By Deborah Rothman
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” This is a famous quote attributed to Thomas Edison that headlines on my website, and a daily mantra in my practice and in my own life.
Acupuncture is science-based medicine that has been around for over 4,000 years. It is a holistic, noninvasive treatment method utilizing the insertion of tiny, fine-point sterile needles into various acupuncture points. It enables us to tap into your body’s own energy, thus allowing the body to heal itself. The acupuncture points are gateways or access points located on various channels/meridian pathways that course throughout your body. They are responsible for delivering qi and blood to various networks and organs.
Qi can be described as the invisible vital energy that is distributed throughout the body, allowing both sustenance and homeostasis. When qi flows uninterrupted, an individual is at optimal wellness. This continuous unobstructed flow is necessary for growth, development, and immunity. It is essential that we maintain this optimal flow within the body’s network to ensure that disease does not have opportunity to set in. Qi flows via the channels/meridians that, similar to a river, transport nourishment and sustenance to land and life.
Qi gives nourishment to every part of our body, including our organs, tissue, and individual cells. When qi and blood are disrupted, and this interruption is allowed to fester, stagnation forms and disease develops. Imagine watering a lawn with a hose that has a kink in it. That area of grass will not get an adequate water supply. It will develop a dry patch, and the grass will not grow green, vibrant, and healthy. Disruption of qi and blood flow to a particular area will create a fundamental imbalance and allow disease to ensue. Proper placement of acupuncture needles will unblock the stagnation and allow the proper qi flow to be restored.
Many factors can cause disruption in the flow of qi. Stress and trauma cause qi to become blocked and stagnated, causing the immune system to be compromised. If the individual is at optimal wellness when a physical trauma or emotional trigger occurs, the immune system will automatically kick in and be able to return to homeostasis, working as it should. The body’s incredible self-healing abilities maintain wellness. However, with continuous prolonged stress and trauma, whether it is physical or emotional, it is as if a dam has been formed, holding back the flow and circulation. Disease and health concerns begin to form and set in. Prolonged blockage of qi restricts cells, tissue, and organs, denying them the proper nourishment and support. Over time, the body is weakened and becomes more susceptible to illness.
Much research has been done proving the benefits of acupuncture on a cellular level. Its effect is both on the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Acupuncture has been proven to release neurotransmitters that stimulate the immune system. This helps to prevent illness as well as to fight it. Acupuncture releases norepinephrine and acetylcholine, thus having a direct effect on the autonomic nervous system. This, along with blocking specific gate receptors, can directly eliminate pain. By releasing cortisol, it also serves to alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression and to control mood disorders.
Acupuncture also affects the body’s blood chemistry. The anti-inflammatory response within the body to acupuncture is incredible. This is one of the many reasons why it is so effective on back pain, joint pain, and all types of arthritis.
The role of the acupuncturist is to properly diagnose the obstruction of qi within the patient to ameliorate the patients’ symptoms and illness, and restore optimal wellness. During an initial consultation, an extensive medical history is taken where a traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis is ascertained and a treatment plan is engaged. This is done via questioning of the patient, along with observation noted in the pulse and tongue on every visit. Utilizing acupuncture needles, the qi flow can then be properly restored and maintained. This will allow for unblocking the stagnation and thus properly nourish the meridian pathways and nurture the entire body.
While many patients see improvement immediately, acupuncture is not a one-time quick fix. Acupuncture builds on itself, and thus a series of treatments is recommended to ensure that the effects are lasting.
Acupuncturists diagnose according to the individual and where the stagnation is assessed. There are no medications given and thus there are no negative side effects. A wide range of ailments can be treated since we are utilizing your body’s own energy to heal itself. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, a custom-tailored treatment plan is designed for you and provides immediate relaxation and disease prevention.
It is time to ensure that there are no kinks in your garden hose. Make an appointment today to eliminate the symptoms you have been suffering from and to maintain optimal wellness and disease prevention.
Deborah Rothman is a licensed acupuncturist and a Diplomate of Acupuncture with a private practice in Woodmere. Comments and questions are welcome. She can be reached at 516-203-4500 or deborah@AcuZen.com. Please visit www.AcuZen.com and follow Acuâ€‘Zen on Facebook.