Asian medicine has flourished in China for over 4,000 years. Acupuncture, herbs, moxabustion (heat therapy), cupping and massage are employed to encourage, maintain and improve good health. Traditional Asian medicine is a complete natural medical system that is used to diagnose and treat illness, prevent disease and improve well-being. It is effective in treating many physical diseases as well as emotional imbalances.
Acupuncture is often used to alleviate pain and facilitate quicker healing time after injury. It increases blood flow, reduces inflammation and increases the rate of nerve regeneration. All of these qualities can be very helpful for a variety of musculoskeletal pain issues. This medicine can dramatically help lower back pain, whether it’s sciatica, piriformis syndrome or a bulging disc. It can really calm down an overactive nervous system response. Whether the nerve irritation is carpel tunnel syndrome, a nerve root impingement in the spine or even a more systemic issue like MS, acupuncture can relieve pain and help to regenerate nerves.
Chinese medicine also works to balance the body to address many different internal complaints such as headaches and digestive complaints like Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It can be wonderful to address issues like insomnia and allergies and very helpful for addictive issues with food or smoking. Also great for women’s health issues such as PMS and menopause, these treatments are carefully tailored to meet each individual’s needs. Chinese medicine can gently, yet profoundly, encourage the body’s natural healing process.
The basis of acupuncture is the meridian system. Originating in China, the meridian system has points on the body that are used for acupressure or acupuncture. Different points on the meridians have different specific functions and actions on the body. We can affect the liver working with points on the liver meridian. Although to some, this idea still seems strange, it does work. The question is…how? Researchers in both the United States and China have found several explanations for its effectiveness.
Acupuncture causes the body to release endorphins, the body’s natural opiates, and serotonin, a neurotransmitter that has a calming, mood enhancing effect. This is one reason why acupuncture is so good at relieving pain. Studies have also found that there is decreased electrical resistance at the point site, almost as if there was a small opening or hole. The metal needles seem to hook into the electromagnetic component of our bodies, plugging us in, so to speak. There is a theory that the needles break the pain pattern to the brain via the nervous system and are somehow able to block or redirect nerve transmission. In any event, it is certainly easy to physically feel the difference in the level of tension in a tight or spasming muscle before and after treatment.
Acupuncture reduces swelling and inflammation and promotes natural and rapid healing of the body. Chinese medicine sees the body as a self-healing, self-regulating organism. It helps the body to find balance, where healing can occur. The body has an innate drive to find balance and healing and sometimes it just needs a little push in the right direction. Acupuncture supports the body in that process. Four thousand years of use in Asia has truly refined this medicine to an art. FBN
Allison Howard, L.Ac. is in practice in Flagstaff. She graduated with a Master’s degree in Oriental Medicine from Emperor’s College in Los Angeles, spent time in Taiwan and China for extended studies and has completed an orthopedic specialty and been board certified by the National Board of Acupuncture Orthopedics.
For more information, call 928-213-6919 or find more information online at www.ahowardlac.com.