Health

5 Ways Acupuncture Promotes Wellness

By Guest Blogger
Laurie Larson

Acupuncture treatment to male back

The practice of acupuncture has been around for 3,000 years as a natural method of healing. Acupuncture uses fine, sterile needles applied to acupuncture points in the body, where pressure, heat, or electrical stimulation can be applied for an enhanced effect. 

According to traditional Chinese medicine, yin and yang are two opposing universal forces present in our bodies, which must be in balance for each of us to be healthy. Acupuncture has been shown in clinical studies to alleviate a number of conditions ranging from musculoskeletal problems to mental health issues. There is a long  list of diseases, symptoms, and conditions that are shown through case-controlled clinical studies to be effectively managed by acupuncture. 

Clearly there is compelling evidence that acupuncture promotes wellness. The following five benefits of acupuncture demonstrate acupuncture’s efficacy and success at promoting good health and balance in our lives.

1. Reduces Stress

Essentially, acupuncture functions as physical therapy for the nervous system, as it retrains the nervous system and brain to react and behave as desired. Stress can be so detrimental to our health, and a vast number of people suffer from chronic stress that impacts multiple areas of their lives. The philosophy behind acupuncture is that mind and body are inextricably connected, where thoughts and emotions drive physiological responses. Accordingly, stress impacts thoughts and feelings, which in turn impact our emotional health and our physical health.

Acupuncture focuses on heart rate variability, or HRV, in order to help our bodies manage and reduce stress. Decreased HRV leads to tension, anger, anxiety, and depression, whereas healthy HRV is associated with emotional balance, reduced stress, better management of stressful situations, and overall better functioning. HRV in turn positively influences our Central Autonomic Network (CAN), which is related to executive functioning. CAN relates to our working memory ability and gathering and organizing information from the mind and body in order to respond and engage with the present. In short, stress interferes with the body’s flow of energy, causing blockages that acupuncture releases.

2.  Relieves Pain

The practice of relieving pain through acupuncture is an ancient one and now is used in the United States as well. It can be used for low back pain, menstrual cramps, nerve pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, and more. It is thought that the use of needles on acupoints relieves pain by releasing endorphins, as well as impacting mood by the release of serotonin. People are in fact starting to choose acupuncture over opioids in the United States, particularly given the opioid crisis. Currently acupuncture is being used particularly for back and neck pain, osteoarthritis pain, and headaches. It is said that acupuncture stimulates the vagus nerve, which may reduce inflammation throughout the body.

3.  Improves Sleep Quality 

Pain can also impact sleep in several ways, where acupuncture addresses both. Acupuncture can even help cure insomnia. Acupuncture is different than medicine or other remedies, as it targets the roots of the problem, helping regulate your body’s physiology, including certain neurotransmitters that may be keeping you awake.  Acupuncture works to restore systematic balance where sleeping health is restored through reduced stress and a sense of calm and wellbeing.

4.  Boosts Your Immune System

Acupuncture helps boost the immune system through influencing and manipulating the energies in your body, where movement of energy and the reduction of blockages is key. If your energy channels are blocked are broken, you are more susceptible to illness like viruses. Acupuncture even is thought to promote the production of T cells in the brain, where the needles are perceived as a threat when they enter the body, which increases your white blood cell count. Essentially, acupuncture stimulates and balances the immune system.

5. Helps Prevent Future Injuries

Acupuncture is an effective method for both treating physical injuries and preventing them. Having started as quick healing for the martial arts, acupuncture is now used by professional sports teams in the United States. Acupuncture treats the deeper muscle tissues through the needles inserted into the skin, where these muscle tissues are the source of injury-related pain. Preventative therapy is used on the back, hips, and legs through making them more flexible and causing less joint stress.

Overall, this non-invasive procedure is truly taking off as a viable alternative medicine in the United States. Its benefits are many and far outweigh any risks involved. Whether you are a young adult or senior, you can successfully integrate acupuncture into your long-term wellness plan.

 

 

10 Weeks Left! Take Advantage of Your 2018 Benefits

Inner Gate is Here to Help You Feel Better in 2018

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Besides helping recover injuries and resolve pain this is the time of the year when acupuncture can improve your immune system, and help you remain strong through the holiday season.

Right now is the perfect time to use your remaining benefits and get the most out of your 2018 insurance.

Give us a call and we'll get you on the path to feeling your best this fall.  

Clinics available in both NE and SE Portland!

Health Tips for Women

One of our key specialties is the set of services we provide women to help them to achieve and maintain healthy bodies. By alleviating imbalances and resolving PMS, menstrual related migraine headaches, excessive menstrual cramping and stress and fatigue we help women feel great and live healthy lives.

The experts at Inner Gate Acupuncture are trained and experienced in using Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture to successfully support fertility and healthy pregnancies and to manage menopause issues and many menstrual problems.

With Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture you can:    

  • Enhance fertility

  • Increase energy

  • Promote healthy, pain free cycles

  • Relieve PMS

  • Relieve migraines

Menstrual Cycle Health

Women face many challenges in establishing and maintaining healthy menstrual cycles. We treat women with issues such as pre-menstrual pain, painful cramping, excessive bleeding and irregular cycles.  At Inner Gate Acupuncture we also deal with more complicated problems such as polycystic ovaries and endometriosis.

There are many Chinese herbs which can aid in correcting painful or irregular periods. Herbs that alleviate the pain of PMS also support regular cycles and control excess bleeding.

Fertility/ Infertility

Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture have been used for centuries to help women successfully achieve pregnancy. In order to build a healthy endometrial lining and naturally balance hormone levels the acupuncturist you work with will examine both your menstrual cycle and take a complete health history. The acupuncturists at Inner Gate Acupuncture are comfortable supporting women during IVF and IUI protocols to help increase success rates.

When evaluating fertility, the menstrual cycle is always taken into account. As acupuncturists, we look at the length of the follicular and luteal stages of the cycle. We then work to balance these two phases to promote strong and regular ovulation. We help promote implantation by using herbs and acupuncture points, which foster healthy uterine linings.

Pregnancy Support

The symptoms women experience throughout pregnancy vary with each trimester. During the first trimester women come to Inner Gate Acupuncture for support with the nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness.

Some foods that can help with morning sickness:    

  • BRAT diet: bananas, rice, applesauce and toast

  • Ginger tea, mint tea

Women also come for the low energy and fatigue experienced during the first trimester. During the second trimester complaints are fewer and woman often feel better. They tend to return to our clinic during the third trimester where they find relief from low back pain, neuropathies down the arms and swollen ankles. Moxibustion is used between week 34-36 to turning breech babies.

At our SE Portland acupuncture clinic we buy herbs from trusted and tested sources. You can be sure that the herbs you get from our acupuncturists are free of heavy metals and are safe to take during pregnancy. There are specific formulas in Chinese medicine that effectively address morning sickness, habitual miscarriage and low energy.

Labor and Delivery Support and Preparation

Cervical ripening techniques are performed from week 36-40 to prepare the mother and regulate contractions so that inductions can be avoided.  These gentle techniques naturally encourage the ripening of the cervix.  

All of the acupuncturists at Inner Gate Acupuncture have attended births and aided in healthy deliveries using acupuncture.  If labor induction is necessary, acupuncture is a much less harsh than the synthetic hormone pitocin. Acupuncture is the best natural way to induce labor.

Menopause

When hormones begin to decline the menstrual cycles can become erratic, and women can experience hot flashes and night sweats. Many women are now thinking twice about taking replacement hormones due to the associated health risks. Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture can help balance hormones and reduce the impact of hot flashes and night sweats, sometimes eliminating them completely.

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