What is Acupuncture?

 Acupuncture is an ancient therapy used to reduce pain and balance vital energy, so the body is able to function optimally.  By inserting very small stainless steel needles on specific points along meridians (or pathways), a practitioner aims to promote ‘qi’ flow.  This flow helps to unblock, reinforce or reduce forces that may be disruptive to health, and reorganize this flow so that the system can achieve a more harmonious state of being.  

From a western lens, studies have shown that acupuncture induces the release of neurochemicals within the system that play a role in the reduction of pain and overall systemic healing.  For example, acupuncture stimulates the hypothalamus and pituitary gland (affecting brain chemistry), which modulates the secretion of neurotransmitters and endocrine hormones.  These neurotransmitters induce the body’s endogenous opioid system, which plays a role in decreasing pain, or stimulating chemicals that aid in circadian rhythms (sleep), inflammation, immunity, along with other aspects that govern the state of our systems.  Acupuncture also stimulates the conduction of electro-magnetic signals, so that brain-body circuitry is enhanced to coordinate messages which help regulate our systemic functions.

In doing so, acupuncture can be effective in treating conditions such as (but not limited to):

– Migraines & headaches

– Muscles strains, tension and discomfort (both acute & chronic)

– Bone & fracture healing

– Ligament sprains  

– Insomnia 

– Psycho-emotional conditions (anxiety, depression)

– Menstrual and gynecological irregularities & pain 

– Arthritis 

– Whiplash

– Neurological conditions 

– Respiratory conditions 

– Digestive conditions

One of Melanie’s favourite parts about Traditional Chinese Medicine is ‘Yang Sheng Fa’ which translates to ‘Vital Life Force’ or ‘Nourishing Life Principles’.  This is the aspect of acupuncture which addresses lifestyle, such as diet, activities and habits which essentially make up our world and lifestyle.  Addressing lifestyle can uncover fascinating aspects about our health…so if you are interested in how the puzzle pieces fit together, let’s explore!

Acupuncture is covered under several health insurance plans, and is also covered under many ICBC claims.  If you have any questions about acupuncture, or want to discuss if it may be a good fit for you, please contact Melanie.