The ancient Chinese medical philosophy of acupuncture is the practice of strategically inserting fine needles into the skin at various points of meridians to balance a person’s Qi and restore their health and wellbeing. Acupuncture is only one piece of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), but it has proven to be effective and made its way into western medical practices, too. This unique and tailored approach treats each patient according to their specific symptoms, lifestyle, and medical history.
Acupuncture has spread across medical platforms due to its ability to treat many illnesses and conditions. Each practitioner has their own style, often meshing techniques of Eastern and Western methods. Mindful Living Group’s expertly trained acupuncturist is well versed in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In addition to participating in acupuncture sessions, you can choose to join any of the other five clinical branches of TCM – botanical medicine, deep tissue bodywork, nutrition, and martial arts. Acupuncture sessions have been shown to help treat physical pain and emotional pain.
What is Acupuncture?
The exact origins of acupuncture have researchers scratching their heads as it goes further back than written records. In China, sharpened bones and rocks from around the Stone Age are believed to have been used as a form of acupuncture. The “Iceman,” Ӧtzi, was discovered with tattoos that marked the meridians on his body. The discovery of his body in a melting glacier has established the belief that a separate form of acupuncture was being practiced around 3350 and 3105 BC in the Italian Austrian region. Despite this discovery, China is credited with creating this medical practice.
The foundation of modern acupuncture is based on the text The Great Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, which was recorded during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Today, there are many styles of acupuncture a practitioner can use, and it is one of the most simple, safe, and effective modalities for treating many issues.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture is one of five branches that aims to restore and maintain the balance of Qi. Through the use of acupuncture, the body’s natural healing ability can be stimulated. Inserting needles into designated areas encourages blood flow, thus triggering the body’s nervous and immune systems to begin their work. The TCM method of acupuncture is often blended into western medicine practices.
The Five Element Acupuncture method considers the body’s ability to heal itself but centers around the five elements that represent a quality of Qi, which is understood as what gives us life. The five elements are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Each element works interdependently through a “generating” and “controlling” cycle. When something disturbs the cycle, the entire system is disrupted. In this style, the practitioner aims to discover the “first domino that fell,” so to say. In treating the core problem, rather than just symptoms, the underlying problem is treated, ensuring the whole patient is treated, symptoms are put to rest, and longer-lasting well-being. Despite the type of acupuncture, they all have one thing in common, to heal the individual.
Other methods of acupuncture are:
- Western Medical – acupuncture is tied into western medicine practices;
- Dry Needling – “intramuscular stimulation,” used to relax overactive muscles
- Auricular Acupuncture – based on TCM and specializes in reflexology points in specifically the ear
Acupuncture At Mindful Living Group
The first acupuncture session is typically an evaluation session. During this time, the acupuncturist will discuss, in detail, a number of topics. Some of the most common will include the reason that brought you in – this could be specific pain, migraines, insomnia, trauma, stress, etc. – and what your expectations are. Other discussion areas may focus on daily habits, nutrition, overall health, and exercise.
Multiple hair-thin, single-use, sterilized needles may be inserted into the area of concern at varying points. It’s important to remember that acupuncture is painless; inform the acupuncturist immediately if you experience any pain. The needles will remain in place for an average of five to 30 minutes. A majority of people have reported falling asleep during sessions, as they feel very relaxed. In some situations, your acupuncturist may see it beneficial to add low heat or electric pulses once the needles are in place.
After a session, it’s found that people might report feeling several different ways. Some people report feeling instant energy and wakefulness. Meanwhile, others find themselves feeling very relaxed and able to sleep. How you feel is dependent on your body. The number of sessions you might need is influenced by the type and severity of your condition. Typically, people undergo six to eight treatments weekly and then move to a maintenance schedule.
Benefits Of Acupuncture
The benefits of acupuncture are abundant. It has been found to help people from physical pain to reduce the symptoms related to mental disorders. The human body wants to heal itself; the problem is sometimes obstacles interfere and hinder the process. Acupuncture helps to stimulate and encourage the natural healing process of the body. By provoking the central nervous system and immune system, the body releases natural chemicals that begin the healing process.
Acupuncture is considered a safe and drug-free method of pain relief. Common conditions for which people seek pain relief are sciatica, lower back, neck, and joint pain associated with arthritis. Many patients have reduced or completely stopped taking pain medications after receiving acupuncture treatments.
Discomfort and nausea associated with pregnancy can also be treated with acupuncture. Additionally, it is renowned for reducing stress and tension and, as a result, improving sleep. Aside from physical benefits, acupuncture has been found to be remarkable for treating or reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and trauma.
Get Started With Acupuncture Today
It is important to note that not everyone responds to or benefits from acupuncture, nor is it recommended for everyone. There are specific cases where it may not be in your best interest. It is always important to consult your doctor and be as open and honest about your health as possible with a licensed acupuncturist upon your initial visit.
Explore the benefits of this ancient medicinal practice with Mindful Living Group’s acupuncturist. David Leonard, LAc, an expert with his Master’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is passionate about the healing benefits of nature and dedicated to helping your body heal itself. Along with acupuncture treatments, he can guide you to a healthier, natural, and mindful life through herbal medicine, massage, nutrition, and martial arts. If you are interested in trying acupuncture, any of the five branches of TCM, or in helping with any pain or mental conditions that are holding you back, Mindful Living Group is ready to help.
If you have questions or are ready to schedule your appointment, fill out our online form or call us today at (808) 206-9371.