As part of Traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture, with its holistic focus, can play an important role to achieving and maintaining good health. Teresa O’Connor, Acupuncturist at Bridge to Health talks us through the key benefits.
Many patients, when embarking on a course of acupuncture feel that they are taking some control over their healthcare. Western medical settings can sometimes leave us feeling disempowered but making the decision to seek out alternative therapies such as acupuncture helps us retain some control.
Boosts the immune
“Wei Qi” is the protective energy barrier that keeps a person healthy, and their immune systems strong against the various pathogens. Acupuncture is effective at both strengthening the Wei Qi to prevent illness as well as expelling pathogens from the body when a person is ill to help speed along recovery time.
There are just not enough hours in the day to meet the demands of work, family and self-care. This results in operating in a state of chronically high stress, which not only feels awful but is damaging to the body. Acupuncture works to relax the nervous system and promote a state of calm and relaxation.
No two acupuncture patients receive the same treatment for the same disease or disharmony. Acupuncture treats patients! Acupuncturists are trained to give an individualised treatment taking in everything from the sound of your voice, to the quality of your skin and the sparkle in your eyes. They care about your whole story, past and present. They see your body as a network of interdependent parts: muscle, bone, fascia, organs, blood and body fluids, as well as more subtle layers like meridians and qi. They see what is deficient and what is stuck, mentally as well as physically, and make adjustments, facilitating the body’s own healing ability.
Positive side effects
You may seek out acupuncture to cure your neck and shoulder pain, and indeed discover that the pain diminishes. Meanwhile, your stress level, sleep quality, digestion, and overall mood improves too.
It improves sleep
Lack of sleep is detrimental to a person’s quality of life and has significant health consequences. Many people turn to sleeping pills for relief, but these too can have serious adverse effects that need to be considered. Depending on which medication is used they can also be habit forming, leading to abnormal sleep behaviour such as sleep walking, sleep eating and long-term cognitive decline. Acupuncture is a safe and effective option for insomnia. The best part is that acupuncture treats the root cause of what is causing the insomnia and actually benefits your overall health at the same time!
Can boost energy
Fatigue is a key health concern for many patients. Many people are burning the candle at both ends with fast paced, stressful lives. This can be due to many factors including chronic stress, strong emotions, poor diet, too much or too little exercise, and even lack of breathing fresh air can contribute to qi deficiency. Acupuncture can do wonders to nourish a person’s qi, thereby increasing their energy levels.
It can improve your mood
Mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression, impact the lives of many people causing a great deal of pain and suffering. Medications can be effective and are at times necessary to help manage the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for mood disorders that can be used as a standalone treatment or in combination with mood supportive medications or supplements.
My patients report experiencing a significant decrease in anxiety levels and an improved sense of well-being during acupuncture visits and increasing periods of balanced mood with regular acupuncture treatments.
Some of the many digestive conditions treated with Chinese medicine are gas and bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, IBS, inflammatory bowel disease and abdominal pain. In Chinese Medicine a healthy digestive system is the basis for good health. If the digestive system is not functioning optimally it trickles down to all other aspects of health and lays the groundwork for disease. Acupuncture can help to regulate digestion and restore optimal digestive function.
Addressing issues associated with menstruation and menopause
Many women suffer with hormonal imbalances that manifest as conditions such as absent menses, painful menses, heavy menses, infertility, fibroids, endometriosis, perimenopausal and menopausal disorders. Conventional medical treatments are often ineffective for these disorders and seldom treat the underlying cause. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are incredibly beneficial in treating the root cause of these conditions as well as providing symptomatic relief.
It’s safe and painless
One of the most common reasons why many people never seriously consider acupuncture is needles! We don’t use the needles you see in hospital labs. Acupuncture needles are fine, extremely thin and in the majority of cases do not cause pain. If during and after acupuncture you do feel minor pain or bruises, those are common safe side-effects. The needles are also disposable with good manufacturing practices and the single-use standards of sterility.