In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), where there is stagnation or blockage of Qi, there is disease. Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine, painless needles into these points to mobilize the flow of Qi through these meridians in therapeutic ways. The effects of having Qi flow—aka receiving acupuncture— will leave you feeling more vitality, clarity, creativity, happiness and health.
Acupuncture is great for relieving stress and promoting relaxation because it balances our two nervous systems, parasympathetic and sympathetic, to promote a feeling of well being. The stress of living in the digital age with a predominance of ‘hustle culture’ keeps us in our “fight or flight” response known as our sympathetic nervous system. Acupuncture can shift us into our “rest and digest” parasympathetic nervous system. This shift changes our neurochemistry, and the result is more happy hormones like serotonin and dopamine, and less stress hormones like cortisol. You’ll leave your next acupuncture feeling not only happy, but also relaxed, because acupuncture increases inhibitory amino acids such as GABA. Acupuncture downshifts the body into parasympathetic and the brain into theta or delta, creating a state of being we call the ‘Acu Nap’.
Acupuncture needles work via the connective tissue to send messages to the brain that alter brain chemistry. It can lower cortisol levels and increase serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine levels to improve mental health. It can also increase your body’s natural pain killers such as endorphins and enkephalins to reduce chronic and acute pain. It’s also a natural anti-inflammatory and stimulates circulation to help loosen muscles and reduce chronic inflammation. Acupuncture boosts immunity, aids digestion, supports women’s health, improves sleep, lowers stress and anxiety, balances hormones.
The Treatment: TCM is a complete medical system and since acupuncture works on the nervous system, it can address a wide range of health concerns such as: pain, hormone imbalances, anxiety, depression, gut health, allergies, asthma, auto-immune disorders, gynecological disorders, infertility, migraines, irritable bowel, acid reflux, digestion issues, skin rashes, acne.
A TCM treatment is more than just acupuncture— it uses techniques such as moxibustion, cupping, gua sha, herbs, tui-na (medical massage-acupressure) qi gong, (therapeutic breathing exercise), nutrition and lifestyle counseling to address the root cause of disharmony and get the qi flowing!
By Dr. Alexa Woods
Alexa Woods is a licensed Acupuncturist and board-certified herbalist. She holds her Doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Pacific College and a BA in Developmental Psychology from New York University. She is also a Certified Doula and Reiki Master. The focus of her treatments is to help connect you with your highest health and radiance. Alexa is especially passionate about working with women’s health! She has worked with women to address their unique gynecological and reproductive issues. She loves endocrinology, focusing on returning to cyclical living to help women navigate their hormonal phases and changes throughout their lives.