As the end of the year nears, you may be in search of a wellness treatment to reset your body during the holidays. From a deep tissue massage to cupping, taking care of body is a gateway to overall good health. But let’s face it. Some of us may need a deeper treatment, with additional benefits, to last us through the season. Consider an ancient healing technique: acupuncture.
“This practice uses tiny needles (as thin as human hair) placed strategically into the body at specific acupuncture points,” Aimee Raupp, Advisor of Chinese Medicine at THE WELL says. In simple terms, “It encourages the body to function better.”
Unlike how it appears, the 3,000 year old treatment is relatively painless. “It is common to feel a dull ache or even a slight itch at the acupuncture point once the needle is inserted,” she says. Although, some patients feel nothing at all.
The needles remain in the body for up to 25 minutes, with benefits proven to improve blood flow and circulation. “This helps maintain the body’s homeostasis, reduce inflammation, and support the body’s innate healing processes,” Raupp says.
But how does it work? Below, Raupp takes us through the process and benefits of a traditional acupuncture treatment.
Improve blood flow and circulation
According to the American Institute of Alternative Medicine (AIAM), Qi can stagnate– otherwise known as becoming blocked– due to stress or anxiety. “Stagnation leads to slowing of blood flow, which means it can manifest as many different health issues,” the AIAM says.
Maintain the body’s homeostasis
Acupuncture is known to return your body to homeostasis. It does this by stimulating points on the body to balance your Qi. In other words, you’ll be left at an equilibrium both physically and energetically.
By tapping into your physiological pathways, acupuncture can release cortisol and other hormones that cause inflammation. This strong benefit reduces inflammation all over the body. The immune, respiratory, circulatory to nervous systems included.
Reduce stress levels
“Once the acupuncture needles are placed into specific acupuncture points for your condition, you will lie and relax for 20 to 25 minutes,” Raupp says. “Most patients say acupuncture is painless and extremely relaxing.” “After a session, the patient typically feels so relaxed and it is recommended to continue that state by avoiding intense exercise,” she continues.
Support the body’s innate healing processes
“Energy imbalances or constricted flow of energy can cause and accentuate pain,” the AIAM says. “It stops the body from being able to heal.” With acupuncture pinpointing where the energy is constricted in your body, the stimulation of that energy allows your body to heal itself– both internally and externally– with ease.