Acupuncture has become all the rage, with celebrities and average Joes alike. It is touted as having a remarkable impact on conditions ranging from arthritis to infertility. For many applications, acupuncture’s value has been recognized by such authorities as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute of Health (NIH). Although experts disagree on exactly how it works, there is little doubt that acupuncture has a strong positive effect on the entire immune system.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the process of inserting thin, sterile needles at key points of the body, according to a “lines of energy” diagram. Because of these lines of energy, the needles may be inserted some distance from the part of the body that is being treated. The needles are left in place for 15 to 30 minutes and then gently removed. Most people report a mild sensation during insertion, and no pain at all once the needles are in place.
According to traditional Eastern thought, all living creatures are filled with a life force substance known as Qi. When Qi is allowed to flow freely, it easily targets areas that need attention, consistently promoting optimum health and wellness throughout the body, mind, and soul.
Unfortunately, Qi frequently becomes blocked by chronic stress, anxiety, trauma, illness, and other factors. When it is blocked, the mind, body, and soul quickly fill with toxins, leading to deteriorating mental and physical health. Acupuncture releases the blockages, allowing Qi to again flow freely and healing the body, mind, and soul.
Western medicine takes a far different view of acupuncture. According to Western research, acupuncture plays a powerful role in triggering the central nervous system, including the chemicals and receptor sites in the brain.
In addition, research shows that the microtraumas induced by the needle insertion stimulates a strong immune response as the body attempts to heal the damage. Although more studies are needed, these two components are believed to be at the heart of how acupuncture strengthens the immune system and promotes overall health and wellness.
In traditional Eastern medicine, medicinal herbs are part of an overall holistic approach to health and wellness. Western studies have shown that many medicinal herbs contain powerful antioxidants, mood stabilizers, and restorative qualities. Because each person is an individual, your acupuncturist will carefully prescribe a unique mix of herbal remedies based on a comprehensive assessment.
Of course, if you have any underlying medical conditions or are on any medications, it is important to check with your doctor before you begin taking any herbs. Most licensed acupuncturists are happy to work hand in hand with Western doctors to develop an individualized treatment plan that blends the best of the East and West.
Putting It All Together
Regardless of opinions as to exactly why it works, there is a vast body of evidence that supports acupuncture. It stimulates the brain and body in many different ways, triggering the natural immune responses that are an essential part of healing and wellness. Yet everyone has different needs.
Your acupuncturist will perform a comprehensive initial assessment of your current state of health, physical and psychological complaints, and health history. Then you will work as a team, in tandem with a Western doctor if desired, to develop a personalized path to wellness. Besides acupuncture and herbal remedies, nutrition and lifestyle changes are often recommended. Unlike Western medicine, which tends to treat symptoms, Eastern medicine takes a holistic approach to the entire person.
Like anything else, acupuncture often shows better and better results as it goes along. Although many people report feeling significantly stronger and healthier after a single session, multiple visits are necessary to develop a long-lasting immune boost. Your treatment plan will include the recommended interval between sessions to gain the best results for you.
Located in Pacific Palisades, with satellite clinics in Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, and Beverly Hills, Thumos Health Center offers patients exceptional personalized care. If you are ready to take the first steps toward a more integrative approach to your health care, we invite you to phone 310-927-2792 to schedule an appointment at any of our Los Angeles locations. Our highly knowledgeable and friendly staff will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have.