History Of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is arguably the oldest form of medicine still in practice today.
The earliest manual on acupuncture is called the Huangdi Neijing, or Esoteric Scripture of the Yellow Emperor, and it dates back to around the year 150 BCE. There are older examples of what might have been acupuncture, however, that go back more than 5000 years.
Modern acupuncture rose and fell in popularity in China over the centuries, but it wasn’t until Richard Nixon opened up relations with China that it started to gain footing here in North America.
Today, acupuncture is practiced around the world. There’s a growing body of scientific research showing its benefits for a wide range of different health conditions.
Naturopathic doctors in Canada are all trained in the safe use of acupuncture.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
From a neurophysical point of view, acupuncture activates your body’s natural healing mechanisms. It does this through stimulating the flow of energy through the meridianal channels of your body.
These meridians correspond with specific organs and other systems in your body. When we increase the energy flow of these channels, we can increase blood flow to these systems. This can help you establish a healthier nervous and endocrine system, improve your immune function, and restore overall balance in your body.
What To Expect At An Acupuncture Treatment
If you’ve never experienced acupuncture before, it can seem a little scary – especially if you have a fear of needles.
But it’s not as bad as it looks. In fact, many people find the process relaxing.
During your first session, you’ll sit down with one of the naturopathic doctors here at Annex Naturopathic. You and your naturopath will go through a thorough assessment of your current state of health, as well as your health history.
This assessment may include:
- Current symptoms you’re facing
- Past treatments (naturopathic or otherwise)
- Past injuries
- Past surgeries
- Digestive health
- Sleep patterns
- Emotional well-being
If it seems like you may benefit from acupuncture, your naturopath will discuss what that experience will look like, including any potential risks or side effects.
Depending on where your specific complaints are, acupuncture treatments can last anywhere from 30-60 minutes. Your naturopath will discuss specifics with you, so you can make the right decision for your health.
As for the needles themselves – don’t worry. They’re far smaller than a hypodermic needle, and they only pierce your skin far enough to be held in place. Many people say the experience is entirely painless, and those who do feel pain say it’s quite minor.
But most importantly, people also describe acupuncture treatments as relaxing, as though they’re floating. It’s not unheard of for someone to be so relaxed during treatment that they fall asleep altogether.
Acupuncture Treatments For Stress, Depression, And Anxiety
A large and growing body of evidence shows acupuncture can be an effective treatment for stress, anxiety, and depression. Sometimes it can be even more effective than traditional methods of stress management, like psychotherapy or medication.
This likely has something to do with acupuncture’s calming effect, but there’s more to it than that. Acupuncture can help balance glutamate release and reception, which are both linked with the above disorders. According to this study, acupuncture’s ability to modulate your body’s glutamate receptors is related to its effects, though they admit more research is needed.
We may not yet fully understand exactly how acupuncture reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. But many different organizations, including the World Health Organization, have commented on its efficacy on this and other issues.
If you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed, contact Annex Naturopathic. Acupuncture may be right for you.
Acupuncture Treatments For Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is a common ailment in the modern world, especially among those who spend a lot of time behind a desk or who work physically demanding jobs.
Acupuncture can help with chronic pain. In particular, it can be an effective treatment for lower back pain (source), but it can also be used as a treatment for neck and shoulder pain, osteoarthritis, and chronic headaches (source).
To find out whether acupuncture can help with your chronic pain, contact Annex Naturopathic.
Acupuncture Treatments For High Or Low Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure is the amount of pressure your blood exerts on your arterial walls. Both high and low blood pressure can lead to serious health concerns, like heart failure, kidney disease, stroke, vision loss, breathing difficulties, fainting spells, and more.
Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective treatment method for both of these conditions (source). This is partially because of its relaxation effects – stress is commonly linked with high blood pressure.
If you’re interested in reading more, the American Heart Association has published an in-depth paper on the benefits of acupuncture for blood pressure.
But whatever the reason, if you have high or low blood pressure, Annex Naturopathic offers treatments which may help. Contact us today to find out more.
Acupuncture Treatments For Digestive Health
There are many different reasons why you may have a digestive disorder, and many different types of digestive disorders you may have.
However, often these disorders can be linked with inflammation along the gastrointestinal tract. Acupuncture treatments may help reduce this inflammation, helping you manage the symptoms of your digestive disorder.
As well, digestive issues can often be linked with stress and anxiety. Acupuncture’s relaxational effect can help reduce stress and anxiety, which can help manage digestive health concerns as well.
Coupled with acupuncture, your naturopath may suggest diet and lifestyle changes to help you resolve your digestive symptoms.
Acupuncture Treatments For Insomnia
Although more research is needed, there’s a growing body of evidence showing acupuncture can be effective for treating insomnia (source).
Once again, this is linked with stress and anxiety. These concerns are commonly linked with difficulty sleeping, so alleviating them can sometimes relieve you of your insomnia.
If you’re having difficulty sleeping, call us at Annex Naturopathic to book an appointment with one of our experienced naturopathic doctors. We’ll take the time to understand your condition, and from there suggest a treatment plan that works with your lifestyle.
Acupuncture Treatments For Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia can cause significant chronic pain that can seriously hamper one’s quality of life. The cause is not yet known, and treatment methods are still being developed. However, acupuncture has been proven effective in reducing pain in both the short- and long-term (source).
If you’re living with fibromyalgia, it can be a frightening and stressful experience. But you don’t have to go through it alone. Annex Naturopathic offers a number of naturopathic solutions for fibromyalgia, including acupuncture, which may help you manage your symptoms. Contact us today to find out more.
Acupuncture Treatments For Other Conditions
Other conditions for which acupuncture may be effective include:
- Substance abuse
- Allergy symptoms
- Morning sickness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Scar reduction
- Dental pain
- Tennis elbow
- Palliative care
- Stroke recovery
- Reducing side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy
Contact Annex Naturopathic
Are you dealing with one of the above health conditions? If so, Annex Naturopathic offers acupuncture treatments which may help.
Contact us today to book an appointment with one of our experienced naturopathic doctors. We’ll work with you to build a treatment plan that works for your lifestyle.
If you’re new to naturopathic medicine, we also offer a FREE 15-minute consultation. You’ll get a chance to sit down with a naturopathic doctor who will answer any questions you may have and help you understand your options.
Contact Annex Naturopathic to book an appointment today.