The Best Chinese Medicine: Cupping or Acupuncture

In the Western World, healthcare costs have begun to skyrocket and lists of prescription side effects have only grown larger. In response to our often disappointing medical services many have begun to turn to alternative medicine, thus the practice of traditional Chinese medicine has skyrocketed over past years. Things like Cupping and Acupuncture has grown in popularity due to the natural and holistic approach that these techniques provide when addressing multifaceted health concerns.

While these techniques are very different from our “traditional” western treatments, they just the same have had huge impacts on millions of lives for over 3000 years. The only problem is that with the rise in popularity of Chinese medicine, it has become hard to distinguish what technique would be the best for you. Two of the most popular alternative practices today are Cupping and Acupuncture, but in order to choose the best one it’s important to understand Chinese Medicine and the differences between the two techniques.

Chinese Medicine

According to traditional Chinese Medicine, the body is made up of a series of Meridians, or passageways, that transport Qi throughout the body. The concept of Qi is similar to a “circulating life force.” This concept has shown up under different names all over the world from Native American to Greek Ideology, and having an imbalance or lack of Qi is considered to be the root of all illness.

Much of Chinese medicine, therefore, works to correct the balance of one’s Qi in an effort to restore the person to their body’s natural state of homeostasis and health. Ancient Chinese techniques have been shown to aid numerous illnesses such as excessive stress and pain and has even been shown to help increase fertility. With Chinese Medicines myriad of benefits, the only thing left to consider is which technique will work best for you.

Cupping

While both Cupping and Acupuncture serve to relieve illness by promoting body balance and blood flow, the methods differ in significant ways. Cupping is most commonly used by people dealing with pain and is usually performed using suctioned glass jars on the skin. This raises the skin for the purpose of increasing blood flow, but the process often causes circular bruising from expanding blood vessels as the cups rise.

One variation called “wet cupping” calls for a sterile scalpel to be used on the skin so that some blood is drawn into the suction cups. The treatment usually leaves behind red marks and isn’t suggested for those who bleed easily, are pregnant, or those needing treatments on bony areas.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a noninvasive medical technique that is used to diagnose and treat a whole range of issues, making it one of the most holistic treatments available. Acupuncture is done through placing extremely fine, sterile needles on specific meridian passageways that help correct the imbalanced energy flow within the patient.

On specific points of the body where energy is stagnated, an acupuncturist will place those fine needles allowing blood flow to be increased. The extreme slimness of the needles results in most patients not even feeling them, but rather they experience feelings of relaxation and calm. Unlike cupping, the treatment does not result in bruising or bleeding.

Overall, both of these treatments will contribute to your health and well being through returning your body to complete balance. In general, Acupuncture is usually the preferred choice due to the complete lack of side effects and more broad range of benefits. Acupuncture can have huge immediate and long term impacts on your health and happiness.

It is an investment that will help you feel your best and most balanced. While the effects of Acupuncture are unmistakable, finding the right acupuncturist is important. At Best Acupuncture, we have a team of licensed professionals that have undergone extensive and comprehensive training at nationally certified schools. Visit our site to learn more about What We Treat and start your journey of health today!

Acupuncture & Back Pain

Treating Back Pain with Acupuncture

There it is again, that dull achy feeling you get in your lower back each time you make a twisting, bending, or really any motion associated with your day to day activities. Do you need to take another painkiller to deal with the discomfort, or do you want to remain clear headed and choose to stick it out through the rest of the day? For nearly 8 out of every 10 Americans, this real life example of chronic low back pain probably hit a little closer to home than you would have liked.

Chronic low back pain is the result of a combination of factors, the largest contributors being a sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, and a poor posture while seated. The amount of time Americans spend sitting behind a desk or enjoying the television on the couch is staggering. It’s not usually until you take a really good look at your daily activities that you see how little many of us actually move regularly. Combine this with a near constant seated position and you’re well on your way to developing some fairly serious muscle imbalances. Muscle imbalances occur when opposing muscle groups (Such as your hamstrings, and your quadriceps) stay in a non-neutral position for extended periods of time.

The body’s natural state is viewed as being standing completely upright, with your arms by your side and palms facing forwards. While maintaining a seated position, we can see that the back of your thighs, your hamstrings, are stretched out father than usual, while the front of your thighs, your quadriceps, are in a flexed or compressed state. Over time, this stretching and compression of the leg muscles actually begins to alter their composition, making them more likely to view this seated position as the neutral state. While it’s worth pointing out that correctly prescribed regular exercise is enough to keep these muscle imbalances at bay, most American’s do not engage in regular exercise, or engage in exercise that is counter-productive to their fitness goals. It’s this combination of the lack of exercise and a lifestyle that forces us into being sedentary for long periods of the day that results in such high incidences of chronic low back pain.

So just how exactly can we counter this chronic back pain epidemic? Lifestyle changes such as being cognitive of your posture and regular exercise have proven to be effective in the long run, but many of us do not have ability to make these required changes. Luckily, there is a short term relief for your chronic low back pain that can be administered much more quickly than exercise. Acupuncture works to release endorphins, the body’s natural pain killer, to relieve your low back pain by inserting small, sterile needles into your body’s many energy pathways. These endorphins, once released, can induce a positive feeling, naturally without the use of drugs, alcohol or medication.

Want to learn more about how Acupuncture can help to relieve your chronic low back pain? Contact our team of qualified Acupuncturists and schedule a consultation to see if Acupuncture is right for you!