Acupuncture is arguably the best known treatment in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)...but that doesn't mean that it's well understood. Blog posts on this page are all related to acupuncture in some way: how acupuncture works, its history, etc.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has practiced acupuncture for three millennia, and now alternative medical therapies like acupuncture are on the rise in the United States. Through the use of fine, sterile needles at acupoints along twelve meridians, acupuncture improves the balance and flow of energy in your body through clearing energy blockages.
The philosophy behind acupuncture emphasizes universal yin and yang, two opposing forces that must be kept in balance within each human body. The acupuncture philosophy holds that the mind and body are inextricable from each other, where thoughts and emotions of the mind can drive physiological responses, impacting emotional and physical health.
So is acupuncture right for you? See these five ways that acupuncture can boost your overall well-being to decide for yourself if you’re ready to give it a try!
It is generally believed that acupuncture started when people noticed a specific point on the body could cause a certain response. As more and more of these points were discovered, they realized that some had similarities to one another and were probably connected. These strings of points are now known as channels or meridians.
Another theory is that people discovered meridians first and then found specific points on them, which would be the same as reading the image to the left from bottom to top. Either way we're left with the same result: Your body is a system of meridians that acupuncturists use to influence your health.
You can think of your body as a web of meridians. There are fourteen that have named points that are used by acupuncturists. They vary in size, the shortest having only nine points and the longest having sixty-seven.
A common misconception is that meridians are actually blood vessels or nerves. Although acupuncture can have an effect on both the circulatory and nervous systems, the meridians are their own separate entities. However, meridians are similar to blood vessels in that they form a closed-circuit loop and are a transit system in which Qi and blood flow from your organs to the rest of your body (and back). When the meridians are blocked, everything gets thrown off balance, like when a traffic jam on a highway can cause congestion on others as everyone tries to find an alternate route. Balance is key to health, so keeping everything flowing smoothly through the meridians is of utmost importance. Work on yours at home with Qi Gong, yoga, and acupressure, but regularly schedule your acupuncture visits as well to give the body an even bigger push in the right direction!
Most people only know about acupuncture from what they see in movies, television, and the media, but there are finer nuances that you should keep in mind when searching for the right acupuncturist for you.
1. There different types of acupuncture
Japan, China, Korea, and other countries each developed their own systems of acupuncture over time, and each has different attributes. In addition to these, there are other specialties of acupuncture that concentrate on particular conditions or regions of the body. Do a little research and see which appeals to you most. Here at Beachside Community Acupuncture, we practice Traditional Chinese Medicine but are very light-handed, meaning we like our patients to barely feel the needles if they feel them at all. We add in other techniques as well, such as the Tan method or auricular acupuncture, in order to best serve our patients.
2. There are also different types of acupuncturists
A certified acupuncturist (CA) is a healthcare professional, such as a chiropractor or medical doctor, who has undergone additional training (usually about a year) to learn how to insert needles into the body. A Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) must complete a three- to four-year graduate program learning about Eastern diagnosis, needle placement and insertion, point actions, herbal medicine, and other aspects of health, including some Western medicine. All acupuncturists at our clinic will be Licensed Acupuncturists.
3. Each acupuncturist will have his or her own technique
If you've had acupuncture before and didn't enjoy the experience, don't be afraid to try it again! Just like having one bad experience with a dentist shouldn't make you give up on dental hygiene forever, not liking a previous acupuncturist shouldn't make you abandon this ancient medicine. If, on the other hand, you've loved your acupuncture treatments in the past, let us know what made them special and we'll keep that in mind during your visits to our clinic.
Stress happens whether we like it or not, no matter how much we prepare for it. Having a list of positive activities readily available is key because you'll never know when that stress will strike. We at Beachside Community Acupuncture like to incorporate the physical and mental when we're dealing with stress, as you can see from our list. Involving the body in your stress relief - either through activating different senses with essential oils or by giving it gentle exercise - can not only provide more of a distraction but also influence the brain to rethink how's it's perceiving the stressful situation.
Make a go-to list of stress relievers for yourself - they may be different from ours - and have it around so you know what to do when you feel overwhelmed. That way you won't agitate yourself more trying to figure out how to feel better!
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