Martin Chiropractic Clinic 


    The Eastern explanation of acupuncture emphasizes the balance between body, mind and spirit.  This is accomplished through the balance of Yin (cold, dark) and Yang (hot, bright).  Yin and Yang are the basic elements that make up all things.  They are interdependent on each other and one can not exist without the other.  All disease is based upon the balance between Yin and Yang.  Another critical aspect of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the flow of Qi.  Qi is the energy that all things contain.  For example, Da Qi is the energy of the air and Ying Qi is the nutritive energy obtained from food.  Yin and Yang also have there own Qi.  Yin Qi flows down and inward whereas Yang Qi flow upward and outward. 
    TCM is further broken down into an organ pairing system that consists of 6 organ pairs.  Each organ pair has a Yin organ (Zang) and a Yang organ (Fu) and has a meridian (channel), which the Qi flows along.  For example, the spleen is the Yin organ and the stomach is the Yang organ.  According to TCM, the stomach Qi pushes the food down through your body while the spleen Qi opposes.  This balance allows your body time to properly metabolize and absorb the nutrients.  If the stomach function is impaired the spleen Qi is unopposed flowing upward resulting in nausea and vomiting.  On the other hand, if the spleen function is impaired the downward force of the stomach Qi will be unopposed resulting in poor digestion and diarrhea.  
    In acupuncture, disease results from stress, physical and emotional strain, poor nutrition and external and internal pathogens (bacteria, viruses).  Maintaining the health of your body is dependent on many different things such as the proper functioning of each organ pair, the proper flow of Qi and blood throughout your body, balance between Yin and Yang and many other aspects.  All of these aspects are dependent on your Zheng Qi (Correct Qi).  Your Zheng Qi opposes the Xiao Qi (Evil Qi/pathogenic Qi).  As long as your Zheng Qi is strong, optimal health is maintained.  However, if your Zheng Qi is weak then disease occurs.  For example, if you are extremely stressed at work, the stress starts to break down your Zheng Qi.  It slowly chips away making your body more susceptible to developing a disease (Xiao Qi).
    Acupuncture utilizes points to stimulate the immune system (Zheng Qi) and enhance the flow of Qi to maintain optimum health.   Depending on the location, the point can produce various effects on the body.  Disease can slow or block the flow of Qi and/or blood and/or impair the function of an organ resulting in an imbalance in your body.  Stimulating various acupuncture points corrects the imbalance created by the disease.  Acupuncture points can be used to alleviate an obstruction and ensure the smooth flow of Qi and blood throughout the body.  The smooth flow of Qi and blood throughout the body will strengthen and reinforce the Zheng Qi.  Reenforcement of the Zheng Qi strengthens your immune system and make you more resilient and less susceptible to disease.  These points can also be used to boost the flow of Qi and blood to support and restore the health of an organ. 
The better your organ system is functioning the healthier you are overall.  Certain points are also used to increase the blood flow to the brain to improve memory and alertness.  While other points are used to soothe the soul and reduce stress. 

Without Electrical Stimulation

With Electrical Stimulation

Western View of Acupuncture

 The Western explanation of acupuncture is based upon stimulation of nerves. Nerves run throughout every aspect of your entire body from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.  Movement, touch, sound, vision, smell, taste, vibration and pressure are several types of stimulation that are interpreted by your brain.  Each area of your body has afferent nerves that send information from your body part to your brain and efferent nerves that send information from your brain to the body part.  The signal sent from your brain to the part of the body tells you how to react to a stimulus.  For example, if you touch a hot stove, the nerve fibers that interpret temperature send a signal to your brain saying "wow this is hot" and your brain sends back a signal to your hand saying "don't touch that".  
    Each part of your body has a certain number of nerve cells that are connected to your brain by nerve fibers.  Your hands have more nerve cells per square inch than other parts of your body and are thus more sensitive to movements.  Your foot has less nerve fibers per square inch resulting in less sensory perception.  This is why you can do skilled, precision movements with your hands and not your feet.  
    Another key aspect of nervous stimulation is the sensitivity of each nerve fiber.  Nerve fibers that are well trained will be less sensitive to a stimulus and take less time to react.  Thus a deconditioned nerve fiber will be more sensitive to a stimulus of equal magnitude and take longer to react.  Nerve fibers are like people.  For example, Brian Urlacher (Chicago Bears Linebacker) will react much faster with less effort and receive less of an impact if a running back from the opposite team runs into him.  On the other hand, Bill Murray (actor) will react slower with more effort and receive more of an impact if a professional running back makes contact with him.
    Acupuncture needle are inserted into the skin.  This results in a counter irritant effect (one of many hypothesis's).  The counter irritant effect is accomplished by the same mechanism as biofreeze or bengay.  Counter irritant effect is creating a mild irritation that isn't quite strong enough to cause pain, but is strong enough to evoke an immune response.  
    The needles are not large enough to create major tissue damage, but they are of sufficient size to stimulate the nerves.  Therefore, they stimulate sensory level nerve fibers without irritating the pain nerve fibers, so no pain is perceived.  The sensory stimulus increases the activity of the nerve fiber, which in a sense is like exercising the nerve fiber.  This ultimately results in strengthening of the nerves.  As the needle stimulates the nerves in the tissue, a signal is sent to the brain telling it that it is feeling a sensation.  The brain reacts to this stimulus by sending a signal that initiates an immune response.  The immune system sends white blood cells to the site of the immune response to remove the damaged cells.  It also causes the release of hormones from the tissue that results in the production of new cells to speed up the healing process as well as increasing the blood flow to the area, which provides nourishes the damaged tissue. 




Acupuncture Therapy-Facial Rejuvenation 

    Acupuncture is currently being used for facial rejuvenation.  Aging causes physiologic changes to the skin that alter your appearance.  Aging is caused by a variety of different factors.  Some of the factors that can affect aging are diet, exercise, genetics, and physical and emotional stress.  Poor diet and physical and emotional stress can accelerate the aging process.  Acupuncture is believed to be beneficial by increasing the flow of Qi and blood to the area being treated.  The increase in Qi and blood nourish the skin preventing it from becoming dry and cracking and maintaining the smooth, moist and elastic properties of healthy skin.  According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, balancing physical and emotional stress exerted on the body can help to slow aging.  This can be accomplished through acupuncture points.  Acupuncture points themselves are areas where Qi flows from the meridian to the surface of the skin.  Needling certain acupuncture points tonifys the Qi and the blood nourishes the area.  The acupuncture point also strengthens the meridian itself.  Strengthening the meridian boosts the amount of Qi and blood available along the entire length of the channel.  Thus Qi and blood are provided to the internal organs, skin, muscles, tendons, ect.  This helps to establish an overall healthy body effectively reducing stress that contributes to aging.

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