Bellingham Acupuncture: A Holistic Approach

Bellingham acupuncture is one of the oldest medical procedures in the world and can benefit your general health and well-being. Acupuncture as a practice has been seen in the United States only since the early 1970s, after Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China. But it has been used in Asia for more than 2,000 years, and has slowly gained acceptance in the United States.

Acupuncture helps your body to help itself. Similar to Western medicine, our body, mind, and spirit function optimally when in a state of balance or homeostasis. Our lives and lifestyle throw us out of balance. With acupuncture, fine, sterile needles are inserted into specific acupuncture sites along pathways or meridian to balance qi or energy in order to re-establish internal balance.

Acupuncture can be used to treat any sort of pain, whether headache, backache, neck pain, anxiety, stress, or gastrointestinal disorders; acupuncture can even help you quit smoking or lose weight. Acupuncture needles go about 1/4 inch into the skin; they are quite thin, not at all like a traditional needle. Your acupuncturist should use disposable needles that are individually wrapped and sterile.

There are many theories as to why acupuncture works. Some research suggests that acupuncture stimulates the production of immune-system cells and pain-killing endorphins. Other studies suggest that it alters the release pattern of brain chemicals and hormones. But what we know it does is relax you, and for many problems, like chronic headaches or back and neck pain, relaxation is what is sometimes needed.

While the acupuncture treatment may be focused on the painful area, the purpose of each acupuncture treatment addresses the whole body. As I mentioned before, one way acupuncture addresses the whole body is through the brain.

We forget a lot of things, like where we put your keys or our mother’s birthday. But, the brain does not like to forget pain. Often, the brain remembers pain long after an injury has healed itself. Using an fMRI scanner, a scan that tracks blood flow within the brain, scientists have shown that acupuncture can change such brain patterns for those with chronic pain.

One of the best studies that used fMRI focused on individuals with carpel tunnel syndrome. [iii] After the treatment, the pain was greatly reduced and the nerve health of the arm was improved. In addition, the carpel tunnel pain pattern within the brain was much more like that of a healthy person than before the treatment.

Working both at the area of pain and in the brain, acupuncture helps to reduce chronic pain by retouching the body to be healthy. As we learn more about acupuncture we are also discovering how much the ancient clinical science of acupuncture and Chinese medicine has to add to our knowledge of the human body.

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