“Truly my own body being sickly, brought me easily into a capacity, to know that health was the greatest of all earthly blessings, and truly he was never sick that doth not believe it.” —Nicholas Culpeper
How can Acupuncture Help You?
Though Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine have been around for ages, many people remain skeptical of their ability to help relieve pain, improve emotional well-being, and assist in recovery from disease. The truth is that it can help with these issues, and many others. There is now a great body of evidence affording us more understanding between the body, brain, emotions and viscera. Acupuncture can act on the physical body to produce effects in the psychological realm of the patient. From this standpoint, acupuncture is great for both physical and psychological disorders.
Where did Acupuncture come from?
The original Taoists and Doctors of Herbal Medicine who practiced in ancient China were renowned for utilizing the body’s senses to articulate treatment methods. Pulse and tongue diagnostics are essential for clarifying the state of the internal body, the quality of the spirit and also the nature of the digestion. It is through these qualitative perceptions, combined with today’s technological and scientific advances that I am building my own unique practice and style of acupuncture.
There are styles of acupuncture that resonate with ancient tradition, and styles that refer to distinct neurologic and anatomical mechanisms from a Western standpoint. Acupuncture is more powerful than ever, as knowledge is being brought together to create an even better approach to helping the body heal.
I was drawn to study acupuncture because of my own health issues. I had mental and physical symptoms like anxiety, depression and obesity, yet nothing I tried would bring resolution. My practice of Yoga brought me toward Traditional Chinese Medicine, and from there, my fate has been sealed.
My credentials include state licensure in Texas, the NCCAOM’s Diplomate of Oriental Medicine, Master of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine, and certification from the American Organization of Bodywork Therapies of Asia. I am proud to be an acupuncturist, and invite you to call me for a free consultation, or book an appointment if you would like to learn more.
Is Acupuncture Sterile?
Single-use, sterilized, disposable needles are used, alongside Clean Needle Techniques which all Licensed Acupuncturists (L. Ac.’s) must learn and become certified in. The needles vary in size, but the gauge is typically less than half the diameter of a syringe needle used to draw blood.
There are many different needling techniques, and as many different needles types, that an acupuncturist will employ. For example, if there is local inflammation or soreness of a muscle, a needle can be inserted and manipulated at the sore point. This triggers a local relaxation of the muscle, as well as cellular, neurological and hormonal changes that reduce inflammation and release endogenous pain-killers like enkephalin. This hormone’s structure is analogous to an opioid, and its function is similar.
Opioids & Acupuncture
“Endogenous opioids include endorphins, enkephalins, dynorphins, and even morphine itself. Morphine appears to mimic endorphins. Endorphins, a contraction of the term endogenous morphines, are responsible for analgesia (reducing pain), causing sleepiness, and feelings of pleasure. They can be released in response to pain, strenuous exercise, orgasm, or excitement.” The principle effect of acupuncture can be blocked by Naloxone, a remedy for opioid overdose. Naloxone antagonizes the opioid receptors of the body, and inhibits the uptake of both endogenous and exogenous opiates. Research shows that when Naloxone is in the body of an acupuncture patient, the typical response is numbed.
These hormonal responses can be triggered by stimulation of auricular points, as in the case of the NADA protocol. This protocol has been esteemed by many detox agencies working with drug addiction clinics. Five points on each ear are gently needled in order to promote relieve symptoms of withdrawal. Anxiety, depression, and other psycho-emotional disorders can be quieted by this approach, too.
Herbalism & Your Health
Modern medicine treats pain by administering opioids, anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, and surgery. Acupuncture does this, too, but with different techniques and with herbs instead of pharmaceutical derivations of the medicinal biochemicals found in botanical, animal and mineral substances. Many herbs have provided modern medicine with the chemical constituents that would eventually turn into medications like morphine, sudafed, aspirin, to name a few.
Patients of acupuncture and herbalism tend to observe a reduction of pain, improvement of energy, emotional harmony, and many other health benefits. The systemic effect of acupuncture can be induced as little as one session, though it is a medicine based on reiteration, like going to the gym. Acute issues need focused, frequent treatments, while chronic issues need paced, dedicated treatment regimes for the best outcome.
Acupuncture and herbal medicine are very good for balancing hormones, alleviating stress, post-operative surgical recovery and to support individuals through difficult medical procedures. Modern acupuncturists are taught collaborative, integrative approaches and work well in tandem with almost any therapy or modality. An integral part of herbal medicine is knowing the potential drug interactions that can occur between pills and herbal supplements.
By analyzing the patient’s medications, a treatment protocol can be formulated that ensures safety and minimal interaction between substances. Many drugs trigger the proliferation of a liver enzyme known as CYP-450. This is an essential catalyst for healthy drug metabolism, and unwarranted interactions can occur if two conflicting substances are consumed contemporaneously. In such a case, acupuncture can be used exclusively, avoiding conflict between medications and herbs.
Asian Bodywork Therapy
Techniques like Tui Na (medical massage), cupping, guasha, are used in inclusion to acupuncture. These bodywork methods loosen up muscular tension, unravel knots and adhesions, move stagnated blood, expel rashes, relieve inflammation, relax the sinews, and help to alleviate constraint from emotional strain. ABT (Asian Bodywork Therapy) promotes the flow of blood for better tissue oxygenation, reducing local inflammation. A great choice for active, athletic body types and those who are recovering from physical injury.
4 Needle Technique
This traditional treatment focuses on analyzing the pulse, tongue, digestion, and emotional well-being of the patient. The quality of these diagnostics inform and direct a treatment that is based in 5-element energetic theory. Excesses and deficiencies of the body’s qi, blood and body fluids are taken into account, as well as the condition of the body’s meridians. Four specific acupuncture points are selected based on these diagnostics to help harmonize the physiological and psychological symptoms of illness, stress, injury and more. This session is good for people suffering from internal diseases and chronic illness.