Exploring the Connectedness of the Body
At Sun Tree Healing Arts, we refer to our medicine as“body-centered medicine.” It means that we treat the body in order to affect the entire being. Acupuncture, cupping and massage are some treatments that offer this benefit. But how does it work?
It works through the interconnectedness of the body.
The reality is that every aspect of you is interrelated. So, through using a system of medicine that works specifically with the body (i.e. acupuncture), we can affect all levels of physiology- from cellular to muscular to hormonal to emotional and so on. Plus, treatments like acupuncture have one MAJOR benefit: it generally doesn’t have any unwanted side-effects.
Sounds too good to be true, I know.
Good Enough to be True
I was very unwell when I eventually tried acupuncture. I had no Western medical options left, but I didn’t stop searching for answers. That being said, I was HIGHLY skeptical of acupuncture.
I thought, “how can something so simple actually help me if everything else I’ve tried hasn’t?”
I had tried it all- medications, expensive imaging, thousands of dollars’ worth of supplements, and more. Even then, it took me nearly a year of being persuaded by a friend to finally try acupuncture.
After my first treatment, I got off of the table feeling different in a way I couldn't explain. I also started feeling better. Since then, acupuncture and Chinese medicine have improved my health in countless ways.
Let’s take a look at these two images below. In Chinese medicine, they are referred to as “sinew channels.” They are related to other terms you may have heard of: acupuncture channels, meridians, or pathways.
Neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain and sciatica are linked to these channels. You can see why, right?
Here's one really cool feature about working with these channels: since everything is connected, you don't have to treat the area of pain directly! In fact, some of the best places to treat back pain or sciatica aren’t located anywhere near the back. Acupuncture points in the lower legs and feet successfully treat many types of pain.
It’s Not Just About Physical Pain
One big misconception about treatments like acupuncture, cupping and massage is that they only treat physical or musculoskeletal pain. While they are effective treatments for pain, they can treat infinitely more conditions than you probably realize- anxiety, insomnia, allergies, IBS, PMS and sexual dysfunction, to name a few. There are many more pathways in the body than the ones in the images above, and they are linked to all facets of our physiology like: heart and lung function, gastrointestinal health, and brain chemistry. Much of the research around acupuncture explores these connections. Explore the web and you'll find countless studies!
Stay tuned for explanations that explore healing the emotions with body-centered medicine.
-Cailin O’Hara, MAcOM, LAc, Dipl OM
Dr. Cailin O'Hara, DACM, LAc, Dipl OM, is a nationally board certified Doctor of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, herbalist and coach. She is based in Phoenix, AZ.