The calendar says spring, even if the thermometer doesn’t, and that means it’s the season for cleaning and renewal! Some people find balance in the new season by refreshing their home: cleaning, decluttering, and letting in fresh air. Others get their vehicle details, removing the grime of winter. Acupuncture is a tool we can use to apply these same principles, detoxification and renewal, to our minds and bodies!
Spring cleaning isn't Just For your home
On a basic level, in a generally healthy person, the liver, kidneys, and digestive system work as filters, so we can excrete anything our bodies don’t need. However, if those systems aren’t at peak health, they can’t perform effectively. One way acupuncture provides a detoxifying effect is by supporting kidney, liver, and gut health.
For people who aren’t in good health, either physically or mentally, acupuncture can go beyond the abilities of those organs. This is especially important for those who may not have a healthy diet, are exposed to environmental toxins, take various medications, have a substance use problem, or have unhealthy habits such as lack of activity.
Eating an organic diet may not always be possible: antibiotics, hormones, and chemicals can all creep into fresh food, never mind the preservatives used in pre-packaged food! These chemicals can build up in the body, leading to issues such as fatigue, chronic pain, problems with concentration and focus, sleep disturbances, or more. In the same way, many of us are unconsciously interacting with a wide array of toxins in our daily lives, from the gasoline fumes at the pump to the chemicals used to clean our workplaces.
Toxins Might Be More Common Than You Think
Generally, we don’t think of prescribed medications as toxic. However, they are composed of chemicals our body isn’t innately designed to process. They may require more effort on the part of the kidneys or liver to filter out, in which case we need to support our organ health. Alcohol is a toxin at any level of consumption, as are many other non-prescribed drugs that can cause painful withdrawals.
Lack of activity isn’t what most people think of when they try to list toxins, but a sedentary lifestyle, or one with too much stress, can be just as physically harmful as the other toxins we’ve discussed. Though acupuncture cannot replace regular physical activity, it can reduce the impact of lack of movement. Plus, it can be very helpful in coping with mental stress and creating a sense of motivation.
Acupuncture can address each of these issues, as well as less concrete concerns. In traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is based on energy flow throughout the body. Blockages in the energy flow can occur from a variety of sources. Just as a backed-up hose will eventually burst, blocked energy can also have unhealthy effects. This is the second major definition of detoxification that acupuncture can address.
Detoxifying The Body With Acupuncture
As a process, acupuncture stimulates the body’s vast nervous system through the pinpointed application of fine needles by a trained acupuncturist. The body has the ability to heal itself, to increase energy and blood flow to organs, muscles, or body parts that require additional support. However, humans don’t have the ability to make these decisions consciously. Instead, we need to rely on outside tools, like acupuncture, to stimulate the body to focus on these specific areas.
Improving The Circulation of Energy
Acupuncture can either unblock the body’s own energy flow, removing the cause of the unhealthy situation or give the body the cues it needs in order to send increased energy to areas in need. Returning to our hose analogy, if the hose is blocked, it can’t wash anything away that isn’t supposed to be there. Likewise, acupuncture directs our metaphorical hose of energy to areas that need extra cleaning. In some cases, acupuncture also works as a diuretic, increasing activity in the kidneys and urine output. Provided you drink plenty of water, this process won’t dehydrate and will instead speed up the detoxification process.
Coping With Inflammation
Another aspect of detoxification is coping with inflammation. Generally, inflammation is the body’s natural response to nearly any injury or issue. In some cases, it is effective, such as in the cases of short-term injuries or incidents. However, long-term health concerns do not usually resolve through inflammation, and in fact inflammation in the body that persists carries its own concerns. Chronic inflammation can cause issues such as organ damage, scarring, and tissue death. Acupuncture is effective at reducing inflammation both in specific areas of the body and overall, depending on the treatment employed.
Feel Renewed With Acupuncture
Winter is a time for rest and comfort, but spring is the time to get moving again! This means moving our bodies, letting energy flow freely, and getting rid of anything that doesn’t serve us anymore, whether it’s a ripped pair of pants or toxins in our bodies. With the health and comfort we gain, we’re ready to tackle any challenge, enjoy the longer days, and explore the bigger, warmer, brighter world once more!
Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!