Acupuncture: The 411
Hi Babes!!! Today I am sharing the 411 on acupuncture! If you follow me on Instagram then you have probably seen me post about my amazing acupuncturist Dr Mona @ Vie Healing. Since I get so many questions about acupuncture (and I personally know so little about this healing modality) I thought it would be awesome to sit down with Dr. Mona and ask her a few of the most commonly asked questions I get so that you can get the right info straight from the expert! 🙂
Before I get into this post I want to share some pertinent information about our bodies nervous system that will help you better understand what acupuncture does as you read though the rest of this blog post. There are two aspects to the nervous system: the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The SNS is our fight and flight aspect and the PNS is the aspect that relaxes us. Ideally these two systems are supposed to be working together equally; however that is usually not the case as in our day to day lives we are frequently bombarded with stressors (these stressors can be literally anything from deadlines, to financial issues and work problems, relationship issues or even something smaller like spilling or breaking something) that peak our SNS; and when our SNS is triggered it sends a signal throughout our bodies that it’s time to attack, and when that happens our PNS is signaled to shut down…and before you know it your body is out of balance.
What is acupuncture?
Technically, it’s the insertion of hair-thin needles, penetrating the skin and officially, invading the body. I like to call it an “invasion” because that’s how your body responds to it.
What does acupuncture do? // How does acupuncture work?
In short, acupuncture helps balance your nervous system! Acupuncture fires up both the SNS and PNS to fight and attack the needles. It’s a jump start for your body, just like a car. It’s a sweet, sometimes spicy, reminder to the nervous system to wake up and do what it’s meant to do. This is when true digestion, processing, blood flow, energy flow and inflammation reduction finally come into play. Any time a foreign object invades the body, the entire body wakes up to attack the object. Once the needles “invade” the body, the nervous system automatically wakes up in response and naturally begins balancing out its signal processes.
What are the benefits of acupuncture?
A more balanced nervous system, thus a more balanced body! Acupuncture is fantastic for people with issues ranging from, but not limited to: pain, inflammation, infertility, diabetes, high cholesterol, hormone issues, stress, sleep issues, fatigue, menstrual issues, menopause and chemo side effects.. the list goes on. Treatment plans are specifically prescribed along with herbs and tea to address these issues and help the body begin operating optimally.
How often do you recommend getting acupuncture?
Weekly sessions are recommended, but also required in the beginning so that it can really do it’s job properly. Acupuncture has an accumulative effect! As time goes by, your body finds and begins to remember a good rhythm and at that point, you can taper off your treatments to once every two weeks – then just once a month if need be. I personally go once a week and I don’t foresee tapering off my appointments any time soon.. I love going every week! I am not a nap type of person but whenever I get acupuncture I fall right asleep.. it’s so relaxing!
Do you ask for something specifically when you get acupuncture?
Yes!! Your acupuncturist will ask you a variety of questions about various things, ranging from your sleep; digestion; energy levels; if you’re sweating, spontaneously or maybe only at nights; for women, what their cycle is like; and for men, if they’re dealing with any urinary issues or erectile dysfunction. The reason for all the questions? So that your acupuncturist can narrow down a diagnosis. They look to see what indications fall most in their diagnosis of eight principles of differentiating syndromes. These eight principles are: yin and yang; exterior (biao) and interior (li); xu (deficiency) and shi (excess); cold and heat. These eight basic syndromes signify the location of pathological changes, the nature of disease, the condition of body resistance and pathogenic factors. These factors indicate what is actually happening in the nervous system.
Does it hurt?
No! It is a very relaxing experience in my opinion! There are some points that feel a bit “spicy” (there is no other way for me to describe it lol) but that usually only lasts for a second and then it dissipates.
Annnnnnnd that’s all for today- I hope this blog post helps shed some light on acupuncture for you! If you have any questions that were not answered in this post please feel free to leave me a comment below! ALSO!!!!!!!!! don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for daily updates and fun things on the reg 😉
Photo by: Payamt Photography