Acupuncture is based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM is a comprehensive system of medicine that has been used for thousands of years to preserve health and to diagnose and treat illness.
Acupuncture acknowledges the body as having a system of energy pathways called “meridians”. Meridians run through our entire body, pass through our organs, and provide vital functions to sustain a healthy life. These meridians provide passage for “Qi” (pronounced chee). Qi is the energy that gives all living organisms life and healthy vitality. When there is a block in the meridian the Qi is unable to flow freely, causing a decline in overall health and a wide variety of symptoms such as acute or chronic pain, migraines, digestive problems, high blood pressure, painful or irregular menstrual periods, fertility challenges, seasonal allergies, and mental/emotional conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, or insomnia.
How Does Qi Become Blocked?
Exterior pathogens, poor lifestyle and/or dietary practices, emotionally traumatic events, physical trauma, repetitive injury, hereditary/constitutional factors, and long-standing emotions such as anger, fear, or sadness can all affect (and be affected by) the flow of Qi.
From a biomedical perspective, acupuncture influences the following:
- The hypothalamus, which regulates the endocrine system
- The parasympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system, which induces the relaxation response and reduces the effects of stress on our bodies
- Stimulation of endorphin and serotonin production, which affect pain perception and mood
- Increase in blood circulation, decrease in inflammation, and enhancement of the effectiveness of the immune system by improving blood cell counts
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