Acupuncture: Can it help me?
By Dr. Weronika Lewkowicz, ND
Did you know acupuncture in Chinese medicine is so ancient it pre-dates writing? So we
actually do not even know for sure what year it originated. One theory is that
acupuncture originated in the Stone age, where sharp stones and primitive tools were
used to relieve pain and disease. Whether that part is true or not, we can definitively say
there is written record of acupuncture in the Shang Dynasty in 1766 BC, so it is at least
older than that! Hence why acupuncture is believed to be an ancient medicine, still
utilized to this day.
What is acupuncture:
The modern medical community defines acupuncture as “the insertion of very, very thin
needles through the skin and underlying tissue at strategic points along the body.” The
points are organized by what’s referred to as the 12 Meridians - through which Qi and
the other fundamental substances flow – and each meridian corresponds to an “organ
system” such as liver channel, spleen channel, triple heater, etc. There are additional
“extra” channels as well, but I will not go into those here. Each channel varies in length,
from the shortest Heart meridian which has 9 points, to the longest Bladder meridian
which has 67 points!
I also mentioned the word Qi (also seen as Chi in some literature). Qi is a very difficult
word to define, as there isn’t a perfect translation of it in the English language. Qi is
often translated as “vital energy” or “life force”, but it also can be compared to “soul” or
“blood and life” and it’s not quite a liquid nor a solid, but it is considered to be matter and
moving through the body. See what I mean? No single word or phrase does it justice! Qi
exists on both the physical and spiritual or psychological level. Acupuncture has a goal
of maintaining balance of Qi, so the insertion of needles is often used to mobilize stuck
Qi, direct Qi in the right direction, or concentrate Qi in areas which need healing.
It’s all about Yin and Yang.
Yin and Yang balance is one of the main concepts in Traditional Chinese Medicine,
used for diagnosis and treatment. The symbol above is the classic representation of Yin
and Yang in balance, and while they are separate – black and white, feminine and
masculine, negative and positive, the moon and the sun – one cannot exist without the
other, and they have a little bit of each other in the center, featured by the small dots.
They are forever changing and flowing, but always in harmony, and so is the goal of
acupuncture and Qi in the body, keeping things moving correctly and balancing the
organs and meridians in relation to each other.
What can acupuncture treat?
While most individuals utilize acupuncture for pain relief, inflammation, and scar
reduction, it can actually be utilized to treat a variety of diseases and imbalances!
Acupuncture has protocols for digestion, constipation, nausea, hypertension, anxiety,
depression, insomnia, fertility, urinary problems, colds, headaches, migraines,
substance abuse, coughs, sinusitis, and more! There is even a whole branch in the
beauty and esthetics department which utilizes facial points to reduce wrinkles and
discoloration on the face! Most protocols recommend a visit once a week for 4-6 weeks,
with intense treatments having individuals coming in for twice a week for the first few
weeks! Some individuals like coming in once a month for “maintenance” following their
Are you ready to give it a try?
Dr. Bryan Barry “Principles and Practice of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Training for Health Care