Thursday, January 8, 2015

Why are you putting that needle there?

A very good question! The short answer for me boils down to a few main factors: what systems need help, what systems need to calm down, where are the blockages in the body and does the brain need some attention? 

The needles on the insides of the arms and legs tend to be associated with the organ systems that need some encouragement to do their jobs better (Liver, Kidneys, Spleen, Heart, Pericardium and Lungs). The needles on the outside of the arms and legs tend to be associated with the organ systems that hold stagnation and heat (Gallbladder, Urinary Bladder, Stomach, Large Intestine, Small Intestine, and San Jiao). These guys need to “snap out of it!” and relax. 

A lot of the pain theory of acupuncture is based on using microsystems. This is the idea that every part of the body mirrors and affects another part of the body. For instance, I can use points on your elbows (a hinge joint) to affect pain in your knee (another hinge joint). I can use points near the back of your skull to affect the pain in your heel. Sometimes we just put a needle in where it hurts, too! Sometimes, it's a combination of both. 

Finally, I assess for every patient if their brain needs attention. For us, fine tuning the nervous system is done predominantly by using points on the head and in the ear. A French neurologist, Dr. Paul Nogier, pioneered the work of mapping the correspondences of the brain to the ear. Studies have shown that measurements of microsweating in the ear correlate to increased activity in certain parts of the brain as measured on a functional MRI. We use needles in the ear to promote relaxation, encourage better sleep, and to decrease feelings of depression or anger. We can also use the ear to increase concentration and improve memory. Finally it can also be used to calm pain in the body. 
Left Hand Community Acupuncture is located in the heart of Old Town Lafayette 
at the corner of Simpson St. and Michigan Ave. LHCA offers an affordable sliding 
scale of $25-$55. We do not ask for proof of income. You decide what you feel is 
fair to you and fair to us. We treat patients in a relaxed, group setting that promotes 
an atmosphere of healing. Caroline Adams is a Licensed 
Acupuncturist and nationally board certified. Acupuncture can help with a wide range of health 
issues including pain, stress, insomnia, arthritis, allergies, depression, headaches, 
fatigue, cold and flu, digestive issues, PMS, infertility and many other health concerns.


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