Who would ever think that by placing needles into the body a person would become relaxed? Well it is true. Acupuncture needles are “hair-like” in size which account for an almost unperceivable insertion. Yes, many times the needles are not going to be felt going into the body. Many times the needle is only inserted a millimeter. When giving a treatment to calm the body and mind down, the body only needs “a gentle hand”, a light touch to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Most of the body’s electromagnetic energy is just below the surface of the skin.
The parasympathetic nervous system is the calming, centering aspect of the body’s electrical system. With a history of more than 2500 years, Acupuncturist have been helping people with psychological disorders as well as physical disorders by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. If the energy system of the body can be brought back to balance, so can the emotional/psychological order of the body be regulated. Talk therapy is strongly advised in addition to any bodywork such as Massage, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Yoga, Chiropractic and Physical Therapy to help with balancing all aspects of the human anatomy. “The issue is in the tissue” is a common phrase many healthcare practitioners who are body workers use. When we are exposed to negativity it can be “bottled up” in the body and create a stagnation of energy. Energy “blocked up” in the body is often expressed as muscle aches, tension headaches, digestive stagnation, depressive behavior and a host to many other physical symptoms. Acupuncture treating muscle tension is very easy to understand. I use the “popping the balloon analogy”. The needle literally deflates a muscle “bubble or knot”. Many times during a treatment the muscle will release as if a spring is uncoiling. Muscle releasing techniques using acupuncture points are commonly called trigger point therapy. Many times patients want me to just push or force out the blockages if there are big muscle knots. This is not the correct technique. When this occurs, further explanation is sometimes needed. If a muscle is in an agitated state, a softer approach is necessary. Many times you can’t fight “fire with fire”. This creates more tension and aggravation. There are specific Acupuncture points on the body that can release muscles without needling the muscle directly. Often needling a point that is distal to the sight of aggravation is applied by using the Acupuncture points on the same Acupuncture energetic pathway. There are also micro-systems of Acupuncture such as Auricular Acupuncture (Ear Acupuncture), Scalp Acupuncture and wrist and ankle points that can be used as an adjunct.
When Acupuncture is applied for more subtle energetic releases, feelings of warmth, wave-like pulsations and feelings of fullness will be present. A sense of peace is often expressed. At times, emotional releases such as deep sighing or crying will be expressed which are another form of unblocking unresolved psychological issues and “stuck energy”. Acupuncture stimulates nuero-chemcials such as Serotonin and Endorphins that are natural opiates which are instrumental to balance brain chemical levels and relieving pain. These chemicals help to regulate the emotional self. Acupuncture can help release these much needed nuero-chemicals in times of deep distress.
In conclusion, Acupuncture moves stagnation in the body, strengthens deficiencies and releases excess. Deficiencies will be discussed in a further article. During this Valentine season, may you express and extend the message of love not only to your family and close friends but to all people who are in need of attention, care and support.