How Acupuncture Helps Speed Recovery Times
Recovery is the process we go through in order to return to a healthy state. What is health? Everyone has a unique answer to this question whether you are recovering from an acute injury, a surgical procedure, or addiction and a simple answer may be the absence of a disease state. In Classical Chinese Medicine texts, the primary focus for healthy function of organs is most used and the optimal state of health is the starting point for treatment. If an organ is healthy, then these are the functions is how this concept of health is transmitted. This perception allows a more holistic understanding of a healthy, optimal function than the R.I.C.E. method of treating an ankle sprain or to take a set of pills for each symptom.
To Ice or Not to Ice
In Chinese Medicine, there are several techniques to reduce swelling and relieve inflammation without using ice such as; emergency acupoints to move energy, kill pain, and stimulate circulation, cupping to disperse coagulating blood and fluid, and cooling herbal poultices and plasters that reduce inflammation. The truth is that while ice does contract the blood vessels in the local area to reduce swelling and cool the heat of inflammation, ice also can congeal the fluids that cause swelling. This inhibits reabsorption and delays the healing process. Why do some sprains heal quickly while others do not? This is the question to ask when considering icing an injury. Note: If necessary, ice should be applied sparingly, less than 10 minutes per hour and only when red, hot, and swollen in the moments following the injury.
Increase the flow
When acupuncture needles are placed in the body, a local healing response is initiated. This includes red blood cells and critical nutrients to repair the micro-trauma of the insertion. The result is natural healing mechanisms of the body are directed to cleanse and renew injured tissue.
How Acupncture Helps you Find Balance
As your body heals from any type of trauma, the return to a balanced state is the goal. In the initial acupuncture treatment, a detailed diagnosis of the major organ systems and the human energy system is examined in order to facilitate the appropriate treatment plan. The Heart, Spleen, Lungs, Kidneys, and Liver should be assessed to ensure proper function and cooperation in order for lasting effect of treatment. This is called “ben” or root treatment and partly explains how acupuncture needles in your leg can help your neck.
Once you’ve experienced the blissful moments on the table, you can easily sense the additional stress reduction and deep relaxation that accompanies an acupuncture treatment. This effect is also a big part of the healing process which creates access to your innate healing potential, that strong emotions like worry, fear, and anxiety can block. Once acupuncture restores your body’s healing mechanism, you are able to repair the initial complaint, and also address other problems that interfere with optimum health. For these reasons, acupuncture can help speed recovery from acute trauma to major surgery and reduce the need for painkillers and unnecessary suffering.
Do you ever feel your life’s a ride that won’t ever stop? How many nights do you wait for Mr. Sandman to magically appear? How often do you truly take time for yourself? Do you have aches and pains almost daily? Are over-the-counter or prescription medications controlling your life? When was the last time you actually felt at peace? If any of these questions resonate with you, then it might be time to look at Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture for an answer. People in Asian countries have known the magnificence of acupuncture for thousands of years. Traditional Chinese Medicine is growing in popularity in the United States and here are some reasons why you might want to consider utilizing it also.
1. Insomnia / Restless Sleep
Acupuncture can address imbalances in your body that may contribute to your
inability to get a good night’s sleep. The needles can actually encourage the brain to produce the chemicals that help you relax and sleep better. If you have difficulty falling asleep, you wake up frequently or you toss and turn a lot, acupuncture might just be the missing link.
2. Anxiety / Depression
Thousands of people in the U.S. suffer from depression and anxiety. And while there are many amazing therapists available to talk to, psychotherapy may not be enough. Also, many of the prescription medications available have terrible side effects. This is where acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas can help. Acupuncture can actually start to relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety in as few as two treatments without any harsh side effects.
Runny nose? Sneezing? Watery, itchy eyes? Does this sound familiar?
Seasonal or otherwise, allergies can be debilitating. But multiple studies have shown that allergy symptoms can be decreased and sometimes even eliminated with the use of regular acupuncture treatments. Immunity begins in the gut and acupuncture treatments for allergies will focus on the energetic meridians that support your immune system.
For those who suffer from these monsters, life can be a toss of the dice. Migraines can come on without warning and can be completely devastating. And yet again, the pharmaceuticals that most migraine sufferers are prescribed can lead to harsh side effects. Acupuncture can reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines over time.
5. Menstruation Issues
Many women suffer monthly from menstruation problems. It can be that the period is irregular, painful or so heavy that it leads to anemia and fatigue. There can also be mental-health effects associated with periods such as depression and anger. Over-the-counter medications only mask the symptoms. To treat the root of the problem, give acupuncture a try. Once again, it’s all about balancing your body. That’s how acupuncture works to regulate menstrual problems.
6. Chronic Pain
Pain is the number one reason why people turn to acupuncture, and for good reason. If you’ve tried everything else and got little to no relief, acupuncture may be right for you. But remember, chronic pain took time to develop and it will also take time for acupuncture treatments to work. Many people get some relief immediately, but acupuncture works on a cumulative basis, so commitment to the process is a must.
7. Preventive Medicine
Did you know that acupuncture’s main function is to help keep you healthy? If not, then you’re not alone. While acupuncture may not be known for preventive care, it should be. Waiting until there is an injury or illness will only cause the treatments to take longer. Using acupuncture preemptively will help you fight off illness and let you recover more quickly. That’s reason enough to give it a try.
Now that you know how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you, what are you waiting for? Find a licensed acupuncturist nearby and go get healthy.
We see a lot of pain and injury in our offices. Cupping is one of those things that looks mysterious but is really a straightforward therapy that provides quick, effective results.
There is a lot of buzz about Michael Phelps and his use of Cupping Therapy, so we thought we’d give you the inside scoop on this ancient therapy used in our office and all over the world.
The Basics on Cupping Therapy:
- Cupping Therapy is used on athletes and non-athletes alike.
- Tight muscles = stasis (stagnation of blood)
- Cupping Therapy breaks up stasis – the stagnation of blood, helps release connective tissue, and relaxes tight muscles.
- It does this by pulling deeper levels of blood to the surface, breaking the capillaries in the process. That’s what creates the bruise-like circles on Micheal Phelps.
- The body then moves to heal the capillaries and in the process brings fresh blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the site, increasing blood flow and healing.
- It also boosts the immune system and is a wonderful therapy at the onset of a cold, knocking it out very quickly- sometimes within 24 hrs.
- There are different styles of cupping: fire cupping – which looks very mysterious – this uses the vacuum created by the fire to create the suction and help the glass cups “stick” to the skin and suction. There is also vacuum cupping where an apparatus helps the cups create the suction. Both work in the same manner as described above.
- Sometimes we slide the cups across the muscles, sometimes they stay stationary.
Cupping Therapy is very relaxing and works quickly to achieve results.
The cups are sterilized after each treatment. A cupping therapy session happens within your regular massage or acupuncture treatment and lasts about 10-20 minutes.