Acupuncture has been used to manage health for over 2000 years. Modern studies are investigating possible mechanisms of action, its effects on physiology and the management of disease symptoms. The results of current studies suggest acupuncture might be helpful in managing conditions in various organ systems along side conventional treatment and medication, and supports its use in modern healthcare.
A comprehensive literature review of acupuncture pain studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Archives of Internal Medicine, concluded acupuncture was effective for the treatment of chronic pain. Japanese researchers found acupuncture “a useful adjunctive therapy in reducing DOE (dyspnea on exertion) in patients with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)”, while a Karolinska Institute study from Sweden found electro-acupuncture helpful in managing symptoms of poly cystic ovary disease. Research from the USA conducted by cardiologist John Longhurst MD, found electro-acupuncture had an effect on the central nervous system that contributed to regulation of the endocrine system and helped lower some types of hypertension. He concluded acupuncture might be useful in the management of mild to moderate hypertension in combination with prescribed medications.
From an Oriental medicine perspective, optimal health is perceived as the free and equal circulation of qi, blood and fluids throughout all organs and areas of the body. This depends upon the balance of opposing energies (yin – cooling/nourishing, and yang – warming/active), the strength of organ reserves (qi, blood, fluids) and the movement of body substances in the correct direction. When the circulation of qi and blood is impeded, counter flow occurs interfering with normal function further depleting vulnerable organ systems. Signs and symptoms of the dysfunction develop and if the situation remains unchecked, illness or disease may result. Traditionally it is thought stimulating acupuncture points might help balance, correct counterflow flow of qi and restore more efficient functioning to the organs.
Acupuncture has the potential to help people manage a range of symptoms including pain, stress, fatigue and support other treatment modalities. When acupuncture is implemented by a registered acupuncturist it is generally considered to be safe. By maintaining their knowledge and continuing education the practitioners at Lotus Healing Arts take every possible precaution to ensure the safety of their patients. However, as with all health treatments acupuncture may be occasionally associated with adverse reactions such as small bruises.
Karen and Lauren use acupuncture in combination with other modalities such as Chinese herbal medicine, cupping, tui-na (massage) and moxabustion (the burning of moxa leaves from the Chinese wormwood tree). As acupuncture is also thought to stimulate the release of endogenous opiate like hormones, it often induces a deep state of mental and body relaxation with some people falling asleep during a session. During a treatment needles are left in place for 25-40 minutes depending on the condition being treated.
In addition to traditional acupuncture Lauren uses a therapeutic laser to treat infants, children and adults who are scared of needles.