Acupuncture is stimulating the body to balance itself
So integrative medicine means taking a team approach to healthcare and that can be by bringing modalities that are different from what is typically a Western biomedical treatment. And that could be something like using massage or using meditation or using acupuncture in conjunction with those traditional therapies. In order to give the patient a more optimal outcome, a more positive experience, and that the entire team of providers are communicating and making sure that the treatment plan is communicated to the patient.
And that everyone’s on the same page the whole time. From a modern biological perspective, acupuncture is stimulating the body to balance itself. And it does that through complex neurochemical pathways that affect the immune system, the nervous system, and the inflammatory process. Now from traditional Eastern perspective, the theory explains that our bodies are a microcosm of the natural world and that there is energy at play that animates us, that makes us alive. And each of our organs contain a type of energy that’s call Chi. And that Chi, that energy, travels through the body through pathways and we call those pathways meridians. And along those pathways, there are points where that energy is said to collect and each of those points have very specific functions.
And it’s by stimulating those very precise, very specific points that we’re able to effect certain changes in the body depending on what we’re treating.
No, acupuncture is actually a very relaxing treatment, feels very good. The placement of the needles actually stimulates your body’s own ability to relieve pain and releasing endorphins. A lot of patients actually fall asleep and leave an acupuncture treatment feeling very good. [MUSIC] So acupuncture can treat a wide range of conditions, just about anything that might affect a patient’s quality of life in the long term. Here in the gastroenterology department, I see patients with things like Crohn’s disease, colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, sometimes gastroparesis. But acupuncture actually can treat a much broader range of things.
And I do see all kinds of different conditions here in my practice. And that could be anything from joint pain, orthopedic sports injuries, a lot of women’s health issues, menopause, infertility, PMS, anything that causes pain. Things that are aggravated by stress, things that are mediated by an inflammatory process. Acupuncture is very, very effective for. The number of treatments that a patient might require for any given condition is going to vary widely from case to case, just like it does in any medical modality. It’s important to speak with a licensed acupuncturist who can give you more targeted information depending on what it is that you’re looking for. How severe a condition is, how long it’s been a problem, the overall more global health of the patient are all things that are taken into consideration.
But usually acupuncture is performed in a series of treatments, kind of like a course of antibiotics, you could think of it that way, and the effect is cumulative.