Want help with headaches, PMS, or stress? Traditional Chinese Medicine may offer you an alternative treatment plan that provides some relief either by itself or coupled with Western Medicine. Certain therapies like acupuncture are becoming more main-stream and accepted in the healthcare industry. Some insurance companies even provide discounts or cover acupuncture as a member benefit. The National Health Institute recognizes that acupuncture treatments have been shown in clinical studies to be beneficial for diagnosis’ such as gastrointestinal disorders, pain, headaches, insomnia, allergies, gynecological conditions, immune conditions, and respiratory conditions.
What is acupuncture?
The general theory explains there are energy channels in the body and these channels correspond with organs and the muscular system. When the energy flow, also known as Qi (pronounced chee), is blocked it can result in illness or pain. Acupuncture is the process of placing very small needles under the skin to stimulate certain points along these channels to help correct these imbalances. While it is typically not painful, you can often feel little energy sensations with certain points.
Karen Velasquez, Licensed Acupuncturist and Registered Nurse, says the most common reasons she sees women is for pain, menstrual/hormonal irregularities, and infertility. While acupuncture has shown promising results in these areas don't expect to go in for one treatment and find a cure for your ailments. Velasquez reports, "it typically takes 12-20 treatments starting weekly and then spacing out to bi-weekly then monthly. The most dramatic results I see are women becoming pregnant that thought it was impossible, regulation of menstrual cycle with no PMS, and cure of people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome." Acupuncture has also been shown to be a successful treatment with depression, and S.A.D. disorder.
Acupuncture is a process where the client evaluates their progress and shares their symptoms with their acupuncturist so they can make the best treatment plan with each session. Therefore, you may have needles placed in different parts of your body for each treatment.
Often times we ignore or don't trust things we don't understand and this occurs frequently with Traditional Chinese Medicine. If we can't see it, we don't believe it. Velasquez states that when she started practicing in North Carolina 10 years ago people called her the "witch doctor". We have come a long way in the last 10 years since now many physicians, including fertility clinics recommend acupuncture as a viable treatment coupled with traditional western medicine. This treatment is something that does have scientific validity with numerous clinical studies. Sometimes we just need to let go of not understanding and allow the experience to see if it works for us.
Steps to Finding an Accupuncturist
1. Check out the http://www.nccaom.org/
website to find a practitioner near you.