Cybil Kendrick, L.Ac., LMT, CSMA
As acupuncture and Asian medicine are becoming more common place, I often am asked “What complaints does acupuncture treat?” The short answer is that acupuncture and Asian medicine are truly beneficial for preventative care but they also fill in the gaps between health and major western medical intervention like surgery. So here are my top six reasons for everyone to try acupuncture.
1. Overall health and well being
You don’t have to be sick or have an injury to try acupuncture because we are not treating signs and symptoms, we use signs and symptoms to lead us to the root cause of an issue. By doing this we can affect the whole system and often alleviate issues that weren’t even mentioned. This is because acupuncture triggers the body’s natural healing potential and affects the nervous system by releasing endorphins, dopamine, and opioid-like compounds that promote a feeling of well being and reduce pain.
In this day and age many of us are over scheduled, overworked, and under a lot of pressure and stress. This chronic level of stress can affect the mind, body and spirit. Acupuncture is very effective in calming the nervous system and will often create a deep state of relaxation during a session, deep enough that many fall asleep.
3. Digestive complaints
I often see people with digestive complaints like constipation, gas, bloating, diarrhea, IBS, etc. A healthy digestive system is the cornerstone for health in Asian medicine therefore we consider diet as well as other life stressors and the energetic imbalances of each individual to address the root of the problem and allow the body to come back to balance.
4. Pain and injuries
Chronic and acute pain respond really well to acupuncture, cupping, gua sha, and moxa. We aim at moving out stagnation to allow fresh blood and Qi to enter the area to benefit healing and reduce the amount of down time. Acupuncturists like myself who are trained in Sports Medicine Acupuncture® combine their training in Asian medicine with western diagnostic skills to assess where the injury is and what musculature needs to treated in order to restore balance and thus reduce pain. Strains, sprains, arthritis, tendinitis, disc injuries, and general aches and pains are all examples of pain that acupuncture can help with.
5. Women’s health
Many women deal with issues related to their cycles and hormone imbalances whether they are just starting to menstruate, in their childbearing years or in menopause. Acupuncture can be very effective in helping with irregular cycles, painful cycles, PMS symptoms, endometriosis, infertility (males as well), perimenopause, menopause, etc. By assessing the root cause an acupuncturist can help balance the hormones and regulate the cycle.
6. Boosting immunity
Acupuncture can be very effective in strengthening our defensive Qi that protects us from invading pathogens. It can also help speed up the length of an illness by helping expel a pathogen. So if you feel like you are catching every cold or virus that comes your way, are already sick, suffer from allergies, etc. you might want to consider trying acupuncture.
This list could go on because there are so many conditions that Asian medicine can address and treat effectively by considering the individual as a whole and learning where their imbalances lie. By doing this an acupuncturist can really benefit the patient no matter what their western diagnosis is.
Cybil Kendrick, L.Ac.,MSOM, C.SMA, RMT is a licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac.) with her masters in Oriental medicine (MSOM) and is certified in Sports Medicine Acupuncture® (C.SMA) and massage therapy (RMT).