Acupuncture is a medical practice where needles are placed into the skin in order to relieve pain, treat disease, or provide emotional well-being to patients. Developed thousands of years ago in China, acupuncture revolves around the idea of “qi.” Qi is a word used to describe the life energy that flows throughout the human body along specific lines (almost like a map!). The qi needs to be free-flowing and unblocked as it travels the body keeping everything in balance and in good health. When there are disruptions in the flow of qi, disease has a chance to develop. By restoring the body’s energy flow, Chinese acupuncture hopes to heal the body.
During an acupuncture visit very fine needles are inserted into very specific points in the body. An acupuncturist has been specially educated and trained to be able to identify where the right acupressure points are for the illness in question. Once the needles are inserted, they stimulate the nervous system (although they are NOT inserted into the actual nerves). This allows the qi to once again flow without obstruction. If a patient responds well to the first treatment, repeated (usually weekly) visits will be made until the patient and acupuncturist achieve the desired results.
Acupuncture can be useful for many of my patients who suffer from problems like pelvic pain. It can also help with some of the other issues that many of my patients share– anxiety, depression, mood problems, and sleep issues like insomnia. Additionally, women who are menopausal may find that acupuncture helps them feel a sense of balance when combined with Hormone Replacement Therapy.
There is no magic cure for the diseases my office treats. Endometriosis, Adenomyosis, fibroids, Interstitial Cystitis, PCOS, and hormone imbalances are considered chronic problems that will manifest differently throughout life and require long-term care. However, incorporating acupuncture into your treatment plan now could make a huge difference in your quality of life. Check your newspaper, local community publication, community board, or websites like Yelp for a list of acupuncturists in your area.