Everybody wants to feel good in their life and activities, and achieving a maintainable level of health is something that everyone must put energy into. There are many tools to help with this process, from diet & exercise, to supplements & natural remedies, to pharmaceuticals & surgery. The best medicine is the medicine that works, and it’s important to have access to a variety of different systems that we can utilize as appropriate to work productively with our healthcare needs.
The body has a great built-in healthcare system – it likes to solve an enormous amount of it’s own problems, some of which we may not even be aware of. If you eat something weird, or whack you knee on the table, or catch whatever bug is going around, you might not feel so great. But that won’t last very long, the body will recover in short order, and you’ll feel relatively normal once again., because that’s what the body does, it fixes itself. So when symptoms are not self-resolving, then we need to ask why the body is not solving its own problems. The question is not simply what’s wrong, but rather why is it not right.
When the manifestation of disease (ie, symptoms) has become too significant, then those symptoms must be responded to as a part of healthcare. This can involve anything from treating pain to removing an infected gall bladder – in and of itself, this is simply an alleviation of the symptom mechanism of disease. In removing a gall bladder, we haven’t addressed the disease process that produced the infected gall bladder, we simply removed the compromised tissue, but the disease process remains unaddressed. Likewise, there are lots of excellent ways to get rid of a headache – take an NSAID, needle GB20, take a couple days off and go to a spa – any of those things can stop a headache, but none of them will prevent another one from occurring the next day.
It’s important to look at and respond to both sides of the process of health – how we feel, and why. Symptoms are the result of disruptions in how the body is able to do the myriad things a body does. If it does things pretty well, we mostly feel good, and if it’s not doing some things well enough, then eventually we’ll end up not feeling so great as symptoms begin to develop. So the solution lies in not simply addressing the results of the disease process (ie, symptoms) but also in addressing the causative processes, allowing the body greater access to it’s own problem-solving resources.
Acupuncture is one of the treatment modalities utilized in Oriental medicine, and it involves the insertion of tiny sterile needles into the surface of the body at specific locations to improve health by helping to achieve balance of the body’s energy. Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine are based on the concept of Ki (or chi), which is also referred to as life energy. This energy is essentially the difference between person and a corpse – one is full of activity & growth, while the other is not. This life activity, or Ki, can be divided into numerous different aspects, all the different jobs or activities our body does – everything from digesting food, to keeping us warm, to thinking & acting in the outside world.
In a healthy body, all of the different aspects of the body work together as harmonious members of a smooth functioning whole, not unlike the all the different instruments in a symphony – each has its part and contributes exactly what is needed at just the right time to produce optimal results. But we are subject to numerous stressors, less than ideal dietary conditions, poor lifestyle practices, inherited liabilities, ongoing stress, and other such influences. These things tax our system over time, putting pressure on it from a variety of different directions, and ultimately overworking various aspects of our body’s resources.
The resulting compromise in the body’s ability to do its jobs eventually works its way forward and manifests outwardly as symptoms. The degree of compromise in the body’s energetic functionality is what determines the body’s level of health. When the body is unable to utilizing its energetic resources in a reasonably efficient way, its ability to take optimal care of itself will be compromised, resulting in the manifestation of illness.
Acupuncture uses needles to stimulate specific points on the surface of the body that are related to different aspects of the body’s energy or functionality. When you touch someone with a needle or a finger, it calls the body’s attention to that place, and with that awareness, energy moves. And this movement can crate specific intended change in how the body is able to use its energetic resources. Movement + intention = change. The effect is to remind the body of a different and more efficient way to use its energetic resources so that the body can take better care of itself.
Acupuncture doesn’t ultimately fix people, instead it allows the body to utilize its resources to greater effect so that the body can fix itself. While symptom alleviation is always an important part of the process, long-term solutions to health problems lie in optimizing the body’s own ability to solve and ultimately prevent many of it’s own problems.
Acupuncture can provide quick and very effective solutions to many kinds of health conditions. While acupuncture is widely recognized for its ability to treat pain, it is by no means limited to symptom alleviation. Acupuncture can be used to control a wide variety of health problems, including digestive disorders, female reproductive issues (including infertility), pre- and post-natal care, insomnia, asthma, immune function, allergic reactions, musculoskeletal problems, migraines, hypertension, emotional health, and many, many other conditions.
Acupuncture is a very light intervention offering significant outcomes with practically no side effects. This is in stark contrast to prescription pharmaceuticals, which kill 128,000 Americans each year, making it the 5thleading cause of death in the U.S. And while prescription medications are important and make a huge difference in many people’s lives, it also produces an unacceptable level of iatrogenesis. I believe it’s important to attempt to solve health problems with the least amount of intervention necessary to attain optimal results. Acupuncture is an incredibly effective way for people to manage their health naturally with results that endure and put the responsibility of health in the hands of the individual.
Many people come to acupuncture after having experienced limited results with other methods of treatment, including allopathic medicine, and find that there is an entire world of very productive health care options waiting for them with Oriental medicine. Acupuncture has something to offer everyone, from those seeking to enhance athletic performance to those managing terminal disease, and everything in between. It allows your body to make the best use possible of it’s own resources, regardless of circumstance, so that you can do your best in whatever circumstances you’re in. Don’t wait until you are sick, discover how to maximize your health and build for your future now.