In this episode we take on the question of why would I need acupuncture?
Today’s Everyday Acupuncture Podcast question is answered by Heidi Markland, of Ancient Spring Acupuncture
Hi, this is Heidi Markland with Ancient Spring Acupuncture in beautiful Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Today I’m gonna talk about a question that I often get asked when someone first finds out that I’m an acupuncturist. So, while most people are familiar with the idea of acupuncture treating pain, many people ask what if I feel pretty healthy overall, why should I try acupuncture?
First, if we look at the historical Chinese texts about acupuncture, we know that it was originally used as a preventative medicine. Dating back to 3rd century B.C., the Yellow Emperor’s Classic speaks of treating disease by preventing illness before it even begins.1 Chinese medicine is about keeping the body in balance. A good practitioner does this by observing a patient. So, imbalances can be seen in inspecting facial complexion, body type, fingernails, tongue appearance, and feeling the patient’s pulse, among other things that we can observe.
Let’s look at an example of someone with very few to no health complaints. She’s an active 56-year-old that seeks acupuncture because she wants to be able to stay as active as possible. In looking at her fingernails, one may notice some dryness and brittleness. Her complexion may show some redness in the cheeks and the tongue may be slightly redder than average. Along with some patient questioning, we may want to start acupuncture treatment focused on nourishing the yin. This will help prevent further imbalance and because the patient wants to stay active, we would also add points that support the sinews and muscles. Furthermore, the patient wants to make sure that her thinking remains sharp so we can add points to actually boost brain and marrow. Maybe the patient mentions that she feels her eyesight is beginning to lose its sharpness. We can add points for that! We can add points to help clear the eyes and strengthen them.
If you’re looking for more scientific reasoning……well, research shows that the insertion of acupuncture needles can create effects due to modulation of the somato-sensory system and of the autonomic nervous system. Have I lost you? Basically, this means that science proves that acupuncture has a whole-body effect by tapping into the nervous system. Ear acupuncture, specifically, has been shown to stimulate the vagal nerve, which is responsible for the regulation of internal organ functions. And if these reactions weren’t enough, it’s proven that the body releases feel good endorphins with the insertion of acupuncture needles. So, at the very least, you should leave an acupuncture session with a sense of well-being and stress reduction.[2,3]
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