How Acupuncture works.

One of the most frequently asked questions in my clinic is “How does it work”? This is usually when Im about to insert the first needle, and what a loaded question it is!! And almost impossible to adequately answer in the short time we are allocated for a treatment. There is just sooo much in it!

Putting it very simply, Acupuncture is a method of encouraging energy and blood to move and flow. Acupuncture is one part of a complex system of medicine which has been in existence for more than 3000 years. This medical system is called Traditional Chinese Medicine. This system also includes Chinese Herbal Medicine.

In this system of medicine, the “ancients” (the wise ones), saw the body in terms of Meridians or Channels of energy or “Qi”, each of which dealt with the energetics of an organ within the body, and which sometimes ran through one of these organs. Each organ of the body in turn had much more than just a physical function, but also had an “energetic” or “emotional” function . For example, The Lungs as well as dealing with breathing, have the “emotional” function of dealing with loss and grief, The Heart as well as being the blood pump we know and love also deals with anxiety/joy, The Liver as well as detoxing also deals with the emotions of frustration / suppression / anger. So each of the Meridians and the Acupuncture points along these Meridians will have an affect either physically and /or emotionally.

Inserting a needle into an Acupuncture point along any of these Meridians, instantly moves the Blood and Energy (Qi) around that point, much the same as when a stone is thrown into a stream / river or pond, there is a ripple effect which can affect movement for quite a distance within the water. And thats how it works! Sometimes if the river /stream or pond is really blocked with leaves or debris, you need to throw more than one stone and maybe quite often, to achieve movement, but there WILL be movement, even if its only minute!

So when a person comes for Acupuncture, usually there has been quite a bit of clogging with rubbish, and the debris of life, either physical or emotional, and thus a succession of treatment is required to make the stream move as effectively as it needs to in order to give relief. Unfortunately, the “life” rubbish we accumulate is not easily shifted and because we are working in a very natural way, TIME is required! Thats why your Acupuncturist asks you to come for a succession of treatments.

In scientific terms, Acupuncture has been shown to release endorphins which are the “feel good” hormones, so you feel really relaxed and energised after your session. But also, because it MOVES things, the toxins which are released from tense muscles is also expelled, so it is a really good idea to drink a couple of glasses of water after a session to help flush these toxins out.

So THATS how it works!!

Endometriosis, Painful Periods and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

There are hundreds if not thousands of women in Ireland whose lives are seriously incapacitated by debilitating pain every month either prior to, or during their menstrual cycles.

Endometriosis is the condition where  pieces of the endometrial lining attatch themselves to other areas within the abdominal cavity. These tissues are then subject to the same hormonal influences as the regular endometrium, and thus bleed during the menstrual cycle. This can cause excrutiating pain every month either prior to, but also during the menstrual cycle. Depending on the degree of attatchment, it can also cause adhesions, and in some cases difficulty in conceiving.

However, recent research from China, shows that Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture, can eliminate painful periods (Dysmenorrea), and remedy Endometriosis.

Drs. Yang and Zhang, writing in Henan Traditional Chinese Medicine Journal, performed a study on 50 women with Dysmenorrea, due to a variety of causes, such as retroverted uterus, improper uterine development, abnormal thickening of the uterus, ovarian cysts, and uterine myomas. These women were treated with Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture, for up to 6 cycles, and all 50 showed significant if not total improvement.

Dr. He, writing in Sichuan Traditional Chinese Medicine Journal, describes the treatment of 40 women suffering Endometriosis with Chinese Herbal Medicine. In this study, 92.5% of the women were either cured completely, or had their symptoms significantly improved.

There are literally hundreds of articles of this kind, reported on in China every year.

In modern Western Medicine, Dysmanorrea is treated with temporary painkillers and birth control pills. Endometriosis is treted with surgery and Hormonal therapy. These may offer symptomatic relief but are invasive, expensive, or may have serious side effects.

Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture, on the other hand are relatively low cost, non invasive, and have no side effects.

So why wait and suffer?

You dont have to suffer agonising pain every month, clutching your best friend the heating pad … or lose time from work or your life. There is an answer, and Traditional Chinese Medicine is it! And because Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), work by restoring balance to the whole body, and dont just treat the symptoms, not only is your major complaint brought under control, but your overall sense of health and well being is significantly improved also. 100 generations of Chinese Doctors have shown empirically that Chinese Medicine works. Now this is supported by modern clinical research!

For more information on Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine in the treatment of Endometriosis and painful periods, see “Endometriosis,Infertility, and Traditional Chinese Medicine, A guide for Laywomen” by Blue Poppy Press.

For Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), please contact me: Mairead Fahy RGN, Dip Ac and TCM, L Ac Nanjing (China),  The Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Clinic, The Palms Centre, The Avenue, Gorey, Co. Wexford.