December 2014

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The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences. – Eleanor Roosevelt

What is empowerment? What does it mean to you? The Oxford dictionary defines empowerment:  “Make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights”.

How can we become stronger and more confident in controlling our life and claiming our rights? Because that sounds really good! Based on what we see every day in our practice and what we have experienced ourselves, we would like to share the ways that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can strengthen confidence and well being. Also, how it can help to remove some of the things that weigh us down so we are able to move with lightness and vitality towards our goals and what makes us joyful.

Stress Relief

There are numerous research findings that show how acupuncture relieves stress. One study showed that acupuncture regulates steroid hormones to reduce biochemical reactions to stress. It upregulates hormones in some areas, while downregulating in other areas to maintain balance within the body when it is exposed to stress. Amazing!

Other studies show that acupuncture significantly reduces depression.

We are all expected to juggle so much in a 24/7 world. Helping your body to regulate stress is a gift you can give yourself.

We wrote a more in-depth post about treating anxiety with acupuncture that you can find here if you’d like to learn more.

Confidence

Feeling grounded, alert, or more confident are qualities many of our patients describe as unexpected perks during their treatment. There are many reasons why this could happen but it often occurs when working on the Gall Bladder meridian. In TCM, the organs have distinct roles and qualities. The Gall Bladder is known as The Official of Decision Making and Judgment. It makes the decisions of when to break down, assimilate, and clear nutrients and waste. It secretes the potent bile fluids required to digest and metabolize fats and oils; it provides muscular strength and vitality; and it assists the lymphatic system in clearing the toxic by-products of metabolism from the muscular system.

The emotional qualities it governs are daring, decisiveness, and judgement. It also is an organ that spurs action—helping with courage and initiative. The word for daring in Chinese is is da dan (‘big gall’). In English, we have a similar expression. When someone does something bold, we might say, “They have a lot of gall!”  In ancient Chinese medicine, the names of acupuncture points describe the gifts they can bring. Acupuncture point, “Gall Bladder 37 Bright and Clear Junction (Luo Connecting) Point” has the spiritual connotation of bringing lightness to dark, so that we can see clearly.  Sometimes people describe feeling like all the cobwebs were cleared from their mind.

Pain Relief

We see many patients with chronic pain. Sometimes patients express surprise at realizing just how much the chronic pain was draining their overall energy once they experience some relief. Don’t suffer! Acupuncture can help alleviate and manage your chronic pain condition or an episode of acute pain. Pain relief from acupuncture is so effective, it’s being utilized in important ways around the world:  on-site in children’s hospitals, like Boston Children’s Hospital, to ease the use of pharmaceuticals for injured American members of the military, and quite poignantly, it was used by Iraqi doctors during drug shortages, to successfully treat mothers during caesarean section births.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are non-invasive, symptom-free tools available for you to use to better your life. In the next post we will show how TCM can empower you by giving you better sleep, by assisting you in making lifestyle changes and overcoming addictions, and simply by taking time for self-care!

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