For over 2000 years, Chinese medicine has been used to regulate processes and bring balance to the body. By treating the root, instead of the symptom, we restore balance to the body and prevent disease.
What does a treatment consist of?
Arrive fifteen minutes early to relax and enjoy some organic herbal tea in our lobby. We will briefly chat about your stress, diet and sleep before getting started.
I recommend that you wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows access to your arms, legs, and abdomen. Otherwise, you can slip into one of our comfy gowns and prepare to get your zen on.
The treatment takes about 40 minutes and consists of gently inserting ultra-thin, sterile, disposable needles into specific areas of your body.
Once these are in, you can close your eyes and enjoy our relaxing collection of meditation music. You might even catch a few Zs while the treatment nourishes and encourages your body to heal and naturally regain balance.
How does it work?
Western medicine has not defined a single, widely accepted explanation of how acupuncture works. However, research shows that acupuncture points have distinctive electromagnetic properties. The direct stimulation of these points causes the central nervous system to release chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord and brain. These chemicals directly affect the way pain is experienced, as well as influencing the body’s self-regulating systems. The biochemical changes that are set off as a result of this stimulation enhance the body’s natural healing abilities and overall well being.
Below are some theories which have been considered by Johns Hopkins Medicine to explain how acupuncture affects the body:
- Conduction of electromagnetic signals. Evidence suggests that acupuncture points are strategic conductors of electromagnetic signals. Stimulating these points enables electromagnetic signals to be relayed at greater-than-normal rates. These signals may start the flow of pain-killing biochemicals, such as endorphins, or release immune system cells to specific body sites.
- Activation of the body’s natural opioid system. Considerable research supports the claim that acupuncture releases opioids, synthetic or naturally-occurring chemicals in the brain that may reduce pain or induce sleep. These chemicals may explain acupuncture’s pain-relieving effects.
- Stimulation of the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. Joined at the base of the brain, the hypothalamus and pituitary glands are responsible for many body functions. The hypothalamus activates and controls part of the nervous system, the endocrine processes, and many bodily functions, such as sleep, regulation of temperature, and appetite. The pituitary gland supplies some of the body’s needed hormones. Stimulation of these glands can result in a broad spectrum of effects on various body systems.
Change in the secretion of neurotransmitters and neurohormones. Studies suggest that acupuncture may alter brain chemistry in a positive way. This is accomplished by changing the release of neurotransmitters (biochemical substances that stimulate or inhibit nerve impulses) and neurohormones (naturally-occurring chemical substances that can change the structure or function, or impact the activity of, a body organ)..
What does Acupuncture Treat?
Acupuncture is recognized by the WHO as a safe, effective, and drug free approach for treating a range of conditions. Based on scientific research, the WHO recognizes acupuncture as an effective treatment in the following cases:
DISEASES, SYMPTOMS OR CONDITIONS FOR WHICH ACUPUNCTURE HAS BEEN PROVED-THROUGH CONTROLLED TRIALS-TO BE AN EFFECTIVE TREATMENT:
- Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
- Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
- Biliary colic
- Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
- Dysentery, acute bacillary
- Dysmenorrhoea, primary
- Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
- Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
- Hypertension, essential
- Hypotension, primary
- Induction of labour
- Knee pain
- Low back pain
- Malposition of fetus, correction of
- Morning sickness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Neck pain
- Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
- Periarthritis of shoulder
- Postoperative pain
- Renal colic
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Tennis elbow
DISEASES, SYMPTOMS OR CONDITIONS FOR WHICH THE THERAPEUTIC EFFECT OF ACUPUNCTURE HAS BEEN SHOWN BUT FOR WHICH FURTHER PROOF IS NEEDED:
- Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)
- Acne vulgaris
- Alcohol dependence and detoxification
- Bell’s palsy
- Bronchial asthma
- Cancer pain
- Cardiac neurosis
- Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation
- Competition stress syndrome
- Craniocerebral injury, closed
- Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
- Epidemic haemorrhagic fever
- Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease)
- Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection
- Female infertility
- Facial spasm
- Female urethral syndrome
- Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
- Gastrokinetic disturbance
- Gouty arthritis
- Hepatitis B virus carrier status
- Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3)
- Labour pain
- Lactation, deficiency
- Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic
- Ménière disease
- Neuralgia, post-herpetic
- Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence
- Pain due to endoscopic examination
- Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein-Leventhal syndrome)
- Postextubation in children
- Postoperative convalescence
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Prostatitis, chronic
- Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome
- Raynaud syndrome, primary
- Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
- Retention of urine, traumatic
- Sialism, drug-induced
- Sjögren syndrome
- Sore throat (including tonsillitis)
- Spine pain, acute
- Stiff neck
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
- Tietze syndrome
- Tobacco dependence
- Tourette syndrome
- Ulcerative colitis, chronic
- Vascular dementia Whooping cough (pertussis)
DISEASES, SYMPTOMS OR CONDITIONS FOR WHICH THERE ARE ONLY INDIVIDUAL CONTROLLED TRIALS REPORTING SOME THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS, BUT FOR WHICH ACUPUNCTURE IS WORTH TRYING BECAUSE TREATMENT BY CONVENTIONAL AND OTHER THERAPIES IS DIFFICULT:
- Choroidopathy, central serous
- Colour blindness
- Irritable colon syndrome
- Neuropathic bladder in spinal cord injury
- Pulmonary heart disease, chronic
- Small airway obstruction
DISEASES, SYMPTOMS OR CONDITIONS FOR WHICH ACUPUNCTURE MAY BE TRIED PROVIDED THE PRACTITIONER HAS SPECIAL MODERN MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE AND ADEQUATE MONITORING EQUIPMENT:
- Breathlessness in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Convulsions in infants
- Coronary heart disease (angina pectoris)
- Diarrhea in infants and young children
- Encephalitis, viral, in children, late stage
- Paralysis, progressive bulbar and pseudobulbar
Research and Publications | evidence based medicine
Sources: World Health Organization
Johns Hopkins Medicine