What does acupuncture treat?
The majority of people who seek acupuncture do so for musculoskeletal problems, although a review of acupuncture by the World Health Organization (WHO) found acupuncture was an effective treatment for many conditions such as:
(ulcers, gastro-intestinal spasms)
Induction of labor
Low back pain
Nausea and vomiting
(related to pregnancy and related to chemotherapy treatment)
Pain from dentistry
Acupuncture is a useful stand-alone treatment for some conditions but it is also increasingly becoming used in conjunction with conventional medical treatments. For example, doctors may combine acupuncture with medication or surgery as complementary medicine. Acupuncture can be used effectively with other bodywork therapies, including tui na massage, chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation, as well as different movement therapies such as Tai Qi, Qi Gong and Yoga. Additionally, as acupuncture is traditionally thought of as preventative medicine, dietary interventions can be used in compliment with the bodywork listed above.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture offers an individualized treatment approach, which has many positive effects on the body, mind, and spirit without harmful side effects. Acupuncture can be seen as a natural and effective healing platform that can be utilized for optimum health. While Western medicine and science have struggled to validate its mechanism of action, acupuncture is thought to stimulate endorphins and serotonin in the brain, which regulate pleasure and mood.
Acupuncture is based on the theory that there is a life force, or Qi that animates all living things; plants, animals, and people. Qi courses through the human body in what are called meridians or pathways. These pathways are similar, yet different, than the pathways of our circulation or blood flow. There are twelve bilateral meridians that are described in great anatomical detail in ancient Chinese text. Each of the twelve bilateral meridians has a different number of points on the pathways. Concurrently, the pathway lengths differ according to the location on the body. There are hundreds of acupuncture points completely mapping the surface of the body, including the face, scalp, hands, feet, torso and back.
Acupuncture is often used in conjunction with other traditional healing modalities, including cupping, gua sha, and moxibustion.
What is an acupuncture treatment like?
An acupuncturist assesses the flow of Qi in the meridians by feeling the client’s pulses on their wrists, and looking at the condition of the tongue. The tongue is examined because it is thought to be a reflection of the internal state. After evaluating the state of Qi, the acupuncturist determines which meridians have an obstruction of the smooth flow of Qi and need intervention. It is believed that pain, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual, develops when Qi becomes obstructed.
Once the state of Qi has been determined, the acupuncturist inserts very fine filaments along the meridians at prescribed acupuncture points that correspond with the obstruction of the flow of Qi. Acupuncture needles are sterile and are so thin that they are barely more than the diameter of a shaft of hair. Clients might feel a sensation of slight pressure where the filament is inserted, which has been described as a tingling, numbing, or itching sensation. Often times other traditional Chinese medicine techniques are used during an acupuncture treatment such as cupping, gua sha and moxibustion.
Where did acupuncture originate?
Acupuncture has recently become a household word. Acupuncture originated in China over 3,000 years ago and is an ancient form of traditional Chinese medicine that has gained great popularity and notoriety in Western civilization in the past few decades. Although Western medicine may say acupuncture is a form of "alternative medicine", it is the primary form of medicine in the vast majority of the world.
How can I schedule an acupuncture appointment?
Megan currently sees acupuncture patients at two locations: Turning Point Integrative Wellness in Annapolis, Maryland, and Kent Island Yoga in Stevensville, Maryland.
For scheduling, all of Megan's contact information can be found on our contact page!