Whenever I tell someone that I am a Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac), they always have so many questions! So today I wanted to write a blog on what exactly acupuncture is, how it works and some of its origins. The cool thing about this ancient technique is that it originated in China over 2,000 years ago- so as mystifying as acupuncture may seem, it has been around for longer than most people realize!
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles at strategic points around the body. These points were first mentioned in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine which dates back to approximately 100 BCE. This information continued to be passed down from generation to generation until the acupuncture points were refined and it became standard practice in China.
Today, acupuncture has gained popularity around the world and is a regulated health profession in many countries. Research suggests that acupuncture can be used to help treat a number of conditions and diseases such as pain, insomnia, digestive issues, migraines, anxiety and depression.
How does it work?
In biomedical terms, acupuncture works by stimulating the central nervous system using specialized points to activate your body’s own natural healing capabilities.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, however, our organ systems play a pretty big role. Take the digestive system for example, the main organ responsible for digestion is the stomach or spleen. If a patient presents with no appetite and feels tired all of the time, I would choose acupuncture points on the “Stomach Meridian” to promote healthy digestion and help the overall digestive system function better.
It’s important to differentiate between both Eastern and Western Medicinal systems because both systems look at the human body completely differently. Utilizing all of the knowledge that we have as a modern society while applying it to ancient concepts can be an amazing integrative approach to any treatment plan.
What does it feel like?
In most cases, patients report feeling a dull sensation after the needle is inserted. But because acupuncture needles are so thin, most people don’t feel a thing! My personal acupuncture style is to make sure that my patient feels comfortable at all times. This can be done by engaging in an open conversation, asking questions and reading body language.
How to prepare for your very first acupuncture treatment!
Booking your first acupuncture treatment can be intimidating but it’s something that you should be thrilled about! Taking your health into your own hands and trying new things is something to celebrate!!
Here’s a list of things that I always remind my clients to do before our session:
- Make sure you eat beforehand! Because acupuncture works at a superficial level, it’s hard to predict how you may feel afterwards. Eating a nutritious breakfast will help you to feel fully energized and provide your body with everything it needs.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothing. This allows your practitioner to locate and needle acupuncture points precisely.
- Don’t drink coffee before your session- aside from coffee preventing relaxation, it also affects the appearance of your tongue. The tongue is a crucial indicator of internal health and can be used to aid in diagnosis.
- Try and book your appointment on a day off. Booking a day off will allow you to fully relax and immerse yourself in the experience.
( Registered Acupuncturist at Healflow)