What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of treatment that involves inserting very thin needles through a person's skin at specific points on the body, to various depths.
To understand Acupuncture, we need to discuss two main systems in our body and how they function; the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). These two systems together make up the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), which regulates all kinds of unconscious body functions, like breathing, heartbeat, bloodflow and digestion. The ANS operates by receiving information from the environment and from other parts of the body. The SNS and PNS have opposing reactions to this information. The SNS “excites” the body, or engages the “Fight-or-Flight” response. The PNS does the opposite; it calms the body and reduces blood pressure and heart rate.
Acupuncture can help with stress and anxiety by pulling the individual out of the fight-or-flight response and engaging the PNS. Research has shown that acupuncture can calm the hypothalamus (part of the brain that ‘sends the distress signal’ to activate the SNS) and can encourage the body to release endorphins, otherwise known as the body’s own ‘feel-good’ chemicals. These play an important role in physical and emotional stress responses such as pain, heart rate, blood pressure and digestive function.
What is the History of Acupuncture?
The theory and practice of Acupuncture originated in China hundreds of years ago. The tradition of acupuncture theory believes that energy flows within the human body and this energy can be channelized to create balance and health. Acupuncture developed over the next few centuries and gradually became one of the standard therapies used in China.
Traditional Chinese medicine explains that health is the result of a harmonious balance of the complementary extremes of "yin" and "yang" of the life force known as "qi," pronounced "chi." Illness is said to be the consequence of an imbalance of the forces.
Benefits of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is beneficial in that it can:
Increase calmness and improve sleep
Reduce anxiety and food cravings
Reduce cravings for tobacco, drugs and alcohol
Reduce PTSD symptoms
Improve sense of well-being
Provide relief from frustration, anger, fear and grief
When performed correctly, Acupuncture is safe, it has very few side effects, and can be easily combined with other treatments.
What Can I Expect?
Community Acupuncture here at Vivify is quick, comfortable and affordable.
Community Acupuncture is held in our Himalayan Salt Room. You may be in the session with other people but you are separated by partitions, so it is still semi-private.
The Acupuncture for Stress and Anxiety Relief protocol includes 5 very thin, sterile, single use needles strategically placed in each ear. You remain fully clothed and comfortably dressed.
You may feel a slight prick when the needle is inserted. You may feel other sensations such as tingling, heaviness or numbness after the needles have been inserted.
The needles remain in your ears for a approximately 30-40 minutes, while you wait you will listen to a relaxing body scan and experience an add-on Himalayan salt session.
After the allotted time, your practitioner will come and remove the needles one by one, and prepare them for disposal.
The effects of Acupuncture tend to be cumulative (results are longer-lasting after frequent treatments). At Vivify we recommend you commit to 6 weekly sessions of community acupuncture to get the greatest benefit.
When To Be Cautious with Acupuncture
If you have a bleeding disorder: Your chances of bleeding or bruising from the needles is increased if you have a bleeding disorder (such as hemophilia) or take blood-thinning medication.