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The Benefits of Acupuncture by Neil R. Borodkin

With acupuncture’s ever-increasing popularity as an effective addition to our self-care, people seek treatment for a wide variety of health needs. Pain relief is at the top of the list for many, as well as alleviating digestive issues, sleep disorders and anxiety to name just a few. In fact all aspects of the individual can be treated depending upon the skill and experience of the practitioner.

Restoring Balance

Regardless of what chief complaints patients arrive with, one thing that many patients have in common—is that they are experiencing the variety of effects of long-term chronic stress response. This creates a great demand on the system and over time can lead to depletion of our resources. Factor in poor diets high in caffeine and sugar, for instance, and the effects can be compounded. Stress places our nervous systems in emergency mode (the sympathetic nervous system). If our system is in emergency mode too much, we cannot rest and digest and regenerate properly (the parasympathetic nervous system). Sometimes we become stuck in one mode more than another and require assistance in restoring balance.

Our response to the daily stresses, pressures and even traumas in life frequently end up as contraction. This is habitual and instinctive and part of the coping and defensive mechanism. It is the repetitive response that becomes our standard over time. Author/physician Janet Travell even suggested that “life itself is repetitive strain injury”.

Contraction can be obstructive and restrictive of our energy (qi). When qi is compromised, so may the movement of blood and the function of internal organs. The popular adage applies: where there is free flow there is no pain… where there is blockage there is discomfort. Our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, hopes and aspiration are all happening in the same place—in our body. It all has structure, location and metabolic process. It is important for patients to recognize that there is a correlation between thought, feelings and emotion with what is taking place on a more physical level. That is the unity of the individual.

The Meridian Systems

The meridian systems of acupuncture and the principles of Asian medicine are a language and roadmap to describe the relationship of the aspects and parts of the individual—top-bottom, left-right, front-back, inner-exterior and what is happening in process. In Taoist thought, an aspect of Asian medicine and philosophy, it is said that blood—our resources—follows energy, energy follows the mind (intention), and mind follows the spirit. The role of the practitioner is to provide an invitation to the spirit of the patient to inhabit one’s self more fully by helping to move the roadblocks.

Neil R. Borodkin is a New York state licensed acupuncturist and manual therapist. His practice is located at 50 6th Avenue in Nyack. For more information, contact him at 353-0289 or 914-282-1970.

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