Interested in acupuncture but still doubtful about it’s healing powers and squeamish about undergoing the process? To help demystify this ancient holistic practice, and ease anxiety over the needles’ prick, Charlotte asked Premier Provider and expert contributor to the Book, Tracy Piper, for insight into why you should consider acupuncture.
Piper explained, “Acupuncture restores and maintains people’s health, through the application of fine sterile needles placed at specific points of the body to stimulate qi. Our body is made up of yin and yang aspects. As opposite as they are, they are inseparable forces that maintain the body in balanced states, or HEALTH.” To achieve that balance, acupuncture needles are placed at acupoints along 12 primary meridians that are believed to be pathways for the flow of blood and the Qi. According to Chinese Medicine, the 12 primary meridians run vertically, bi-laterally, and symmetrically on the whole of the body, with each meridian corresponding to an organ system.
The Founder of the Piper Center for Internal Wellness, Tracy Piper said of her own initial uncertainty about the efficacy of acupuncture, “Coming from the conventional world of medicine it was hard for me to mentally understand that these little needles with the fine prick can actually change things. But, I personally have treated various types of conditions with acupuncture. And, my eyes have been opened.”
Since the 1970’s the World Health Organization (WHO) has created a list of more than four dozen common ailments that acupuncture can effectively treat—including skin disorders, circulatory and neuromusculoskeletal conditions, emotional and psychological disorders, and hormonal imbalances. And, in 1997, the National Institutes of Health added chronic discomforts like headaches, osteoarthritis, and various kinds of muscle pain to the continuously growing list.
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Though acupuncture has been used for centuries in Asia as part of anti-aging regimes, the beauty industry outside of Asia has only begun to explore the potential of cosmetic acupuncture. During treatments, needles are placed into problem areas on the face and neck, such as wrinkles or acne scarring, to promote nutrient-rich blood flow, stimulate muscle activity and toning, and encourage collagen growth. Alone and in combination with other treatments, cosmetic acupuncture increases skin’s overall vitality and lends a more relaxed, healthy appearance to the face. Like other acupuncture treatments, when performed by a trained practitioner, cosmetic acupuncture is entirely safe for most people. And, as an added benefit, acupuncture doesn’t cause the side effects and discomfort associated with many procedures. In fact, treatments tend to be rather relaxing.
Because the results are progressive, acupuncture is rarely a one time treatment. When it comes to addressing medical conditions, your acupuncturist may suggest treatments ranging from every day for a week, to once a week for an extended amount of time. And, in the case of cosmetic acupuncture, the recommended course of treatment is 12 to 15 treatments over 2 and a half months, followed by maintenance treatments every 4 to 6 weeks.