What is Acupuncture?
When most people think of acupuncture they think of some mystical ancient medicine but may not know what it is or how it works. Acupuncture is the insertion of extremely fine filament needles into specific points along the body. These points follow 12 main meridians that run from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. Meridians are named for the different organs in your body such as the heart and spleen. Acupuncture needles are solid, sterile, single time use needles that are about as fine as a strand of hair. They are so fine that 40 acupuncture needles will fit into a standard hypodermic needle. Most individuals are pleasantly surprised that acupuncture is not painful and they feel calm and relaxed during treatment. Acupuncture is a full body treatment that is used to balance your body and each treatment is custom tailored specifically to you and what you are coming in for. Acupuncture is used to treat both acute and chronic pain, gastrointestinal complaints, anxiety, depression, fertility, vertigo and much more.
So that covers what acupuncture is but how does it actually work?
You will often hear acupuncturists talk about “Qi” as being the body’s energy and say Qi needs to flow smoothly or it results in pain and disease, but what is Qi really? Qi being translated to mean energy might be a mistranslation or at least an incomplete one. Qi in the body likely refers to your body’s nerves. They are electrical after all and acupuncture points have been found to have dense areas of nerves. These nerves are able to relay information back to the brain to release chemicals such as endorphins, serotonin and more. Endorphins are your feel good chemicals and can block pain. Some are even stronger than morphine. Serotonin is a natural mood stabilizer that reduces depression and anxiety and is also found in the digestive system to control bowel movements. From these two chemicals alone, we can already start to treat painful conditions, depression, anxiety and gastrointestinal upset. Acupuncture needles are inserted into appropriate points to trigger the release of these chemicals and in this way we are able to teach your body how to self-regulate again. Acupuncture uses your own body to heal itself. Schedule an appointment at Mana Physical Therapy with COURTNEY, our licensed Acupuncturist, to learn more about what acupuncture can do for you.