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).

Is Functional Medicine the Key to Stress Management?

No one is free from the stresses that life brings. The differences come in the amount of stress that each person is under and the way they handle it. Long-term stress with no healthy way of dealing with it has surprisingly ill effects on your physical health.

Here are some of the ways that stress can affect your body over time:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Personality disorders
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Obesity and other eating disorders
  • Menstrual issues
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Skin issues
  • Hair loss
  • Intestinal distress

Clearly, finding a healthy way to manage your stress is of vital importance!

Before you start taking medications that may do you more harm than good, consider some of these alternatives that can help you get your stress under control in a healthy way.

Nutrition 

There are certain foods that have been shown to have a positive effect on mood and to lower stress.  Try some of the following when you’re feeling the heaviness of stress:

  • Dark green leafy vegetables.
  • Turkey
  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt
  • Salmon
  • Blueberries
  • Pistachios
  • Dark chocolate
  • Milk
  • Seeds
  • Avocado
  • Cashews

Taking control of your diet and being mindful of what effect your food has on your stress level will go a long way in resolving some of those chronic worries you’ve been hanging onto.

Music 

Music’s ability to calm and soothe has been recognized for centuries. Making music and listening to music can both have a positive effect on physical, cognitive, emotional and social functioning.

Meditation and yoga 

There has been much study of the effects of meditation and yoga on the management of stress. Yoga’s focus on mind, body, and spirit has been touted for centuries as a pathway to health and longevity. Many people combine the practice of meditation with their yoga practices and experience great success. You can practice it on your own in your home or you can sign up for a class that meets at regular intervals.

Even if you don’t carve out enough time to practice yoga every day, it’s good for your health to at least spend some private time in quiet meditation at least once a day.

Acupuncture 

Acupuncture involves an acupuncturist inserting a small needle into certain identified acupuncture points throughout the body. These points fall onto certain “meridians” and correspond to different organs. An acupuncturist may target the “Zusanli” point, which is a spot right below the knee. Stimulating this area can successfully alleviate stress.

The practice appears to block the dispersion of stress-inducing hormones which keeps your mood balanced. It has been shown to release endorphins that have a mood-boosting effect.

It’s well worth your time and effort to find non-prescription ways to manage your stress. Your health depends on it!

If you are interested in finding out more about the ways in which alternative medicine therapies can help you alleviate the chronic stress you’ve been suffering from.

Click here to book an appointment.

Is Functional Medicine the Key to Stress Management?

No one is free from the stresses that life brings. The differences come in the amount of stress that each person is under and the way they handle it. Long-term stress with no healthy way of dealing with it has surprisingly ill effects on your physical health.

Here are some of the ways that stress can affect your body over time:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Personality disorders
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Obesity and other eating disorders
  • Menstrual issues
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Skin issues
  • Hair loss
  • Intestinal distress

Clearly, finding a healthy way to manage your stress is of vital importance!

Before you start taking medications that may do you more harm than good, consider some of these alternatives that can help you get your stress under control in a healthy way.

Nutrition 

There are certain foods that have been shown to have a positive effect on mood and to lower stress.  Try some of the following when you’re feeling the heaviness of stress:

  • Dark green leafy vegetables.
  • Turkey
  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt
  • Salmon
  • Blueberries
  • Pistachios
  • Dark chocolate
  • Milk
  • Seeds
  • Avocado
  • Cashews

Taking control of your diet and being mindful of what effect your food has on your stress level will go a long way in resolving some of those chronic worries you’ve been hanging onto.

Music 

Music’s ability to calm and soothe has been recognized for centuries. Making music and listening to music can both have a positive effect on physical, cognitive, emotional, and social functioning.

Meditation and yoga 

There has been much study of the effects of meditation and yoga on the management of stress.  Yoga’s focus on mind, body, and spirit has been touted for centuries as a pathway to health and longevity. Many people combine the practice of meditation with their yoga practices and experience great success. You can practice it on your own in your home or you can sign up for a class that meets at regular intervals.  Even if you don’t carve out enough time to practice yoga every day, it’s good for your health to at least spend some private time in quiet meditation at least once a day.

Acupuncture 

Acupuncture involves an acupuncturist inserting a small needle into certain identified acupuncture points throughout the body. These points fall onto certain “meridians” and correspond to different organs. An acupuncturist may target the “Zusanli” point, which is a spot right below the knee. Stimulating this area can successfully alleviate stress.

The practice appears to block the dispersion of stress-inducing hormones which keeps your mood balanced. It has been shown to release endorphins which have a mood-boosting effect.

It’s well worth your time and effort to find non-prescription ways to manage your stress. Your health depends on it!

If you are interested in finding out more about the ways in which alternative medicine therapies can help you alleviate the chronic stress you’ve been suffering from

Click here to book an appointment.

Acupuncture for Depression in Women

  • Beautiful older lady with a white dress and sunhat smiling and appearing healthy and vibrant.

Acupuncture for Depression in Women

Depression is twice as likely to occur in women as it is in men of the same age groups. Why? Women have a set of complex factors that can all contribute to depression. Mood changes and feelings of depression occur with hormonal changes paired with biological factors, inherited family traits, life circumstances and field of experiences.

There are several important factors that also contribute to depression in women that traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture can help with. Here are some of the most common reasons for depression in women and how acupuncture can play a role in the healing process.

Puberty

Young girls are at risk of developing depression during their puberty stages due to fluctuating hormonal levels. Mood swings, irritability and feelings of depression can begin at this time as they adjust to identity, conflicts with parents and social relationships and increased pressure at school and in other activities.

Premenstrual Symptoms

Females with PMS symptoms cite their experience includes bloating, headaches, anxiety, irritability, and often minor depression. However, many women have severe and disabling symptoms of PMS known as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). This is a type of depression that requires treatment as it can have a debilitating emotional impact on a woman’s wellbeing.

It’s not exactly known why PMS symptoms occur and their reasons for their intensity. It’s believed that cyclical changes between rises in estrogen and progesterone along with other hormones can cause a disruption in brain chemistry components like serotonin, that directly affect a person’s mood. However, in combination, other social and biological factors can also come into effect.

Traditional Chinese Medicine’s Perspective

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), symptoms of depression and anxiety in women are a result of complex interactions between a large spectrum of factors. According to TCM researchers featured in a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study on acupuncture and mental health, depression can be twice as common in women due to the relationship between the Liver and the menstrual cycle – which causes a weakness or Qi Deficiency in the Lungs or Kidney, Blood Deficiency in the Liver and Spleen, and Blood Stagnation in the Liver among other deficiencies. Distinct groups of acu-points, herbal therapy and lifestyle modifications can play a profound role in helping with depression.

To summarize, acupuncture can help in the following:

  • It can ease the effects of fluctuating hormones by calming the nervous system that tends to set off the fight-or-flight response when things are not completely settled.
  • It can be a preventative measure for a young woman to learn about lifestyle choices, strategies and herbal remedies to help her feel in control of her mental health.
  • It can be tailored to a specific set of symptoms to bring awareness to the source of the depression.

The goal of Traditional Chinese Medicine is to treat the body as a whole which includes treating not only the symptoms, but by treating the body, the mind and overall state of being. Acupuncture sessions will ensure that your internal system is in a healthy balance, and has proven to have a positive effect on depressed patients. If you suffer from any form of depression, mild to major, consider visiting our clinic for acupuncture therapy. We will create a treatment plan suited to your needs and get you on a path to healing!

 

 

 

Acupuncture and Digestive Issues

  • Red Leaf Wellness Treatment Room

After you’ve eaten, do you find yourself suffering from heartburn, bloating, excessive gas, or stomach pain? While these digestive issues are common, they can be particularly frustrating.

These symptoms can be caused by a variety of sources. Sometimes we aren’t aware that we have developed a new food allergy as they can slowly develop over time, wearing away at our bodies with repeated exposure to a particular food. With life being often stressful and fast-paced, sometimes the stress can cause our digestive tract to weaken or flare up.

We need to pay close attention to our lifestyle and how it can affect our wellbeing – particularly when it comes to the foods we consume.

The Role of Acupuncture

Lifestyle changes can really help to lower your suffering – but did you know that digestive complaints have underlying causes that can be directly addressed with acupuncture?

Not only can acupuncture help reduce digestive issues, it can be a long-term solution for your digestive problems as well.

By using a combination of better food choices – like eating less fried foods for instance – along with attending acupuncture sessions, you can lower the chances of experiencing symptoms of inflammation and stomach upsets.

This will improve the health of your overall digestive tract and help symptoms like:

  • Diarrhea and constipation
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Food allergies
  • Conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Colitis
  • Acid reflux
  • Nausea and morning sickness
  • Indigestion
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Gallstones

If you’re regularly experiencing inflammation of the digestive tract even after making adjustments to the foods you consume – it really does point to a greater problem that acupuncture may just be able to help you with.

At Red Leaf Wellness, we also have a range of products and supplements that can further support you in getting your digestive health back in order. Contact us with any questions you may have and set up your free 30-minute consultation today!

 

How Can Acupuncture Help Maintain a Healthy Hormonal Balance?

  • Acupuncture and women's health leads to a calmer, healthier you.

How Can Acupuncture Help Maintain a Healthy Hormonal Balance?

Acupuncture is a recognized practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that can help with numerous health and body issues across a vast spectrum. Acupuncture essentially seeks to treat conditions through the manipulation of the body’s Qi (chee) or internal energy.

Acupuncture abides by the Yin-Yang theory where Yin is symbolized as water and Yang as fire. In the body, we can see Yin as blood and fluids, and Yang as energy and warmth. In TCM, the interactions between these elements can cause an imbalance in the body if there are existing abnormalities. In order to bring these two elements into harmony, harmful energy must be released.

Female Hormonal Balance

Hormones play a crucial role in how our body and mind function. They directly affect everything from our metabolism to our sleep-wake-cycles and everything in between.

In the realm of gynecology, the hormone estrogen plays the role of Yin, while progesterone plays the role of Yang. The fluctuating hormones in the menstrual cycle move through various phases which activate the Yin and Yang in different ways.

Menstrual Phase – Estrogen is the predominant hormone. The body is at a low temperature phase and the Yin begins to grow.

Post Menstrual Phase – Estrogen remains the predominant hormone and the lowest temperature is reached. The Yin is “extreme” and is ready to transform into Yang.

Ovulation Phase – Estrogen and Progesterone are working together. The body is at its highest temperature and Yin has transformed into Yang.

Luteal Phase – Progesterone is the predominant hormone and the highest body temperature phase is sustained as the Yang grows.

Key Areas in Acupuncture Treatment

Kidney – Studies show that stimulating the release of a specific hormone called Gonadotropin has successfully helped many balance their hormones. This is found in the area of the Kidney’s energy line.

Liver and Gallbladder – They are considered a Yin-Yang pair. The liver stores all the blood and oversees the menstrual cycle, characteristically of Yin. The Gallbladder excretes bile to break down food – a yang action.

Ren/Du Channels – The Ren Channel runs along the midline of the front of body, while the Du channel runs along the same line on the back of the body. These energy lines regulate the balance between the brain and the heart. Studies have shown that specific points along these lines relate to both men and women’s reproductive systems and stimulating release through acupuncture can help with hormone-related issues.

High levels of unreleased energy and stress deep in the body can manifest into a general stress response, which involves a variety of hormones. How our body responds to stress is very important as it can be the determinate of our health and our hormonal balance. A number of conditions related to female hormonal imbalance include menstrual disorders, fibroids, cysts, Endometriosis, Interstitial Cystitis, infertility and frequent UTIs, to name a few. Under our specialized care, we can help to ensure that your hormonal balance is maintained for optimum health and wellbeing.

 

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