By: Jaime Bramble
Acupuncture is hardly "new" news. The ancient Chinese practice has been around for more than 2,000 years. And yet so many of us still know so little about it.
Gurneet Singh, a registered acupuncturist and owner of Lotus Healing in Old City's Triune and Ardmore's Shanti Medical Spa and Wellness Center, discussed the finer, well, "points" of this often misunderstood practice. The second I entered her bright, plant-filled, Eastern-inspired treatment room at Triune I had a sense of ease.
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine based upon the concept of balance; when the body is out of balance, it's susceptible to illness, fatigue and general distress. Balance is affected by qi (pronounced "chee"), the energy that's continuously running through our bodies along a series of specific points that line up and form meridians. When the meridians are blocked, the qi cannot flow smoothly, balance is disrupted, and the body does not function optimally.
Acupuncture is the stimulation of these points via very thin, sterile needles, thus unblocking the meridians. If images of human voodoo dolls come to mind, relax. These are thinner than even your tiniest sewing needle, and extremely flexible. Singh only inserts them 1/8", and clients seldom feel pain. In fact, some even fall asleep. Then, the mind can check out while the body begins healing.
This happens in all sorts of wonderful ways. Free-flowing qi means you may not need that extra cup of coffee in the morning. Your inexplicable breakouts may clear up. And the cramps, mood swings, and Ghirardelli cravings you've been having every month may finally subside. In fact, acupuncture is used to help ills ranging from infertility to menopause, allergies, addiction, musculoskeletal pain, gastrointestinal problems, anxiety, depression and so on.
But say you're not exactly sure what is bugging you, just that something's not quite right? Singh addresses this with the very first visit, a slightly longer session wherein she takes a detailed inventory of each new client to map their unique body and lifestyle in order to create a customized holistic treatment plan. The pulse is taken, the tongue examined, and questions are asked regarding their mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual states. From this initial meeting, she gathers enough data to determine which points are most pivotal to their healing process.
She also offers additional therapies, both traditional and modern, that may increase the effectiveness of the acupuncture. All promote the restoration of balance, the movement of qi, and the elimination of toxins that can build up without our even realizing it. The result is pure health, the kind that makes you glow from the inside. After all, a 2,000-year-old history can't be wrong.