What is acupuncture in Edmonton?
Acupuncture is a 3,000-year-old technique that is part of the Traditional Chinese Medical system (along with herbs, gua sha, cupping and qi gong). This system is used to evaluate and harmonize dysfunctions that impact the body, mind, and spirit of an individual. Through this process, the acupuncturist will assess, diagnose, and treat by inserting sterile needles into the body at specific points (acupoints or motor points) and stimulate them until a therapeutic effect is achieved.
How does acupuncture in Edmonton work?
Acupuncture works by empowering the body’s natural healing systems. Through the acupuncturist’s point combination, the body is given specific instructions as to where attention needs to be paid, providing the body the necessary direction to start the healing process.
Eastern Perspective: Traditional Chinese Medicine was designed on the foundations of the yin and yang of energy. When one goes out of balance, so will the other and dysfunctions in health will occur. Through the use of acupuncture, the practitioner will try to rebalance this dysfunction by redirecting the flow of qi, specifically nutritive qi. Qi (pronounced “chee”) can be identified as the building blocks of life and is found in multiple forms (food, oxygen, blood). When the flow of qi is impacted, such as it becomes deficient or it becomes stuck, it can cause the body to develop pain or open the body for the invasion of illness, such as heat or cold. Acupuncture helps to recalibrate the body’s flow of qi and reharmonize the body.
The best way we can describe this dysfunction is through the analogy of a river. When the river becomes dammed, the flow of water stops or becomes restricted. The quality of the river can become murky and infected with bacteria or algae. Life within the river will experience difficulty thriving. Additionally, life beyond the dam will have difficulty as their resources have become limited as a result of the dam. This can cause emotions such as frustration, anger and anxiety for those that depend on the natural flow of the river. Just like the river our body, mind and spirit depend on the natural flow of qi for it to live optimally.
Western Perspective: Acupuncture works by providing neurofeedback via the nervous and endocrine system, which affects the release and regulation of hormones, such as dopamine or serotonin. These hormones not only help regulate your emotions but also have physiological impacts over the body such as pain and pleasure. As a result, the body is effectively able to regulate as these common hormones that impact almost all physiological functions of the body are stabilized. Acupuncture also helps to increase circulation through microdoses of inflammation as well as increases immunity through puncturing the skin, thus driving the body to create more white-blood cells. Our skin is the first layer of protection against external infections. By puncturing the skin, it creates a signal to the body to produce more white-blood cells to prepare for an impending infection. As a result, this primes the body, by keeping constant communication with the body’s natural immune system.
What is acupuncture in Edmonton good for?
There are many studies that outline the efficacy of acupuncture in its treatment of musculoskeletal, fertility, cardio-respiratory, immunological, dermatological, and psychological disharmonies. However, at Ikigai Integrative, we typically focus on three main areas and have studied to become very proficient at treating these conditions.
Acupuncture is great for Anxiety, Depression, and other mental health disparities:
Mental health dysfunctions can typically be helped through acupuncture as one of the therapeutic benefits is the formation and maintenance of hormones and neurotransmitters that may impact our mental health. Through regular acupuncture sessions, we attempt to calm the mind and help reconnect and harmonize the mind-body connection. Through this process you may feel more grounded. You may also notice symptoms associated with mental health dysfunction such as chest tightness, heart palpitations, fatigue, insomnia, or headaches may start to dissipate and become replaced with a feeling of wellness.
Acupuncture for Digestion:
Many people are not aware that our gut is directly linked to our mental health. When we have poor digestion our bodies are not fully capable of being able to transform and transport the essential nutrients required to produce the necessary building blocks of our mental health, such as serotonin. Through the combination of acupuncture and lifestyle/diet management, we are able to help reduce the impacts of inflammation of the digestive system and limit the dysfunction it poses on the mind-body connection. Additionally, clients may experience more psychological benefits as a result.
Acupuncture for Pain Management:
We recognize that pain can negatively impact your quality of life. Not only can it limit you physically, but mentally as well. In our clinic, we have found that pain results from either musculoskeletal imbalances or when the body has been under a toxic stress response for too long.
To address the musculoskeletal imbalances, your acupuncturist will try to recalibrate the body by releasing muscles that are too tight or stimulating muscles that are starting to become inactive. Acupuncture sessions addressing these dysfunctions will typically also be accompanied by take-home exercises that will help to reinforce the therapeutic effects of the treatment.
Individuals who are experiencing toxic stress for an extended period of time need to take a different approach to treatment. Acupuncture is used the same way as it is for mental health dysfunctions in that the main goal is to sedate the mind and allow it the time to process whatever you have experienced. In addition, the acupuncturist may provide some exercises such as meditation, breathing or other self-care techniques to help you remain grounded after the session.
*Note that we are not physicians and therefore acupuncture should not replace care from your family doctor. Acupuncture is also not a replacement for essential therapies such as medications or psychotherapy. If you have any questions about how acupuncture can help you, please do not hesitate to reach out or check out our website at www.ikigai-integrative.com.
Where can I get the best acupuncture in Edmonton?
At Ikigai Integrative we have acupuncturists that have studied acupuncture, passed their board examinations, and are currently registered with the College of Acupuncturists of Alberta. In addition to their foundational training, they have completed additional hours of study and clinical experience to provide more effective care that is above the rest.
They are also able to provide direct billing services to most insurance companies. For more information, you can contact your insurance company and see if you are covered for acupuncture sessions.
At Ikigai Integrative our goal is to empower you in achieving your purpose. Through education of the public, we aim to help demystify and destigmatize how acupuncture in Edmonton, psychotherapy and other alternative modalities can benefit your mental health from both a scientific and philosophical perspective. Finally, we want to help provide protective factors for you to overcome the adversities faced in your life.