Acupuncture and recovery from illness or feeling rundown
How can traditional acupuncture (also known as Chinese acupuncture) help you recover from illness, feel great, and dispel malaise?
Traditional acupuncturists are skilled, committed professionals who take a full case history and perform a thorough examination before they decide on the best treatment for you. As busy people, our ideal work/life balance is always at risk. The case history often highlights immediately problem areas both to us and to the acupuncturist.
Second, being cared for by someone focused on your well-being always has positive outcomes as we all respond positively to being cared for.
As extensively trained healthcare practitioners, acupuncturists treat conditions affecting a a range of systems, including mental health, lifestyle choices, diet, exercise and sleep patterns as well as any limitations to your physical health such as long-term illness, recent infections, injuries and traumas both physical and psychological.
During examination they look for signs (the robustness of your pulses in different locations throughout your body, tongue colour and so on) and symptoms (incomplete recovery from illness, poor sleep, nausea, food cravings, fatigue etc) that direct them towards specific systems of the body that may be out of balance or functioning inefficiently.
How can you recover from illness with acupuncture?
So how can your acupuncturist help you to recover from a cough or cold that has been dragging on, stopping you from exercising, and making you feel rundown and tired all the time?
After diagnosing deficiency or excess in systems which in Chinese medicine correspond to production of heat, cold, dampness or phlegm, for example, your acupuncturist will place needles into the specific meridians in your body to reduce or expand capacity in that system. These meridians were established experientially over 2000 years in China (the system of healing is much, much older than Western medicine!).
Meridians are theoretical lines between related organs such as muscle, blood vessels, viscera or bones that each correspond to major functions and organs of the body (such as the liver, lung or gall bladder — or excretion, oxygenation and digestion for Western medics).
So how does traditional acupuncture work in the body?
Our bodies have a massive communication networks between the internal and external world. When a cold breeze hits our skin, the hairs raise, blood stays deeper in the body to retain our core temperature, our brain tells us to get warm (by walking faster, putting a coat on or having a hot drink) and if none of that works, we start to generate warmth by shivering – rapid contraction and relaxation of the muscles.
If you put a needle or series painless needles (which are painless) into the skin and muscles of your arm, the body registers the change, and responds by opening small arterioles (microscopic blood vessels) near to the surface, opening the messaging system between nerves that supply the skin and related muscle and the organs (such as the heart or lungs) and relaxing the related muscles. Your nervous system also reduces the production of stress hormones release such as adrenaline and cortisol.
Instantly, slower acting systems like your immune system are free to do their work and your cardiovascular system and respiratory rate can slow down and your muscles relax. All the lymphatic, hormonal and psychoneuroimmunological channels are opened and your recovery process has started.
Last week Pietro was struggling to recover from cold and fever which meant he’d had to cancel four days of work, and was still feeling poorly.
Silene gave him an acupuncture treatment which he greatly enjoyed. She used reiki to enhance her traditional acupuncture treatment and the following morning he looked at me and said “I feel much, much better”.
Although osteopaths and physiotherapists are clinically trained following the principles of western medicine, this personal experience gave Pietro the opportunity to appreciate the thoroughness of a “non-traditional” medical approach and fully benefit from its positive outcomes. Totally worth it if you feel low or your immune system needs a boost!!