Acupuncture: Does it hurt? Does it really work? How does it work?
By Kathleen T. Poole, M.S., L. Ac.
are the first questions people ask me when they learn that this is what
I do for a living. But another question that might come first is “How
can it help me?” It is an exceptional tool for dealing with women’s
health issues. Acupuncture can be a woman’s best friend.
is the manipulation of ‘qi’ or life force energy by inserting hair thin
needles into “acupoints”. Qi flows throughout our bodies in a complex
circulation system composed of meridians. Acupoints are located along
the meridians. Healthy free flowing qi makes us feel good and allows us
to function well in our daily lives. When we are sick or injured, our qi
is blocked and can’t flow properly, causing pain and discomfort. When
acupuncture adjusts this energy to flow easily once again, we regain our
sense of good health and well-being.
is the best known branch of Chinese Medicine. In Chinese Medicine our
organs have an expanded set of functions. Each organ has a mental,
spiritual, emotional, as well as a physical, job to do. Each of the
meridians flows through an organ and is named after it. The Spleen
meridian flows through the spleen, and the Heart meridian through the
an acupuncturist tells you your Liver qi is imbalanced, it doesn’t mean
you have liver problems in the western sense. You may have some
emotional frustration, digestive problems, muscle tension, or feel
creatively blocked. Maybe you have PMS or allergies. Yet your liver
enzymes are just fine.
is because the emotion of the Liver is anger, its energy is creative
energy, and it is responsible for planning. Excess liver energy
overflows into the digestive processes. The blood of the Liver nourishes
muscles. The season of Liver is spring, when many experience
allergies. The liver likes to reach out and flow smoothly in an orderly
fashion. It is responsible for how your body handles stress. And so it
is for each meridian/organ pair.
how can acupuncture be your best friend? Acupuncture is very good for
women. Often we go to the doctor not feeling well only to be given
hormones or told there is nothing wrong or that we have to ‘live with
take women seriously. Excessive sweating at night is not tossed off as
“just” menopausal hot flashes. Menstrual cramping and PMS are not
considered normal. Acupuncture can be a wonderful asset throughout
pregnancy, birthing and postpartum. Acupuncture is a superb stress
reliever. In a world that makes more and more demands of its women,
acupuncture becomes a true ally.
treatments are individualized for you. Acupuncturists look at the
problem and why you personally are having the problem. Two women who
come in with premenstrual cramping and mood swings may receive different
treatments based on specifics about their symptoms. When is the
cramping, where exactly? Is there more irritability or sadness? When
do symptoms start? When do they end? All kinds of details are taken into
account before deciding on a treatment.
women came in with the same label on a set of symptoms. Acupuncture
looks at how the symptoms affect each person. One of these women may
have a pattern called ‘constrained Liver qi’ and needles are inserted to
disperse the blockage. The other may have ‘deficient Spleen qi’ and be
given an energy boosting treatment. Yet, they both have the same
diagnosis of premenstrual syndrome. No matter what diagnosis a medical
doctor has made, Chinese Medicine will look at how it is affecting the
person, as well as what the symptoms of the condition itself are.
course, acupuncture is also very effective for men and children, as
well as women. Migraines, anxiety, sports injuries, allergies, fatigue,
fertility issues, digestive problems, chronic illnesses, and pain are
ailments that don’t differentiate between age and gender. Acupuncture
is especially good for anything that is aggravated by stress in men and
women, acupuncture has a special way of honoring the female experience.
It makes sense of symptoms in a way no other therapy can. It connects
all levels of being. Acupuncture makes things easier. It really can be
your new BFF.