All posts relating to the practice and education of acupuncture.

Cupping

Cupping Is Hot

Everyone is excited about cupping, and with good reason, because it is an excellent modality to ease sore and achy muscles. Fire cupping is the process of using fire to create a vacuum within a glass cup which is placed on the body to provide therapeutic benefit. Cupping is usually done on the back, but can be applied to other locations of the body.

cupping_annistan      cupping-athletes      olypian_cupped      phelps_cupped

Check out some of these images from the Olympics. Cupping is hot partly because of the publicity they are giving it. The large marks it leaves as part of the healing process are bold statements worn by athletes and celebrities.

What Is It?

There are two main types of cupping, stationary and sliding, each type has a different emphasis. Stationary cupping means that the cup is placed on the body and left there for about 5-10 minutes, without moving it. Stationary cupping is primarily used as a method to stimulate acupuncture points on the back, it may also be using in conjunction with acupuncture (the cup is placed over a needle which has already been inserted into an acupuncture point). Sliding cupping is the process of placing a cup on the location of treatment and moving it around along the acupuncture channels of the back with brief periods of leaving it in place to provide extra stimulation on various acupuncture points.

Why Do It?

Cupping is valuable because it is a method that helps to loosen the facial layer, which is the first step in preparing the body to do deeper muscle work. Cupping increases circulation in the area being worked on. This increase of circulation helps the body to eliminate toxins from the muscle layer, as well as oxygenating the cells, and increasing the rate of tissue repair. The pinyin (English pronunciation of Mandarin) calls these toxins “sha”. “Sha” literally can be translated as muscle gravel. This muscle gravel creates pain, stiffness, fatigue, and limited range of motion. By bringing these toxins to the surface and inducing the body to fully process and remove them, pain decreases, muscles loosen up, range of motion is increased, and energy is increased.

How Cupping Fits Into An Acupuncture Treatment

Usually some general massage or Tui Na (massage focused on acupuncture channels and points) is done before cupping. Tui Na warms the muscles up, so that they are prepared for the deeper work of cupping. Tui Na also provides an opportunity to work some massage oil into the skin, making it easier for the cups to glide across the surface of the body. As it is utilized in Chinese Medicine, cupping is often considered an accessory technique. Acupuncture, dietary therapy, and herbal therapy are the primary tools of regulating the health of the body, everything else is added to strengthen and support these primary modalities. Cupping is an ancient and powerful tool for healing. It is also easily accessible.

 

Jocelyn, our Acupuncturist, is trained in fire cupping. She has office hours in Colby and Marshfield. If you have questions or would like to experience cupping for yourself, it is just a phone call away!

Wisdom of The Wood Element: Flex

Metaphor of Wood

The wood element is associated with all plant life, but its archetypal symbol is most closely associated with the tree. The vertical line of the tree serves as a connecting point between heaven and earth. The roots and branches of the tree are often mirror like images of each other (roots connecting to earth, branches reaching to heaven, and trunk linking them both). The wood element represent the internal map of destiny that each individual is born with. Wood is often associated with goals and the forward movement needed to reach those goals. The wood time of life are our growing years which include all of our childhood and our early adulthood. This is the time in life when we are discovering who me are in the world and what our purpose is.

Wood and Emotion

The emotions most closely related with wood element are anger and frustration. Wood wants to grow and expand and push past boundaries (think about deep penetrating roots or outreaching vines). Wood hates to be confined. Wood is compelled to take risks, accomplish goals, take initiative, meet challenges, and stay busy. When Wood encounters obstacles it can both become flexible and adapt, or it becomes rigid and immoveable. When things get in the way, wood reacts with anger and or frustration. Anger is often a signal that one has reached the end of a boundary line and or that someone or something has crossed one’s boundary. When Wood is not able to reach its goal and feel a sense of accomplishment it is agitated, irritated, and frustrated.

Wood’s Biggest Strength

The strength and power or wood is that of expansion. Think of a pioneer setting out to experience new lands that have never been charted before. It is like the Star Trek motto, “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” When wood is out of balance, it becomes domineering: attempting to take over and control things. “Bossy” is a good way to think about out of balance Wood. People with excessive Wood often sound as though they are shouting. If Wood gets too far out of balance the energy becomes compressed as though the person is in a pressure cooker that is volatile and ready to explode at any moment.

Wood Asks

• What do I do, what are my goals?
• How do I accomplish my goals, what is my strategy?
• Am I accomplishing my goals or feeling frustrated?
• Do I need to change my current strategies/
• Am I trespassing on others boundaries or allowing them to trespass my boundaries?
• In what areas of my life do I need to establish or reinforce my boundaries?
• Am I angry on a consistent basis? If so, what is fueling this anger?
• What areas of my life need a fresh vision and forward movement?

Moving Forward With Flexibility

• Nourish the Wood element by getting out and taking a walk in the woods. The forward movement of walking accompanied by the surrounding vegetation, especially trees, will bring stimulation and balance to the wood element.
• Bring wooded objects, furniture, or petrified wood crystals into your life.
• Sit down and write down your goals and your strategy for accomplishing those goals
• Say no to people and things that are not in line with your purpose, life mission, and goals
• Be accepting of other people’s boundaries when they say “no” to you

Wisdom of The Water Element: Flow

The Metaphore of Water

Water is both the beginning and the end of the journey through the five element phases of Chinese Medicine. Water represents the beginning of our earthly journey as we are nourished in the watery environment of the womb. The water element is closely associated with fertility and the seeds of new life. Water also represents the end of the cycle in that it is associated with the dark abyss such as the deepest parts of the ocean, and because it is represented in the winter season: the time of coldness, dark, slow movement, and hibernation. The Water element is concerned with our origins and our destiny. It asks what is my past and what is my future?

Water & Emotion

The emotion associated with the Water element is fear, anxiety, or awe. The spiritual fear that Water element is concerned with is that of extinction; the ultimate fear of death being equal to annihilation. The existential question of Water is “where do I come from?” The desire to know ones origins also serves to quell the deep fear of extinction, because perhaps if we are able to know where we come from we will also know where we are going or what our ultimate end will be.

Water’s Biggest Strength

The power of the Water element is consolidation; it is able to bring ethereal energy into a “solid” state. If the power of Water becomes imbalanced and extreme it leads to such strong consolidation that one becomes petrified. Water in balance flows smoothly and easily between states and is able to be as soft and light as steam or as solid as a block of ice.

The core wisdom of Water is to flow. Whether you are shallow or deep – flow. Whether you are a babbling brook or a raging river— flow. Flow in such a way that, just like water, you can transition from state to state easily with as few dramas and struggles as possible.

Water asks…

  • Do I feel strong and rooted in my history, do I know where I came from?
  • Do I feel secure about my future?
  • What is my purpose or “destiny” (What do I feel called to do and designed for?)
  • Am I living in fear on a consistent basis? If so, what am I fearing?
  • Am I flowing (solid and moving) or petrifying (so stiff I can’t move)?
  • Where in my life can I replace the petrifying feeling of fear by taking action and “flowing”?

Getting in the flow…

  • Spend time observing fish in an aquarium, it build your water element
  • Spend time watching water flow in a river or stream
  • Spend time near a lake
  • Swim
  • Soak your feet in water and epsom salt (the very first point on the Kidney Channel and the very last point on the Urinary Bladder Channel (both organs associated with the element of water) are located on your feet. Salt is the flavor associated with water

Wisdom of The Five Elements: An Introduction

Basics of Five Element Theory

Dynamic, ebb and flow, and the circle of life are just a few ways of describing the rthymic balance we experience in life on an everyday basis.  The early Chinese were astute observers of nature. They witnessed that there was a fundamental movement between all things in nature. They summed up this observation with the development of a philosoophy; the interplay of yin and yang.

Yin describes things that are darker, heavier, deeper, more hidden, slower moving, and cool.  Yang describes things that are bright, light, on the surface, fast moving, and warm.  The five elements of Chinese medicine are the first five fundamental things that are created by the interplay between yin and yang.  In fact, the five elements are descriptions of yin and yang on a gradient scale.  Extreme Yang is known as Fire, while extreme Yin is known as Water.  Yang within Yin is known as Wood, while Yin within Yang is known as metal.  Earth was originally the centralized balancing point upon which all the other elements pivoted.

Five Elements and Life Cycle

The five elements describe our journey through life. We are born into the Wood phase of life where we are growing, expanding, rising, and sprouting.  We move into our early adulthood in the Fire phase of life where we are exploring, diffusing, finding love, and starting to earn a living.  The high point of life is the Earth phase.  Earth time is a balanced time, where things are flowing along, and we feel solid.  Earth time is also a crossing point or a bridge leading us to the second half of our life.  After Earth time, comes Metal time, or the Metal phase of life.  Metal time is where things start to contract, consolidate, and solidify.  Metal time is our later adult years, often when people in America decide to retire.  After Metal comes Water.  The Water phase or Water time of life includes our very old age where we once again become flexible and fluid.  The Water Phase is also associated with Pregnancy and the seeds of new life.  In the journey of the five elements, there is no end, only new beginnings as the cycle recreates itself.

The five elements of Chinese medicine have many associations, and vast applications.  They correspond to various organs and meridians in the human body. They relate to our physical environment. They even related to interior design when we apply them through the principles of Feng Shui.  It is my desire to share with you the wisdom and practical applications that the five elements can have to various areas of life.  Please look for  upcoming blog posts where I’ll share stories, insights, practical wisdom, and a dose of good humor.

Until next time,

I’m Jocelyn Michel, with you every step of the way.

 

Why Haven’t I Gotten Better: Intentionality and Healing

So, you’ve been everywhere, seen everyone, done everything and you are still sick!  This is usually the second most asked question I hear, I’ve done everything I’m supposed to, why am I still sick?  Every form of medical care has it’s philosophy of why we get sick and what we need to do to feel better, but what happens when we’ve done everything we can think of, we’ve done everything the doctors, therapists, healers, and experts have told us to do and nothing seems to work.  Or if it does work, it is temporary at best.  This brings us to a place that falls outside of the “scientific realm” and takes us to that place known as placebo effect.  What is the placebo effect?

A placebo is traditionally defined as a harmless pill or treatment that has curative effects because of the belief we place in it.    My personal definition of placebo is much broader and more encompassing, it is:  everything that contributes to healing that practitioners are not really accounting for.  This can include everything from the environment of the treatment room, the time of day, the current weather, and the interpersonal relationship between patient and practitioner.  Along with the tangible things that we can think of and name, placebo also includes things we can’t really “put our finger on” or give a name to.  One of those elusive “things” is something called intentionality.  Intentionality is just what it sounds like, it is our intention or will, our desire, our goal, what we put our focus on, what we want to receive from the actions we are taking.  Part of the concept of intentionality includes the idea of personal power and choice; that each of us has power and we can exercise that power through our choices.  When we make choices, we also receive consequences.  Sometimes the consequences are exactly what we are wanting.  The challenge comes when the consequences we receive don’t seem to match up with what we think and say that we want.

That is correct, “what we THINK and SAY that we want” does not always line up with what we really want on a deep down heart level.  Whenever we are not making progress in healing, it becomes necessary to do some deep down internal work and get painfully honest with ourselves about what it is we really want.  Chances are if we are honest with ourselves, there are things about being sick and infirmed that we like.  There is something about not being well that is benefitting us more than being well.  OR, we have gotten so attached to the illness we are experiencing that the illness has become our identity, and to let go of the illness we would be losing a part of ourselves.  So, how can you find out what you really want on a deep down level, and if deep down your intention is focused on illness instead of wellness?  The first step to every “change” process is awareness.  We can’t make a new choice, until we are aware of the choices we are making right now.

Here are some provocative questions to ask yourself that may help bring awareness of your current choices and intentions behind those choices in regards to your health and well-being:

  • When was the last time I really felt good (I was happy, energetic, and life was flowing)?
  • What is it like for me when I feel really good? What is my definition of feeling good?
  • When did I start feeling “sick”? How old was I? What type of work was I doing?  Where was I?
  • What is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about this sickness, illness, trauma, etc.…? (a person, place, thing, color, smell, physical sensation, a word or image)
  • How does this thought, experience, image relate to the illness?
  • Does someone else in my life benefit from me being sick? Who else in my life (spouse, child, family member, friend, etc…) benefits from me being sick?  What do they get out of it?
  • What is it that I dislike the most about being “sick”?
  • Is it possible that I’m getting something out of being “sick”? What are the potential benefits that I’m getting from being “sick”?
  • Is there anyone else in my family or in my life that also has chronic illnesses or “sickness”? What do they get out of being “sick”?
  • How does my family group or “tribe” respond when one of us is sick, ill, or injured?
  • Is it possible for me to feel better?
  • Is it possible for me to get completely well?
  • Is this something I “have to” live with for the rest of my life?
  • What would be different in my life if a miracle happened and I was suddenly totally and completely well in every way?
  • Do I want to be well?
  • Why do I want to be well?
  • What am I willing to do to get and stay well?

There are many more questions we can ask ourselves, but the following list is a good place to start.  It takes great courage to be honest with ourselves and see if there is anything internally keeping us from being the healthy vibrant person we want to be.  Awareness is power because when we become aware of the choices we are making we have the ability to access our power to make a new choice.   One of the most powerful things you can do to accelerate your healing and get the most out of every treatment you receive is to consciously choose what you want to get out of that treatment.  The clearer your intention for each treatment, the better the results will be.  For example, if you are in pain, perhaps your intention is to reduce or eliminate the pain.  If you are already holding this clear intention, perhaps you will choose to expand on it by thinking and saying to yourself, “I want to be pain free all week, all year, for the rest of my life”!  If you are not really sure about what you want you can always hold the intention of openness, flexibility, and cooperation.  “I am open to healing, I am willing to shift and change in the direction of wellness, I’m open and willing to cooperate with any and all benefits this treatment is providing for me.  STOP, THINK, AND CHOOSE!  You have the power!

 

If you’re interested in learning more, stay tuned for further posts, and be sure to check our class schedule for free informative wellness talks. Jocelyn is available for acupuncture services at both the Marshfield and Colby locations throughout the week.

Why Am I Sick : The Root Cause of Illness and Disease

One of the top questions I am asked is: “Why?”  Why do I get sick? Why does my knee hurt?  Why do I get these headaches?  Why do I feel dizzy and nauseous?  Why am I so tired all of the time?  Why does my stomach hurt? Patients are often curious to find out why they are experiencing different symptoms in their body and they want to know if Oriental Medicine (acupuncture and herbs) can really help.  You may be surprised to find out that the root causes of all illness and disease can be summarized in a list less than ten items long.  You may also be surprised to find out that the root causes of illness and disease are the same for every form of health care.

Now before I let you in on the secret of what those root causes are, I want to take a moment to talk about how different forms of medicine approach health care.  If the causes of illness and disease are the same for every type of health care, then why are the treatments they employ so different?  All medicine is based on a fundamental world view that shapes how the human body is perceived and this perception drives the decisions of how the body will be cared for.  The philosophical world view behind Western Biomedicine is rooted in mechanistic dualism (made popular by Rene Descartes) and Darwinian Evolution.  What this means is that the body is viewed as a machine that is separate from the mind.  Oriental Medicine is primarily founded on Taoist philosophy of the unity of all things and the interaction of all things based on the principals of Yin and Yang.  Oriental medicine views the body like a garden or a forest where everything is interconnected.  This one fundamental philosophical difference (the body and mind are connected and each part is connected to each other part VS the body and mind are separate and each part of the body is separate) determine all the other choices one makes regarding health care.  If the body is one with the mind and it is formed perfectly with the intelligence to heal itself, then it makes sense to stimulate that innate healing ability and allow the brilliance of the body to bring itself back to a place of balance and wellness.

So, now comes the list that you have all been waiting for, the root causes of illness and disease:

  1. External invasion by bacteria, viruses, and parasites that are stronger than your personal immune system
  2. Trauma ( injuries, accidents, repetitive motion
  3. Abuse (physical, sexual, mental/emotional)
  4. Emotions (thoughts and feelings that haven’t been processed tend to get “stuck” in the system)
  5. Constitution (genetics combined with family environment)
  6. Diet (type, quality, and quantity of food being eaten)
  7. Sexual Activity (this can include sexually transmitted diseases and too much or too little can cause energetic imbalances)
  8. Toxicity (exposure to poisonous substances and or poor elimination processes in the body that cause toxic build up), and finally the newest cause of illness is
  9. Energetic Toxins ( electromagnetic radiation from power lines, computers, cell phones, tablets, etc.…)

From an Oriental Medicine perspective these root or core causes of illness and disease cause disruptions in the energetic communications system of the body as well as imbalances in the vital substances of the body (qi, blood, essence, yin, and yang).  Acupuncture and herbal therapy are the two primary ways of bringing the energetic system and vital substances back into balance and thereby reducing and eliminating illness and disease.  The two main therapeutic principles for healing and long term wellness revolve around nourishing the vital substances of the body and keeping them moving at a steady pace (not too quickly or too slowly).  When everything is well nourished and flowing well, we come to that place of wellness and bliss.

If you’re interested in learning more, stay tuned for further posts, and be sure to check our class schedule for free informative wellness talks. Jocelyn is available for acupuncture services at both the Marshfield and Colby locations throughout the week.

Healthy Holidays December Class Schedule

Each December we put together a special class schedule designed to help us maintain our balance amidst the travel, emotion, and food. This year we have a special treat with the addition of a new 200 Hr. Certified Yoga Teacher, Melissa Lange, as well as Wellness Programs being taught by our Certified Acupuncturist, Jocelyn Mitchel.  Click here to read their bio’s.

In a Nutshell

  • Our Healthy Holiday Class Special runs from December 7th to New Years Eve.
  • All Group Classes, Programs, and Workshops that are offered at both locations are included in one special price.
  • Pre-registration will guarantee your spot in class, but all classes are drop-in ready. So, come to as many classes as you can at your convenience.
  • Bring friends when they are in town. All classes can also be purchased for our regular drop in rates.
  • Class times are varied; in part to allow for options on a hectic month, but also to get feedback for Melissa to set up our long term yoga schedule.
  • This is a great sampler. Test some new yoga styles, meet and learn from Jocelyn, enjoy some fun and stay connected to health this holiday month.
  • Your Healthy Holidays Unlimited Class Pass is non-transferable and will expire on Jan. 1st regardless of attendance.

All For One Low Price

Unlimited December Class and Program Pass – $39 includes

  • 25 yoga Classes
  • 8 Zumba Classes
  • 4 Wellness Discussions with our Acupuncturist
  • 1 Workshop on how to consciously create traditions and spaces filled with your intention.

Registration is Easy:

As part of our new system we will be urging everyone to register and purchase classes online. You can still easily pay and register at the front desk, but our online system gives you greater control over your account and makes it easy to register or cancel yourself from a class. With just a little bit of time you can have a Booker App on your phone (Apps for both Android and Apple are available) and have links to your account on your computer.  From there you can see our schedule and the passes you have purchased very easily.

Continued Evolution Of Classes

We have been working hard to implement some big changes to the way that we schedule and organize our classes. Most of those changes are made possible by our booking system, but we have revamped everything so that beginning in February we will have greater flexibility in the way we schedule, the ways you can purchase passes, and where and when you can sign up for classes.

This month we are unveiling two of these changes to our classes. First, there is a new way to purchase classes called the Unlimited Pass. Beginning this February we will have options for our regular class participants to purchase 7 Day and 30 Day Unlimited Passes. These Unlimited Passes can be purchased at any time and will begin and end from the date of the first use. This option will make it affordable for you to really commit to a fitness program and makes since for anyone taking more than three classes a week. Our Healthy Holidays special will be sold as our very first Unlimited Pass.

The second change we are implementing is in the length of our yoga classes. We will be changing all yoga class times to 75 minutes. This will part of a general movement to separate the 60 min. fitness classes and the yoga classes in structure. In the past, we merged the times of regular fitness classes and our yoga classes to match the capacity of our booking system. Now that we have both a more capable booking system and an additional certified yoga teacher, we will get back to offering the deeper components of relaxation, breath work and meditation that set yoga apart.

Wellness Class Descriptions

Wellness Talks with Jocelyn – Free & Open to Drop In as well as Healthy Holiday Unlimited Passes

December 7th, 6pm – Digestive health

December 14th, 6pm –  Cold and Flu Prevention and Natural Treatment

December 21st, 6pm – Stress

December 28th, 6pm – Fatigue / Energy

 

 

Acupuncture Now Available

Acupuncture Services Begin This October

We are pleased to announce that Acupuncture services will begin at Back To Bliss’ Colby location this October. It has been a goal of Back To Bliss’ to bring acupuncture to our area for some time now so that we can have local access to this amazingly beneficial therapy. Our mission is to make real wellness locally accessible and affordable to maintain, and we feel that adding acupuncture to our service menu does both of these things for our rural area. We are delighted to have connected with a skilled acupuncturist who shares our philosophies on customer service and quality care. Our acupuncturist, Jocelyn, will be available from Tuesday – Friday, 10 am – 7 pm.

Check our acupuncture service page for details on pricing. We offer package discounts when purchasing six acupuncture treatments and you can use sale gift certificates for her services as normal.

A Message From Jocelyn

Hello, I’m Jocelyn and it is my passion to support you in living the fullest life possible. It is my pleasure to offer services that help you care for your body and mind so you can be the best version of yourself!

I’ve been interested in holistic healthcare since I was about twelve years old and I had my first experience with chiropractic—which is what I was intent on studying until I found out about acupuncture.  My first experience with acupuncture helped me find relief from aches and pains related to a motor vehicle accident.  When I found out that there was a local school, Midwest College of Oriental Medicine (MCOM), I just had to learn more about acupuncture and all the modalities of Oriental Medicine.  After jm headshotcompleting my bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, I went on to complete a second bachelor’s degree in nutrition and a master’s degree in Oriental Medicine from MCOM.

My focus is on you, my patient.  It is my goal to educate, guide, and facilitate treatment to relieve your symptoms, help you to regain your vitality, and prevent sickness and disease before it begins. I can best be described as a general practitioner or family practitioner.  While many find joy in specialization, I love the challenge of diagnosing and treating a wide variety of health concerns.  I love it when I see families pursuing a healthy lifestyle together.  There is strength in unity and just like healthy individuals bring that influence to their families, healthy families have the power to change a whole community.

My treatment style is eclectic because my desire is to find the most effective treatment plan for each person; therefore I will draw from as many tools as I have in my toolbox to reach the goal defined in our treatment plan.  I offer nutritional recommendations, Chinese herbal supplements, vitamin and mineral supplements, acupuncture, and manual therapies.  I welcome you to the healing path and look forward to meeting you soon!

What Does An Acupuncture Therapy Plan Look Like?

Depending on your goals, the depth of the issues you want to resolve, and the intensity of your wellness plan you will find that no two therapy plans are identical.  However, when beginning your work with our acupuncturist, everyone will need to schedule a 120 minute initial visit and a 75 minute follow up visit. In these two first sessions the two of you will put together a detailed evaluation, history and plan with plenty of one-on-one time for questions, education, and treatment. Depending on your needs, there may lots of homework in terms of lifestyle practices and/or several vitamins and herbs to familiarize yourself with taking.

After your initial visits, clients can expect a treatment plan that is more frequent at the beginning. As your body ‘holds the effects’ of the treatments for longer and longer timeframes, the treatments will be spaced further and further apart. In this way your acupuncture plan works with your own healing force to first impact a therapeutic change and then gradually allow your body to maintain a healthy condition on its own. Jocelyn will commonly recommend coming for acupuncture treatments twice a week for 3-5 weeks to gain a healing momentum. That frequency is stepped-down as fast as you are able to remain symptom free without treatment. Once your goals are met, she then recommends staying on a seasonal maintenance plan to maintain a good welleness relationship and keep ahead of any issues before they become more deeply problematic. This maintenance plan is generally three or four visits a year.

How To Make An Appointment

Acupuncture with Jocelyn fits right into Back To Bliss’ regular service offerings. Simply call the front desk, book online, or stop in to set up your initial visit and get started today. All subsequent appointments will be set up based on the plan created on your initial visit.

My Take On Acupuncture

Recently I was asked if I would like to blog, and I was very hesitant about it, but I agreed not knowing what I got myself into. After agreeing, I was asked to write a blog about acupuncture, a million thoughts came into my head regretting what I had just agreed to do.

“Oh no, what did I get myself into?!” “I’m a cosmetologist, I know nothing about acupuncture.”

But after thinking about it, the only thing I knew about acupuncture was the sticking of needles in your body. I had no idea why or where this idea came from. I had no idea what acupuncture is helpful for. So, I immediately got on the computer and started researching, and I was quite surprised as to what I found out. I hope you find my research as interesting as I did.

acupuncture

Acupuncture

Noun |ac·u·punc·ture|:  an originally Chinese practice of inserting fine needles through the skin at specific points especially to cure disease or relieve pain

According to an ABC article, a growing number of Americans would prefer to stop popping pills and avoid going under the knife to treat a bum knee, achy lower back, or sore hip. Instead, they’re turning to the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture to help ease chronic joint pain. It’s based on the premise that a subtle life energy—or “qi |ch·ee|”—circulates through the 14 major energy channels of the body, known as meridians. The channels are like “roadways” that transport qi to every part of the body, including its internal organs and tissues.

Acupuncture is said to stimulate these meridian points by easing the pressure of the channels and correcting the body’s imbalances by allowing the qi to flow more freely.  Others believe that acupuncture merely stimulates the nerves causing them to release endorphins already found in the body. Elle Woods stated it best in the movie Legally Blonde, “Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t!” Endorphins act as a natural sedative and by stimulating the nerves and releasing these endorphins, patients begin to see a release in pain.

Originally acupuncture needles were not made of stainless steel but of stone, bamboo and bone. Today’s needles are extremely fine in diameter (about the thickness of two human hairs) and are sterile and disposable. So how does it work? Acupuncturists feel your pulse and look at your tongue to gain information about your state of health and plan a course of treatment. It is also highly individualized – for example, if 50 people with the common cold received acupuncture all 50 people could have different acupuncture points chosen as part of their treatment.

Acupuncture has been shown to be effective for the treatment of nausea and vomiting in adults following surgery or taking chemotherapy and postoperative dental pain. It is also effective for

  • osteoarthritis
  • chronic headaches
  • back, neck, and shoulder pain

Practitioners (and patients) have also seen results with a wide range of conditions, including:

  • infertility
  • respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses
  • insomnia
  • nausea
  • side effects of chemotherapy
  • ADHD
  • mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

Personally I am afraid of needles, but if it could help my lower back pain, I will definitely give it a try.

Thanks for reading! I know I found my assignment to be quite eye opening and am glad I took the time to learn about this ancient healing art.

 

xoxo Kylie – Apprentice Stylist

Blogging for Back To Bliss’ Team Journal