Opinion

SPOTLIGHT ON NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE: Acupuncture treatment for physical and emotional pain

By Dr. Andrea Hornyak, Spotlight on Naturopathic Medicine

(QMI AGENCY FILE PHOTO)

(QMI AGENCY FILE PHOTO)

Acupuncture is thought to have originated in China over 5,000 years ago and is one of the most ancient systems of healing in the world. This practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) involves the insertion of fine needles into the skin at specific point locations.

The foundation of acupuncture points is based on 12 meridians. Each meridian is linked to a different organ system, which connects over 400 acupuncture points throughout the surface of the body. These channels have even been scientifically verified via MRI imaging.

TCM pathways conduct energy, or “Qi” (pronounced Chee), between certain locations and paired internal organs. For example, when you are in pain, under stress, or eat a poor diet, the flow of Qi is disrupted which results in symptoms and ultimately disease. Therefore, acupuncture works by stimulating Qi which helps the body heal itself.

Kidney Yin Deficiency is the most common diagnosis for people suffering back pain or knee pain. This translates into excess heat or Yang, which often presents with additional symptoms that may include dry mouth, sweating, constipation, ringing in the ears, or dizziness.

Acupuncture restores the balance of Qi to the mind and body. It also decreases pain and inflammation by increasing the circulation of blood, releasing endorphins and increasing serotonin.

Numerous studies over several decades have found that acupuncture is effective at treating various types of pain, stimulating the immune system, hormonal regulation, mood disorders and nausea.

Over the past 13 years, I have successfully treated my patients with acupuncture for many different conditions including pain (back pain, knee pain, hip pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, menstrual cramps), hot flashes, night sweats, constipation, cancer treatment side effects (nausea, poor appetite, fatigue), migraine headaches, obesity, anxiety, depression, insomnia, PCOS and infertility.

Acupuncture is also a helpful treatment for people going through addiction withdrawal symptoms from pain medications, marijuana, cocaine, alcohol or nicotine. Common symptoms alleviated include insomnia, muscle aches, sweating, diarrhea, cravings, nausea and anxiety.

Dr. Hornyak has been in private practice as a Licensed Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine since 2006. For more information, phone the Norwich Medical Centre at 519-863-2338 or visit www.vitalforcenaturopathic.ca