Acupuncture: How it works
Acupuncture is one of several modalities used in Chinese Medicine. It has been developed and re-developed over the past 2000 years. In Chinese Medicine, the human body is seen as a functional whole. For the body to maintain health it must maintain this interdependent balance between the various systems and organs within it. A dysfunction or disease in one organ, can effect, or be affected by, dysfunction in another part of the body. According to Chinese Medicine, the communication between the various organs of the body occurs via the flow of “Qi” through a series of “meridians”. As the body becomes run down and sick, the balance in the flow of this “Qi “ is lost and disease ensues. Acupuncture is designed to evaluate and restore the normal balance of “Qi” so that the body can heal itself. This is achieved by inserting fine sterile needles into acupuncture points that have been identified as points that bodily function can be corrected. Modern research has shown that the bodies healing ability is in fact dependent upon communication between the Brain and the rest of the body. This communication takes place along pathways utilizing the nervous, immune, and endocrine systems. Modern research is also beginning to show how acupuncture stimulates and opens communication along these very pathways. Acupuncture is most famous for it’s treatment of pain where it can be enormously effective. It can, however, be used to treat a wide variety of functional disorders that are listed in our website.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Like Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine has been used continuously in clinical practice for over 2000 years. In fact, in over half of the cases seen in China, herbal medicine is the primary treatment used. Herbs are in a way like specialized foods. They are used to feed the body in specific ways primarily to strengthen and support specific systems so that healing can occur in a lasting way. In Chinese medicine herbs are built into multi-herb formulas that have specific synergistic effects. It is very common to use herbs and acupuncture together to treat different aspects of the same problem. Herbal medicine can be likened to pharmaceutical drug prescription here in the West. Although, unlike drugs, which are single chemical substances that often have undesired side effects, herbs are complex substances that have checks and balances built in by nature. Side effects are both rare and usually mild. Many people today are concerned about the safety of many products. All of the supplements used at Maplewood Holistic Center are manufactured under GMP standards and routinely tested for a variety of contaminants.
Nutrition has been an integral part of Chinese Medicine since it’s inception. It was imperative that a patient follows the nutritional advice of the doctor in order for the other therapies to have and effective and lasting results. The only differences today are that the assaults on our bodies from chemicals, hormones, drugs, and processed and adulterated foods has made the task that much more daunting. At Maplewood Holistic Center we will give the patient specific dietary recommendations, and may additional prescribe Specific nutritional supplementation in order to reach the desired goals. This is a crucial component of almost every treatment plan at our clinic. Our diets are often a big part of why we are ill.
Education and Self-care
One of our primary jobs in helping you heal, is to educate you about how and why your imbalances or disease have manifested in the first place. As we see it, getting sick is not something that comes out of the blue; lifestyle and habits are often a primary contributor, and need to be corrected if lasting change is to occur.. As we identify those aspects of your life that we see as causative in creating your health problems, we will make recommendations for change and expect that you will implement these changes in your lifestyle. Unlike dropping off your car at the mechanic to be fixed, Holistic healing is a participatory endeavor. If you continue to practice habits that are making you sick, it is unlikely that wellness will be lasting. These changes involve aspects such as diet, sleep, exercise, and work habits.
Conventional Medicine: an Integrative Approach
As you may see from the above, Chinese Medicine is more of what we call a “Functional Medicine”. It seeks to understand illness in terms of how the system has broken down and then how to correct the system, and thereby re-establish function and well being. Conventional medicine tends to isolate problems as broken or affected parts that need fixing. Both approaches are valid and both have had a lot of success. Likewise, they both have their strengths and weaknesses. In many cases using them together can provide results neither can achieve alone.