Acupuncture as a Beneficial Healthcare Option
Initially discovered in Asia and used by millions of people there, the use of acupuncture and Chinese medicine is increasing in the United States. As people begin to understand the benefits of alternative medicines such as acupuncture and acupuncture massage, they enjoy the drug-free benefits of this care. Acupuncture helps people suffering from a wide variety of conditions ranging from back and shoulder pain to stress and fibromyalgia. Since acupuncture works to enhance the body’s natural innate healing, it is an ideal treatment for many conditions.
Supporting Free Flow of Qi
Acupuncture for pain and other conditions works because energy flows through channels in our body, and acupuncture needles regulate this flow. Similar to the way blood flows in arteries and veins, acupuncture channels or meridians transport qi. Qi (pronounced “chee”) represents all forms of energy and needs to move so that we function at our best. For example, stagnation of this vital energy can occur when we sit too much or overeat. Injury causes qi disruption, as does mental anguish, stress, and lack of sleep. Left untreated, stagnation of qi causes pain and a lack of mental clarity. Over time, lack of energy movement can cause more profound internal organ disruption. The goal of acupuncture is to support the free flow of qi to enhance healing the mind and body on every level.
A licensed acupuncturist, such as Dr. Lisa Oskardmay DC, LAc, an acupuncturist in Chapel Hill, NC, will begin your healing journey by taking a detailed health history and performing a physical exam. The exam is similar to a standard medical review but also includes unique aspects such as tongue and pulse evaluation, as these two areas provide information about channel health. This evaluation gives him or her a better understanding of which channels and points to use to improve energy flow.
What to Expect at an Acupuncture Appointment
If you suffer from arm pain and get sinus headaches, this may indicate an imbalance in the metal channel that courses through the upper extremity and enters the lungs. Strategic acupuncture applications at points such as “hegu,” or LI4, in the wrist area, can help provide relief from both of these conditions without drugs or other interventions. Your acupuncturist may use one or several needles at a time, and you will likely be positioned in a chair or on a treatment table during the procedure. Treatment usually takes about 30 minutes, during which you can rest comfortably while the treatment mobilizes qi along pathways. It is safe to breathe deeply while treatment is underway, but avoid large body movements. If you get uncomfortable during any aspect of the procedure, be sure to let your practitioner know.
Acupuncture, Massage, and Essential Oils
Essential oil application using massage techniques such as “gua sha” and “cupping” along the metal channel pathway can help to dislodge stagnation and further healing. A point on your back between the shoulder blades resonates with the metal and water channels and is a favorite place for the massage. Acupuncture and massage applied there helps these two vital meridians and can help with colds, the flu, and asthma symptoms. Be sure to inform your acupuncturist of all your healthcare concerns at each visit so that he or she can help you fully.
After treatment, plan to relax for an hour or two to let the treatment gain full effect. Follow all your practitioner’s suggestions and keep scheduled appointments. Acupuncture has a lot to offer, but it may take more than just one visit to achieve all treatment goals. Some people like to visit their acupuncturist for weekly or monthly tune-ups. Be sure to ask your acupuncturist how that could help you over time.
Thanks to Acupractic: Acupuncture and Chiropractic in Chapel Hill for their insight into how acupuncture helps assist in healing the body.