Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin, stainless-steel needles into specific points on the body, usually into muscle, connective tissue (fascia) and joint spaces. It’s believed to trigger a release of endorphins (the body’s own pain-killers), affect immune function, blood circulation and blood pressure, and generally stimulate the body’s ability to regulate and heal itself. Chinese herbal medicine uses plants, minerals and some animal products* to enhance the effects of acupuncture, encourage healing and restore proper function.
These ancient healing arts are practiced according to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). At the heart of TCM theory is the idea that the body is made up of opposing but inseparable forces called Yin and Yang. Yin is associated with cold, body fluids, blood, estrogen, etc. Yang is associated with warmth, energy, movement, progesterone, etc. An imbalance of Yin and Yang (too much or too little of either) will manifest in symptoms of disease. For example, a woman approaching menopause will experience a waning of Yin (estrogen) and relatively too much Yang, causing hot, dry symptoms like hot flashes and thirst. Someone with too little Yang will have relatively too much Yin and will experience symptoms like feeling chilled, swelling in the lower legs or lethargy.
The acupuncturist makes her diagnosis by asking you questions about your condition and your overall health, looking at your tongue for its color, shape and coating, and feeling your pulse for speed and quality (ie is it hard like a guitar string or soft like a balloon). From this information, we determine the type of imbalance underlying your condition and create an individualized treatment plan to address your symptoms and correct the imbalance.
The most surprising thing about acupuncture, our patients tell us, is that it is so deeply relaxing! The insertion of acupuncture needles also seems to trigger the body’s relaxation response (the opposite of “fight or flight”). Many patients fall asleep once the needles are in and most are a bit groggy at the end of a session. This sedative effect makes acupuncture an excellent alternative treatment for insomnia, anxiety and depression.
To learn more about acupuncture, feel free to browse our blog. If you have a question, please call us at 603-924-3400, or send an e-mail through our contact form. If you’re ready to make an appointment online, click here.
*We do not use endangered animal part in any of our herbal formulas, nor do we support the use of these products in any way.