokeless” type of moxa.
To help improve people’s health, practitioners may use moxa, acupuncture, and sometimes herbs. Lifestyle choices play an important role in health and therefore may be discussed between the practitioner and client after treatment sessions.
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word acupuncture? You may imagine, if you are like a lot of people, a very painful way of treating illness in which a poor soul is stuck with needles in various parts of his body and face. With this kind of thinking, it is really a wonder why there are still people who go for this treatment at all. As a result, many of them deny themselves of a treatment that can potentially give them a much better quality of life and health. In fact, they view acupuncture not with awe and respect but with aversion, trepidation, and fear. However, the fact of the matter is that this multi-millennial treatment has treated countless numbers of people throughout history and is practically painless. When performed in the right manner, acupuncture has given happiness and hope for many people suffering from pain, fatigue, migraines, and headache.
Concepts Associated with Acupuncture
Meridians – These are the energetic pathways where vital energy travels. Since they are invisible, they are believed to be located near the skin which makes them accessible to stimulation with needles.
Blockage- A blockage is believed to form along a meridian which results in medical problems and pain.
Acupuncture – Into strategic points in the body tiny small needles are inserted during an acupuncture procedure. The needles energize these points to clear out blockage that, in turn, leads to the treatment of symptoms and the removal of pain.
Energy- According the Chinese medicine practitioners, vital energy known as Chi or Qi is the body’s bioelectrical energy that flows through meridians.
At this point, you may be finding these concepts and explanations as pseudo science and archaic. But the truth is numerous studies have been done that suggest otherwise. How does acupuncture really work? This question has still not been scientifically explained although there are a few theories that try to explain this mystery. One such theory is that acupuncture does what it does by stimulating the production and release of neurotransmitters in the brain, modulating spinal cord function and altering microscopic tissue.
For certain reasons there are some medical treatments that have never been understood. Still, this does not prevent them from being used to treat certain conditions. For many years, people used penicillin and aspirin not knowing how they worked but used them nonetheless because they worked. This simply proves that sometimes results matter more than knowing how these results came about. Obviously, it is important to know how the method works for safety reasons.
There are not many alternative and conventional medical treatments that have no side effects. Medications can result in side effects such as allergic reactions, and surgery can lead to complications on the operating table and/or infections later on. With acupuncture, however, common risks and adverse effects include infection, which is very rare, light bleeding, bruising, and dizziness.
To avoid these risks and side effects, you need to seek the services of a licensed acupuncturist. In several states, professional and government associations thoroughly monitor acupuncture practices to protect patients.
What to Expect in an Acupuncture Procedure
When you first come in for treatment, your acupuncturist will first pore over your detailed medical history and carefully inspect your present condition. Acupoints to be treated which are pre-determined during the diagnostic phase of your treatment will be inserted with needles generate a healing effect. In a lot of instances, the patient will be required to undergo 30 to 90 minutes of acupuncture for about 10 to 20 treatments. Each session will entail the insertion of needles into pre-selected acupoints. Patients report a feeling of dullness or a sensation akin to an ant bite but no pain felt on the site where the needle is inserted
Each patient reacts in a different way to acupuncture. Some may feel so energized while others may feel being tired and want to take a nap. A lot of patients may experience immediate relief from the ailment and the symptoms while for some, relief may come only after several rounds of treatment.
Your fear of needles goes away once you have experienced an acupuncture procedure. This is because you’ll be enjoying the relief of your symptoms and the other benefits acupuncture gives you. This very old medical technique is your best course of action for a lot of illnesses although for certain conditions, it may be better to combine acupuncture with your current medical treatment.
Acupuncture, a form of treatment that used be reserved solely for the Chinese, is now a very popular treatment all over the world that has helped countless numbers of people throughout history.
Low blood pressure or hypotension is not as common as its antithesis, high blood pressure, but it still affects a lot of people around the world especially if they are more than 45 years of age.
What is Hypotension?
Like high blood pressure or hypertension, hypotension can be determined using a sphygmomanometer. A normal blood pressure will read 90 to 140 mmHg in systolic pressure and 60 to 90 mmHg in the diastolic pressure. When you have low blood pressure your systolic pressure is below 90 mmHg and your diastolic reading will be lower than 60 mmHg. The question is can acupuncture be useful in treating hypotension?
Basically, hypotension can be classified into two types, the acute type and the chronic type. What exactly are the differences between acute hypotension and chronic hypotension? The only difference between these two types is in the symptoms they manifest. For people suffering from acute hypotension, symptom such as coma and/or shock can be experienced while for those with chronic hypotension giddiness, asthenia and dizziness can be experienced. Interestingly, however, some people with chronic hypotension can manifest no symptoms at all.
When a hypotension patient considers acupuncture, he/she should be aware that there are two acupuncture methods that can be utilized to address chronic hypotension. These two methods are non-electro acupuncture and auricular acupuncture.
The objective of non-electro acupuncture for the treatment of chronic hypotension is to increase the patient’s blood pressure to a normal level. To normalize the blood pressure, the acupuncturist can treat certain acupoints in the body. One such acupoint is called the DU 20 point which is called Bai Hui in Chinese. The practitioner can utilize the reinforcing method to increase chi into the Bai Hui point. The needle is left in that point for about 15 to 25 minutes in one session. A total of 10 sessions is the average treatment duration for chronic hypotension cases. When using electro-acupuncture, the acupuncturist should never use the DU 20 point especially if the patient has epilepsy.
In using auricular or ear acupuncture, the acupuncturist can utilize magnetic-press-seed in lieu of the acupuncture needles. The particular acupoint selected usually by acupuncturists for this type of acupuncture is the MA-PC acupoint known in Chinese as Xia Er Gen. For auricular acupuncture, the acupuncturist places and presses the magnetic-seed on the Xia Er Gen acupoints for about 2 or 3 times at intervals of 15 minutes. A treatment lasting about a month can provide the best results. The patient should not forget to change the plaster of the magnetic-press-seed after 4 days prevent the rise of infection.
Scott Paglia is a licensed and board certified acupuncturist in Bellingham, WA and provides master level pulse diagnosis, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture in Whatcom County, WA.