Translating traditional Chinese medicine for modern day families

Alicia Smith

MARQUETTE — When researching “natural” treatments for diseases many people will come across the suggestion of acupuncture. Acupuncture is a medical procedure that involves the usage of tiny hair thin sterile needles meticulously placed on pressure points on the body. Acupuncture is one treatment procedure that stems from a whole system of medicine from China. Traditional Chinese Medicine combines lifestyle modifications, therapeutic massage, food therapy, herbal medicine and acupuncture for treatment options.

Acupuncture, a practice that has been around for thousands of years; yet still raises eyebrows and causes confusion in many people. Common questions can include “is there medicine in the needles, are these needles sterile, what else can acupuncture help with?”

Acupuncture is a medical procedure that seems so simple it is sometimes difficult for westerners to accept. We live in a western society that equates medicine to a pill, a liquid, a shot and/or surgery.

In western terminology acupuncture works by: decreasing inflammation, increasing blood circulation, upregulating the immune system, blocking pain receptors in the body, increasing the release of serotonin in the body.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine terminology, acupuncture works by a process of unblocking a system of meridians. The meridians are energetic pathways that follow similar nerve pathways that carry acupuncture points.

During an acupuncture session, the body eases into a profound state of relaxation. During this session the body starts to reset and begin to heal itself. Acupuncture is not a one-time treatment, it takes a couple sessions 4-8 and then maintenance sessions. Acupuncture can help the whole family due to the effectiveness and safety of the procedure. Babies can find relief with digestive issues, colic, teething pain and boosting immunity. Adults and children can find help with aches and pains, mood disorders, immune support, acne, rashes, chemo side-effects, PTSD, migraines to name just a few. Specifically, for women’s health, acupuncture can assist in fertility, pregnancy related pains (sacrum pain), nausea, milk production and post-partum recovery.

So for the eyebrow raisers, how about not knocking a whole system of medicine that has been around way longer than you or our country? It is like the old saying goes don’t knock it until you try it. Or don’t knock it until you rock it? Who knows, you may be amazed when you stroll out of an acupuncture clinic feeling like you are walking on clouds. We all need more peace, rest, balance and stillness, during an acupuncture session the elements can sway you there. With that type of support, maybe we can all find what takes us there and continues to fill our cups as we walk on and learn earth 101.