Acupuncture is over three thousand years old and is one of the most commonly used medicines around the world.
Acupuncture works by creating microtraumas to tissue that signal the body to activate its normal healing process. It increases blood flow, improves sensory awareness and helps us to access relaxed states of our nervous system.
While it can be important for us to understand how the technique works, it is valuable to speak about the medicine using the language that honors those who developed it. In the treatment room, if people are curious about techniques, we do our best to provide simple explanations in both Western and Eastern medicine language. Using the ancient, original terms, the process can be described a little differently. You may hear the word qi, that talks about our vital life force. It includes blood, lymph, and other substances in the body. Symptoms arise when there is a disruption in the proper flow of any qi. Acupuncture reteaches the body the natural flow of qi by placing pins into very specific points. Each of these points impacts the flow of qi differently.
East Asian Medicine is a science and an art. Each acupuncture point has known functions for influencing the body in certain ways. The art comes from how a practitioner asks into symptoms, the points they select and how treatment is designed.
When working with someone, we assess many different aspects of that individual. We look at relationships between systems in the body, how the systems are functioning well and where there might be room for improvement. Many acupuncturists simply call these patterns. A pattern can give rise to a series of symptoms, which are seemingly unrelated according to Western Medicine. This explains how multiple symptoms start to improve with acupuncture treatment.