A prick to good health

What you need to know about acupuncture and its benefits.

Acupuncture is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practice which involves inserting very thin needles into the body. I know what you’re thinking, “Needles?! No thank you.” Keep in mind; these are not the same needles that a nurse would use to draw blood from your arm. Therefore, the pain you may think is associated with acupuncture, is often much less.

Everybody is different, but most patients experience minimal discomfort or perhaps a slight tingling or ache, but your practitioner will make sure you are comfortable throughout the treatment.

Acupuncture points are specific points that correlate to various meridians of the body. According to TCM, meridians are channels that contain a flow of energy. This energy is referred to as QI—pronounced “chee.” A blockage or restriction of QI can lead to a variety of ailments. By stimulating points along the meridians, acupuncture works to unblock stagnant energy or to calm down overactive energy. This, in turn, creates balance and harmony within the body, allowing it to repair itself.

Ready to give it a try? If not, consider this: acupuncture has been found not only to help with physical pain, but also to improve your skin and get rid of wrinkles. But that’s just one of its several benefits. Here are some more reasons for you to try acupuncture.

Headache relief

If you are constantly rubbing your temples to relieve tension headaches or popping Advil to alleviate the pressure in your forehead, acupuncture could be just what you need. Research has shown that acupuncture can not only decrease the frequency of headaches but the intensity as well. Releasing joint tension and relaxing muscles are added benefits of acupuncture, which can reduce headaches.

Assist with infertility

Acupuncture has been found to improve reproductive functioning by assisting with ovulation in addition to improving circulation to the uterus. Acupuncture can also be used for many other reproductive disorders including regulating periods, menstrual cramps and perimenopausal symptoms.

Reduce pain and swelling

Studies have shown that acupuncture can be used to treat chronic pain. Conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia and muscle pain have been managed successfully with acupuncture. Furthermore, by reducing swelling and inflammation acupuncture can reduce the intensity of pain.

Provide a non-surgical facelift

Cosmetic acupuncture is a branch of acupuncture which can be used to reduce the signs of aging. It helps increase circulation to the skin while improving elasticity, muscle tone and reducing facial puffiness. By stimulating collagen production, facial lines are filled out and the face appears firm with a glowing complexion. This natural facelift can be used in conjunction with other treatments such as Botox to enhance the longevity of the treatments.

Reduce depression and anxiety

Acupuncture can be used to assist the treatment of various mental health conditions. It has been found to be as effective as medication in treating certain types of depression. It can also help with symptoms associated with insomnia. Anxiety and stress can also be co-managed with acupuncture treatments, often helping to reduce some of the side effects associated with anxiety medication.

Before you run out to your first acupuncture appointment, you must do your research and see if acupuncture is right for you. Ensure you find a practitioner that is licensed and registered to perform acupuncture in your province.

Dr. Nekessa Remy is an award-winning chiropractor, a registered and medical acupuncturist and one of Canada’s fastest rising and sought after health and wellness expert in the industry today. She is the current owner of Mississauga’s The Chiropractic Office, a comprehensive injury management clinic focused on sports-related injuries and woman’s health issues and also runs a practice in downtown Toronto, at Integra Health Centre where she works amongst other leaders in the health care field.

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