Acupuncture is known for and excels at managing pain, yet it is so much more than that. People are often surprised to learn what can be treated with acupuncture: headaches, digestion issues, eye issues, stroke paralysis, stress, anxiety, depression, and what falls under the umbrella term of trauma, be that physical, emotional, psychological/mental, or spiritual.
One of the pitfalls of the term acupuncture is that it conjures up the thought of needles for treating pain. While true needling is one of our main tools, it is not the only tool or only thing we utilized in your treatment. Acupuncture is a form of medicine, a way of diagnosing/treating, a unique way of looking at the person in the world and the world itself. It has ancient roots in Taoism and Shamanism. During various times throughout history, most recently the cultural revolution under Mao, attempts were made to “modernize”, to Westernize the medicine, to remove acupuncture’s spiritual “mystical” elements. Yet our psychological Self, our soul or spirit psyche has a way of demanding more than western medicine offers, we are hungry for healing more than relief of pain. Yes, we treat pain, but with pain comes these questions: Why is it there with us? What is it telling us about us? What is it asking of us?
Sometimes it is simple, a sports injury needs fixing, and yet that could also mean there is stress and tension in the body and psyche asking for attention, calling us to attention through the sensation of pain, that there is a need of changing, or the need for acceptance that we have a mind and a body, a flesh and a soul, and each gets injured together. Very often our pain is a signal from the psyche, from our soul, our spirit, in some ways similar to the phenomenon of referred pain patterns where the source of the pain is not where you feel the pain, but where it originated, often times in mental processes disregarding our spiritual Self. What that means will vary from person to person.
Acupuncture is a comprehensive medicine that also uses herbal prescriptions, diet adjustments, lifestyle changes, breath work, movement expansion like tui na, qi gong. Acupuncture is a treatment of awareness that offers balance. Acupuncture works with the channels and systems, the nervous system, the endocrine system, the circulatory system, the facia system, and the bio-psycho-social-spiritual system that we call the human being.