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WHEN IS ACUPUNCTURE RIGHT FOR YOU?

WHEN IS ACUPUNCTURE RIGHT FOR YOU?

You may have heard amazing stories about acupuncture from friends or family but still feel unclear about what it could do for you.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Here we break down how acupuncture works from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective.

How Acupuncture Relieves Pain

How Acupuncture Relieves Pain

We tend to perform the same motions day in and day out. The majority of the time this isn't an issue as long as we have the right posture, and are using the right technique. It's when we aren't being mindful of these things that we tend to develop imbalances, which leads to pain, and tension.

POOR POSTURE

The imbalances poor posture creates is endless, from pain in your shoulders, to pain between your scapulas (upper back), to lower back pain. All of these areas become obstructed, and can even lead to tingling sensations running down your leg, or through your arm. Acupuncture can actually help to alleviate pain by improving circulation, and re-activating energy channels that run through the areas of pain. So how does it work? From a western medicine perspective, when your body detects an acupuncture needle, or a foreign object in the body, your immune system naturally sends its immune cells to scope out the area[1]. Indirectly what this does is increase blood flow to the area, and improve circulation[1]. In Chinese Medicine, pain is a sign of stagnation, or a blockage. By examining what area you experience pain, this tells the acupuncturist what energy channels to open using the acupuncture points along the channel. Other signs of stagnation are a tendency to sigh, feeling depressed at times, or pain along the ribs. 

WHEN YOU'RE BURNT OUT...

When your body is feeling tired, you might find yourself getting lazy, having a tendency to slouch, or just using piss-poor technique. And then just like that, you hurt your neck, or your lower back lets out. For the next week, you're spending your spare time rubbing tiger balm, and vaporub, along with ice and heat packs to try and relieve this agonizing pain.

But it's not just the bad technique that leads to injury and pain. It's the fact that your body is tired that leads to injury as well! When you're tired, your body has a more difficult time keeping things together. The first thing we do when we're tired is we slouch. It's like your body is too tired to hold itself up, so it just lets yourself go aloof.

This concept can be used to understand why people get slipped discs or bulging discs leading to sciatic pain. And may also explain why in the elderly their organs prolapse as their bodies are slowly running out or resources to hold everything in place. 

In this case, popping needles into where it hurts does little to improve your condition. When acupuncturists do acupuncture, we focus on the internal imbalances. In this case, we need to improve your energy. The best organ for that is the Kidneys. Just think about adrenaline - it's a form of energy, and where it comes from (the adrenal glands), which sit on top of your kidneys! So by using acupuncture to stimulate points that strengthen the kidneys, you should expect to notice an improvement in your condition by the end of that acupuncture treatment.

INFLAMMATION

For some of us, the areas we get pain, also feel hot, and appear red at times. These are signs of "Heat" in Chinese Medicine, or "Inflammation" in western medicine. In Chinese Medicine, some points have the function of "Clearing Heat". This may seem like a foreign concept, but actually western medical studies have been performed to prove acupuncture's effectiveness in reducing inflammation [2]. Other signs of heat in the body are a red face or rosacea, unquenchable thirst, constipation, or dark urine. 

By paying attention to your body, you can become more mindful of what is causing the pain.

If you're looking for relief from pain, ACUSOUL is an acupuncture clinic in Toronto that provides relief to pain, along with many other health issues. If you haven't already done so, book an appointment today at one of our Toronto acupuncture locations.

Not only can we detect what kind of imbalances you have, but also treat them and provide preventative measures to keep your body free from pain using acupuncture and food therapy.

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References

1. http://www.elotus.org/article/mechanisms-acupuncture

2. http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1352-acupuncture-anti-inflammatory-effect-revealed

What's The Right Tea For You?

What's The Right Tea For You?

In Chinese Medicine, the goal is to bring harmony and balance to the body, mind, and soul. We can accomplish this through acupuncture, food therapy, or even choosing the right teas. Your body's imbalances speak loudly in many ways, and if we are attuned to how we feel we can choose the right tea to re-balance ourselves. Green tea has become quite popular nowadays with all the research indicating green tea has high antioxidant qualities. However, green tea is considered cooling in Chinese Medicine and may not be right for everyone.

1. Peppermint Tea

If you feel cold all the time, or generally low in energy, green tea may not be the healthiest choice for you. If, however, you tend to feel hot easily, get nose bleeds, mouth sores, or are suffering from a sore throat, peppermint tea could make you feel better.Peppermint has cooling qualities that clear heat and soothe the liver, an organ which can get quite heated in a high stress environment. This makes peppermint a perfect way to rebalance after a heated discussing, or a stressful day at the office. 

 

2. Black Tea

On the other hand, black tea's high caffeine content, and energizing properties might be the right choice if you feel sluggish, tired, or just need a boost of energy. In fact, a common tradition which is still carried out today is to drink black tea at Dim Sum. This is because alot of food served at Dim Sum can be quite greasy, and cause some of us to feel tired, and heavy after the meal. Pu-Erh tea, served at Dim Sum, is used to help cut the grease, boost energy, and wake you up again. This tea gets its name from Pu'Er, a city in Yunnan province, China where the tea is fermented, and aged. 

3. Rose Tea & Chai Tea

Feeling cold at the office? this may be due to a lack of circulation, or a lack of warmth in the body. I have two options for you - rose tea and chai tea. More than just a romantic gesture, roses, when consumed as tea are good for gently warming the body, while promoting circulation. Its invigorating qualities help to remove stagnation, which builds up when we're constantly doing something we don't want to do. It also has medicinal properties which nourish the skin, and promote digestion. In Chinese medicine, it is occasionally used for people that have irregular menstruation, blood clots, or painful periods. Chai tea on the other hand, has its origins in India, and blends black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian  spices and herbs. With strong invigorating, and warming properties, this makes it a great choice in the winter time if you're feeling a runny nose, or the beginning stages of a cold. It will not only warm your body up from the inside out, but could potentially cause you to break a sweat, preventing exterior pathogens from invading your body. 

4. Matcha Tea

Feeling anxious, panicky or just not well grounded? Matcha tea is known as an anticancer tea, having 137 times more antioxidants compared to regular green tea. It's interesting to note Matcha tea's cultivation, and production are closely related to the effects it has on the body. Grown in a shaded environment for up to 3 weeks, this makes Matcha tea a more cooling, and calming tea. Once picked, it is stone-ground into a fine powder - having the ability to ground your mind at times of anxiety and fear. In fact, traditionally at Japanese and Chinese ceremonies, matcha tea was prepared and served as a way of embodying a meditative spirit. A great tea to have at the end of a long work week, when you are looking to wind down, quiet the thoughts of the mind, and focus on yourself. 

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