written by Catherine Craig M.S. L.Ac….
Acupuncture: the Basics.
Meridians… Not so Mysterious…
Much like Western physiology, acupuncture is based on an energetic anatomical system located within the body. It is called the ‘Meridian System.’ These meridians (Lung, Heart, Stomach etc.) traverse specific pathways of the body, connecting the organ systems to one another. These special pathways are accessed via acu-points located on the skin and in the subcutaneous tissues.
Acupuncture works through a variety of mechanisms from working directly on muscles and fascia to regulating the hormonal and nervous systems. The meridian system works in conjunction with the physical organs of the body to trigger natural healing processes in the body.
It’s All About Qi and Blood
According to the Chinese medical model, illness occurs when there is a block or imbalance of a person’s ‘Qi’ or energy or a deficiency or stagnation of ‘Blood’ or substances. These imbalances are often caused by external influences (i.e. bacteria, viruses, toxins, trauma or injury) or internal influences such as emotions, stress and nervous system tension.
Proven Effective for Millenia!
Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to effectively treat internal disorders (fertility, digestive upset, respiratory distress), physical pain, and mental or emotional distress. The National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization recommend the use of acupuncture for its safety and proven efficacy for a variety of conditions found here: Conditions Treated [http://acuevolution.com/conditions-treated/]
Ahhhhh! So relaxing!
After a thorough diagnosis, your licensed acupuncturist will insert sterile, hair-thin needles along specific pathways to treat the areas of disease and dysfunction. Acupuncture triggers the body’s extraordinary ability to heal and self-regulate its systems, releasing natural painkillers and increasing blood flow to the targeted areas. Many people go into a deep state of relaxation during a session.
Acupuncture is a full system of medicine rapidly gaining greater acceptance in today’s modern world for its ability to treat symptoms of many major modern day illnesses without the unpleasant side effects of pharmaceuticals.
Many people report additional benefits such as increased relaxation, better sleep, greater energy, diminished pain, decreased incidence of illness and greater emotional health.
Another Paradigm. Both opposite and complementary to Western Medicine.
Time and time again in my clinical practice, I diagnose a patient according to the Chinese medicine principles of pulse and tongue analysis and get extremely good results when the patient follows the recommended treatment plan.
People who have spent years going to doctor after doctor with no answer or diagnosis, often get very good results with acupuncture due to its subtle nature at detecting imbalance before it can be pathologized by the Western medicine model. Acupuncture also supports many people who continue their allopathic medical care.
I always recommend people receive acupuncture treatment with regularity. The treatments not only address their chief complaint, but also improve health and well-being over the long term due to acupuncture’s cumulative benefits. It goes back to the Benjamin Franklin’s saying, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’
The most exciting point in my clinical work with a patient is when they ‘forget’ why they started coming to their acupuncture sessions. Pain and illness no longer serve them. It is at this point, we can begin to work beyond a bodily process and work on ‘evolutionary processes’ that can improve and excel the quality of a person’s life in terms of relationships – with their Self, loved ones, and the greater world around them. When someone is truly out of pain and distress, they can not only engage in their life is a greater way, but they can use their experience of suffering to serve others.
Catherine Craig M.S. L.Ac. is a Board Certified and Licensed Acupuncturist, specializing in chronic & acute pain management, holistic lifestyle & dietary counseling, and chronic disease management. She received her Clinical Masters of Science in Acupuncture from the Tri-State College of Acupuncture, and received her Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College.
Catherine came to practice these ancient medical arts after being inspired by her own journey of recovery from a debilitating chronic pain condition, and a subsequent battle with thyroid cancer.
She uses a highly personalized one-on-one approach and practical real-life solutions to help her patients on their individual path to wellness. Catherine’s passion and real-world experience bring a new perspective to health and personal wellness.