Acupuncture is an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that regards the human body as a complete, self-sufficient system that is always in a state of change. TCM follows the laws and cycles of nature and embraces the interconnectedness of all things. The body is viewed as a landscape that is shaped by the external elements of wind, cold, heat, dampness and dryness as well as from the internal emotional effects of anger, worry, grief, fear and joy. The sovereign ruler is the Heart, which encompasses the Mind and Spirit. Chinese medicine does not simply isolate and treat symptoms. It searches for “patterns of disharmony”, or syndromes, and directs treatment towards bringing the body, mind and spirit back into its innate balance. Chinese herbal formulas, acupressure and internal energy work, such as Tai Chi and Qigong, are also integral components of Chinese medicine.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
It is said that ancient Chinese sages, while observing the natural world, discovered that the body and all living things have their own energy systems or “life force” called “Qi” (chee). Qi is an essential component of both matter and non-matter and is similar to electromagnetic or bioelectric energy. When this energy is disturbed or blocked in the body, discomfort or illness results. Subtle linear fields of energy, called meridians, are said to traverse the body. These meridians have superficial pathways upon which acupuncture points are located. They also have deep pathways that lead to the internal organs. The insertion of thread-like, stainless steel needles at these bioelectrically charged points stimulates the flow of Qi and helps to restore equilibrium. Studies indicate that acupuncture influences the central and peripheral nervous systems, releases endorphins to reduce pain and stress; affects sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood and can lower blood pressure. Acupuncture can also enhance the function of the gastrointestinal and endocrine systems and improve circulation.
WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT DURING AND AFTER A TREATMENT?
The treatment room is a safe and confidential space where your history, concerns, and questions are discussed. A treatment session includes a detailed intake, Chinese pulse and tongue diagnosis, and acupuncture. Other modalities such as acupressure, local massage, heat (moxibustion or farinfrared lamp), electro-stimulation or tuning forks may be added. During the session you will lie comfortably on a treatment table where an average of 10 disposable needles are gently and strategically placed for about 20 minutes. You should feel very relaxed and might even fall asleep. Rarely is there discomfort. It is advised to observe your body and emotions over the 24-48 hours following a treatment. Being the silent witness in your healing process can offer new insights and can be helpful to your practitioner. A minimum of four treatments is recommended one per week for a month, although more may be required. Each person, each condition, and each individual’s response are unique. Some people need more treatments, some less. Use your judgment, monitor your condition and keep your practitioner fully informed of any changes.
WHAT DOES ACUPUNCTURE TREAT?
Traditional Chinese medicine utilizes theories and principles that date back some 2500 years or more. Though an ancient healing art, its popularity continues to grow, especially in the West. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes the ability of Chinese medicine to treat many commonly encountered clinical disorders, such as addictions, allergies/asthma, anxiety /depression, arthritis/joint problems, chronic fatigue; cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, gynecological and neuromuscular disorders; chemical sensitivities, headache/migraine, immune system deficiency, post-stroke hemiplegia and facial paralysis. Linda Joy’ focus is on prevention, education and wellness. She addresses acute and chronic pain, stress, burnout and emotional imbalances. She also addresses women’s health and issues of aging, e.g., fatigue, lack of mobility, hormonal changes, poor memory and grief. Spiritual counseling and guidance in conscious aging, conscious dying and mindfulness are also offered through C.O.R.E. Akashic Acupuncture. In some arenas, acupuncture is used merely as another physical modality rather than a complete medical system. This limited approach often ignores the very heart of the medicine and its true potential for healing. For optimal results, seek a professional acupuncturist who is licensed by the state and/or the NCCAOM (national certifying board), has had 3-4 years’ training at an accredited institution of Oriental medicine, preferably with Masters degree, or has had at least 2,000 hours equivalent apprenticeship training. For further information, or to find a local practitioner in your area, contact www.nccaom.org.