What is Acupuncture?


Acupuncture is an ancient therapy used to harmonize the nervous system, 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 energy flow within the body.  This flow helps to unblock, reinforce or reduce forces that may be disruptive to health, and reorganize the pathways communication so that the body and mind can achieve a more relaxed state of being.  

From a western lens, studies have shown that acupuncture induces the release of neurochemicals which enhance systemic healing.  For example, acupuncture stimulates the hypothalamus and pituitary gland (affecting brain chemistry) which stimulates the secretion of neurotransmitters and hormones.  This can play a role in pain reduction, regulating sleep cycles and digestion, decreasing inflammation, promoting immunity, along with other aspects that help to regulate the body’s state of being.  Acupuncture also increases blood flow to muscles, fascia and joints, which has been shown to improve movement and reduce tension and general discomfort.  By stimulating the conduction of electro-magnetic signals, the brain-body circuitry is enhanced to coordinate messages which help to regulate the system as a whole.

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 & discomfort 

– 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 who we are and how we feel each day.  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.