Licensed acupuncturist and herbal wiz, Liz Mierendorf explains how and why acupuncture works in terms that actually make sense. She explains Eastern Medicine for the Western mind. This is a question I use to struggle with as there are about 100 different ways to answer it. If you really want to understand acupuncture on a deeper level, this video will clear up the mystery and shed some much needed light on what it is doing to the body. I am always amazed by her ability to answer hard questions for acupuncturists in such a clear and concise manner. Enjoy and leave a comment below if you found this helpful! If you are particularly curious, please keep reading below.
Western Medicine vs Eastern Medicine Perspectives
Acupuncture works in several different ways. The approach I will stand by today is an Alternative Medicine perspective and keep in mind, there are also great Western Medicine hypothesis’s on why acupuncture works so effectively. I feel as acupuncturist, my expertise and value is going to come through by taking an acupuncturists view and explanation, so stay with me for the Eastern perspective. Acupuncture works because we are looking at the whole person and the complete pattern of imbalance, not just the set of symptoms you are coming into us with. What I mean when I say that is that we don’t treat disease (although we do often see many diseases improve during our treatments) we treat you as a whole- body, mind and spirit.
We aren’t just doing “back pain” points or “fertility” points. What we are looking at is why your body decided to do this to begin with. We like to rewind the tape a little bit (or a lot as you will notice our initial intakes are much longer than a normal health assessments) to get a full picture of your bodies quiet rhythms, cues and patterns. For example, if you say you have issues with sleep, then we are going to want to know if you have problems falling asleep or staying asleep. If you do wake up in the night, we will want to know if you wake between 1-3am or 3-5am. We will also want to know if the dreams you have are vivd or weird or you don’t experience dreams at all. You see, all of the answers to questions like these point us into the direction of how the roads, side walks and highways are laid out in your body, further helping us see where those major highway traffic jams exist further helping us to get a larger picture you and your health.
Once we have a complete and throughout picture of your personalized road map, then we can start clearing the sidewalks, side streets, back roads along with the major traffic jam that probably caused you to call and acupuncturist in the first place! I think where we fall short as acupuncturists is not educating the public and other health providers why it is so important to look at the big picture. If someone comes in for shoulder pain, it often surprises people that we don’t just put needles into the shoulder (i.e. the major traffic jam;). What we do in conjunction with addressing the traffic jam is look at the body, mind and lifestyle that may have lead to the major traffic jam to begin with, while optimizing the side roads, fixing side walks and clearing the back roads so that the traffic jam doesn’t just get cleared, but rather it learns how to stay clear for longer and on a deeper level.
We are looking to create an environment for optimal healing and experiencing more from your life by teaching your body how to heal itself. Yes, it may be true that your major traffic jam is going to have a tendency to creep back, however, if we can keep you from digging a hole like the initial major traffic jam with monthly or quarterly acupuncture wellness treatments, that is what we are going for. Although many clients do have complete resolution of some of their deepest rooted complaints, we find that the people who do the best long term not only address the initial major traffic jam with the appropriate amount of treatments and care, they make wellness with acupuncture a lifestyle of coming in for regular maintenance to keep those side streets, highway and back road in the best possible working condition.