Acupuncture Myths and Misconceptions

Acupuncture Myths and Misconceptions

Acupuncture is an alternative form of medicine originating from ancient Chinese health practices. For over two thousand years, treatments have effectively alleviated pain and improved numerous types of health conditions.

This traditional Chinese method involves inserting extremely thin needles at strategic points in the body in order to restore blocked or disrupted pathways. The needles are designed to naturally fuel anatomic sites and help to bring your energy flow back to full functionality.

Acupuncture is especially recommended to treat the following symptoms:

·         chronic pain

·         stress/anxiety

·         mood swings

·         irregular

·         headaches and migraines

·         sleep deprivation

Even with acupuncture growing in popularity as an operative health treatment method, there are still a number of fallacies related to its technique and effectiveness.  To clarify, here are some myths related to acupuncture:

There is no real science behind acupuncture: MYTH

Because of its ancient, drug-free, non-invasive nature, acupuncture has often been categorized over the years as “folk medicine”. But for the past several decades, it has been widely accepted as an alternative medicine treatment option recommended by professional medical practitioners all over the world

Acupuncture hurts: MYTH

It’s fair to assume that any treatment involving needles will be painful; but in fact, acupuncture is known to be very relaxing. The needles are very thin and only sting slightly. If any discomfort is experienced in the beginning, it fades away just as quickly and leaves you feeling quite calm and peaceful.

It takes just a couple of treatments to heal: MYTH

Like any form of health therapy, the number of treatments will vary depending on the severity of the condition. Because so many patients feel instant relief after the first treatment, they believe it’s sufficient. In reality, one or two treatments alleviate the symptoms remedy the origin of the problem. It can sometimes take weekly appointments lasting several months to treat more acute, complex, or chronic conditions.

Acupuncture doesn’t attack the problem: MYTH

Acupuncture is not a Band-Aid treatment. In fact, acupuncture needles are meant to teach the body systems to heal themselves. The needles function in a way that stimulates crucial parts of the body to produce natural painkillers which reduce inflammation, improve digestive function, sleep apnea, and fight many serious illnesses. If the body heals itself, then no additional invasive treatment or pills are needed. Symptoms will alleviate as a result of a healthy, fully-functional body.

If you’re experiencing any of pain or chronic health problems, make an appointment with us today to determine whether acupuncture is the ideal course of treatment for you.


Tammy Lalonde Owner and Licensed Acupuncturist at Red Leaf Wellness

Tammy Lalonde, MSAOM BS Dipl.Ac LAc RAc Paramedic

About the Author

Tammy Lalonde is the Owner and Licensed Acupuncturist at Red Leaf Wellness in Edmonton, Alberta and has deep expertise in both ancient Eastern healing techniques as well as modern Western medicine.  She is also a Critical Care Paramedic.  Tammy earned both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Oriental Medicine from California’s prestigious South Baylo University and her diploma in Emergency Medical Technology (Paramedicine) from Augustana University.  She holds active licensure with the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), the College of Acupuncture and Associates of Alberta (CAAA), the California Acupuncture Board and the Alberta College of Paramedics (ACP).

Acupuncture for Hormonal Imbalance

  • Red Leaf Wellness Treatment Room

Acupuncture for Hormonal Imbalance

Did you know that nearly 80% of women suffer from symptoms due to a hormonal imbalance and that men can also suffer from gradual hormonal imbalances as they age? The truth is, hormonal imbalances are often very difficult to deal with and are hard to detect. They tend to manifest themselves into various symptoms over time as the body develops and changes over the years.

In both cases, exposure to toxins, diet, lifestyle and more can make huge impacts on the progression of these imbalances in how they affect our mental health and whether they turn into future disease. Here is more about the causes and effects of hormonal imbalances and how acupuncture can play a helpful role as treatment.

Key Factors for Women

Both the causes and effects of hormonal imbalances are often intertwined with one another. While age, menopause and adrenal hormones are key factors, many other factors like prolonged stress, dieting, exposure to synthetic hormones (from birth control methods) and xenoestrogens (found in household, personal hygiene products and cosmetics) can also have an impact on hormonal imbalances.

Repeated exposure to these chemicals and stress on the body is enough to worsen hereditary problems or trigger new diseases as a response over time.

Some associated health conditions with hormonal imbalances include:

Fibromyalgia — affecting the soft tissue and musculoskeletal system

Digestive bowel disorders — referring to a host of disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Endometriosis — A pelvic pain condition where tissue gets caught outside of the uterus

PCOS – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

PMS/PMDD — Premenstrual symptoms that can range from mild to extremely severe

Adrenal Fatigue — Feelings of exhaustion and depletion

Thyroid issues – Including hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism (explained below)

Key Symptoms Women Face

Anxiety and depression

Pain

Inflammation

Bloating

Excessive exhaustion during hormone changes

Weight gain

Insulin resistance

Increased risk of breast cance

Issues with ovulation (fertility)

… and much more.

Key Factors for Men

For men, aging is a key factor. A man can lose up to 14% of his testosterone for each decade he lives, which contributes to an imbalance. Some associated conditions related with hormonal imbalances in men include

Andropause — a form of menopause men experience as their testosterone levels decline

Adrenal fatigue — manifested stress over a prolonged period of time affects the production of the stress hormone cortisol, causing excessive exhaustion and feelings of depletion

Hypothyroidism — underactive thyroid glands that do not produce enough thyroid hormones to function that slows body metabolism

Hyperthyroidism — an overactive thyroid gland resulting in too many thyroid hormone levels (shown through an abnormally increased metabolism)

Key Symptoms Men Experience

The following symptoms that many men face are not part of the aging process but part of a greater hormonal imbalance that gradually presents itself.

Some problems include:

Low libido

Fatigue

Erectile dysfunction

Memory loss

Increased body fat

Depression and anxiety

Mood swings and irritability

Sleep problems (sleep apnea, night sweats, insomnia)

Heart palpitations

Constipation or increased bowel movements

… and more.

How Acupuncture Can Help

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, hormonal imbalances and their related conditions and symptoms, are connected to the functioning of the Liver. The Liver is responsible for metabolism and our emotions. When it isn’t functioning properly, it can throw the body out of balance and our hormones along with it.

Acupuncture has a regulating effect on the body. It removes excess heat caused from dilated blood vessels, thus reducing blood pressure. Liver detoxification in particular, is highly important in eliminating the factors that cause hormonal imbalances to regulate levels of estrogen and progesterone in women and declining rates of testosterone in men. Your acupuncturist will determine what exact treatment is needed for you. With a combination of acupuncture, the appropriate diet, the right amount of exercise, sleep and hydration you will see immediate changes in your body’s equilibrium as symptoms start to lessen, become manageable or disappear altogether!

Are you suffering from any of the health conditions or symptoms mentioned above? Please come in and see us for an appointment today!

Acupuncture for Women with Endometriosis

Acupuncture for Women with Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a health condition that takes place in a woman’s body when the same endometrial cells that are found in the lining of the uterus are dislodged and begin to grow outside of the uterus and into other areas of the body. This can present difficulties to the bowels and bladder, cause abdominal and lower back pain, and affect the pelvic floor muscles; all of which are linked to a range of difficult symptoms a woman can face throughout her menstrual cycle.

Inflammatory reactions in the body, the development of scar tissue adhesions, and cysts filled with blood are all regular occurrences women with endometriosis face. This can affect how a woman feels every day, from her hormones to her energy levels. Endometriosis is also responsible for nearly half of fertility cases affecting one in ten women in their childbearing years.

Symptoms

  • Pelvic pain
  • Back pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Significantly painful periods (with heavy bleeding)
  • Emotional repercussions (anxiety, depression, sadness)
  • Weakened immune system
  • Digestion issues
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriages

 How acupuncture can help

Right now, traditional Western medicine is treating endometriosis with hormone therapy to balance estrogen and progesterone levels in the body. Otherwise, pain medications are offered for all cases and surgery for those at a later stage in the disease. These are the only other options as to little known about the condition.

In Chinese medicine, the Uterus and Liver are closely linked. The Liver maintains the free flow of vital energy (Qi) throughout the body. The three meridians associated with endometriosis are the Liver, Kidney and Spleen, all of which run through the pelvis. By applying acupuncture to these areas, the stagnant Qi can be released from these meridians to reduce localized pain, distension, cramps and gas. Women who suffer from blood clots will also see a reduction in symptoms and an overall sense of relaxation will ease anxiety and help depression symptoms.

It’s very important for people who have endometriosis to minimize stress in their lives. Stress is the main culprit for these responses, especially feelings of anger and resentment, which can cause the Qi to stagnate. Qi stagnation is also the culprit for other symptoms of endometriosis like infertility, severe abdominal and back pain, irritability, depression, urinary problems, and headaches. Seeing an acupuncturist will allow your body to learn to heal itself and regain strength.

Do you or anyone you know suffer from this health condition? Please speak to your physician about complementary alternative medicines like acupuncture and get in touch with us to start the process of healing.

 

 

 

 

 

Acupuncture for Pre and Post-Natal Care

  • Black and white image of pregnant female draped in a long flowing white sheet.

Acupuncture for Pre and Post-Natal Care

If you’re pregnant and you’ve been stricken with a relentless case of morning sickness, acupuncture can help. It can also relieve some of the common side effects associated with the various trimesters of pregnancy.

It’s one thing to have morning sickness or aches and pains here and there. It comes with the territory of being pregnant. On the other hand, suffering day-in-and-day out throughout the duration of your pregnancy is really hard on the body. Many women do suffer this often and it could likely be due to some disharmony in the body adjusting to the fluctuating hormonal changes. While this is normal, it can become extremely tiresome and tough to deal with.

Here is a list of pregnancy symptoms that can be effectively managed with acupuncture before, during and after pregnancy.

  • Body aches and pain–musculoskeletal pain and sciatica (extreme back pain)
  • Morning sickness, general nausea and vomiting and acid reflux
  • Emotional symptoms
  • Digestive issues – hemorrhoids, diarrhea and constipation
  • Urinary tract problems – incontinence and reduction
  • Edema
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Hypertension
  • Headaches, migraines, or insomnia
  • Labor preparation or induction
  • Breech and Posterior positioned babies

Acupuncture also works as a wonderful way to gently prepare the pelvis and the cervix for labour. Releasing the tension in those areas makes the active stage of labour more efficient. It also may help reduce rates of medical interventions such as inductions, C-sections or excessive medication.

Acupuncture promotes recovery in postnatal care as well. It can help with strengthening the body, boosting the immune system and accelerating healing. It can also help with the following common postnatal problems:

  • Lactation problems
  • Mastitis, an infection of the breast tissue
  • Scar tissue repair
  • Postnatal depression

Getting good care during and after a pregnancy goes beyond your OB/GN. Take the step to include acupuncture in your health care regimen both throughout and after your pregnancy. It will present you with valuable results and an improved sense of well-being.

Book your appointment with us today!

 

 

  • Black and white image of pregnant female draped in a long flowing white sheet.
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