How does Acupuncture work?
Science has shown that acupuncture alters neurotransmitter, hormone, immune system and nerve function. This, in turn, can improve digestion and circulation; decrease muscle tension, inflammation, swelling and pain, and normalize metabolism. It also appears to help reestablish normal microcurrent electrical flow that has been blocked by injury or disease processes, to promote cell regeneration and healing.
Acupuncture acts to clear the nervous system slate, allowing the brain to reset body functions that have become stuck in abnormal patterns.
Acupuncture works to heal on deep levels beyond the physical, on occasion initiating emotional releases and sometimes, spiritual insight. There is an energetic component to acupuncture that cannot be dismissed. Even skeptics begin to feel energy moving through their bodies when the acupuncture needles are in place.
Acupuncture can introduce you to a tranquil state of well-being that may change your perspective on what health is. Often the results of the treatment are noticeable immediately, with decreased pain and a sense of relaxation. In most cases the affects are cumulative, building over a course of 6 to 10 treatments. Difficult or long-term conditions may require more than one course of treatment.
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What is acupuncture like?
Most people experience acupuncture as calming and relaxing. Often during treatment, most patients rest or fall asleep.
Because the needles used in acupuncture are very thinsmaller than the hole in a hypodermic needlethe needle insertion usually has mild sensation or is painless. The amount of time that the needles are retained in the points depends on the condition being treated, but is usually 20 to 30 minutes. For a migraine the needles might remain until the headache abates, perhaps more than an hour, while to treat chronic fatigue, the needles may be left in only briefly, for five minutes.
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How does stress affect health?
Many of today's health problems result from the excessive stress of our fast paced world. Stress initiates a chemical process that changes neurotransmitters and hormones to prime the muscular system to high alert. The blood withdraws from the internal organs and is routed to the muscles. Chronic stress locks the body into a chemical pattern of increased muscle tension, debilitated organ function, and the emotional sense of being on edge. (Good for fleeing from an out-of control SUV, but less useful for intimate conversation with your spouse.) Unlocking neurological stress patterns using acupuncture and hands on techniques creates a space for change, and the potential for the body to heal. Diet modification and herbs can also help to correct the stress chemistry that promotes inflammation, aging, cycles of pain, and disease.
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What are the basics I need to know about nutrition?
The field of nutrition is advancing very rapidly. Scientific research is discovering new food components and body chemistry processes at a staggering pace. Underlying all of this exciting information, the bottom line continues to emerge in a few simple ideas: You are what you eat. Eat a variety of high quality foods, because science is only beginning to scratch the surface of nutrition's complex contribution to health. Eat foods that are not processed or 'manufactured'. It's clear that processing removes the nutrients needed to keep the body healthy. Synthesized foods may get great press initially, but invariably turn out to be flawed, carcinogenic or disease producing. And, as you mother always told you, "Eat your vegetables!".
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