Author: Walda Laurenceau, L.Ac. Licensed Acupuncturist
When most people think about acupuncture they may cringe at the thought of needles. Needles are undeniably the number one reason why acupuncture may cause us to avoid making that appointment even when aware of the benefits. Thankfully, the beautiful Walda Laurenceau, a board certified and licensed Acupuncturist, sheds some light on why we should face our fears and take the plunge. On a side note, Walda also happens to be a part-time model “flowing as me”, self-described as 40+ with silver hair, demonstrating how to balance her differing worlds and flowing through life with ease, peace and grace.
Acupuncture utilizes thin gauged stainless-steel needles that will ultimately be used as a tool to tap into energetic pathways within the body known as meridians. Within each of these meridian pathways, the qi, more commonly known as the circulating life force and energy of the body, should flow freely with no obstruction. This would be considered the ideal state of homeostasis of the body. The goal is to ultimately be at a place of balance and wellbeing at all layers of your being: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. From an Acupuncturist’s perspective, maintaining stability of these four pillars is the key to optimal health.
The Acupuncturist’s role is to help keep that steady flow of movement between all of these different aspects of a person, the whole person, by using specific acupuncture points within each meridian system. Acupuncture is essentially about movement; moving qi, or energy, in the right direction to effect the necessary change. Think of a clear and flowing stream and imagine the sound of crisp, clean water passing through. The movement of water is that of pure life in motion and when you listen long enough to its flow, it becomes soothing, almost melodic. When we are in a state of homeostasis, similar to the movement and flow of the stream, our physical bodies, minds, emotions and inner spirit appreciate it, and as a result, we are energetic, have positive outlooks, balanced emotions and have the will to move forward in our lives.
So, let’s go back to this stream. When something like sludge or a bigger obstruction gets in the way of the balanced flow of pure clean water, the constitution begins to change. The water becomes murky and eventually the movement of water gets so backed up that there is no longer free flow. Movement is ultimately stagnated. When this energetic standstill happens within the human body it begins to present as an outward manifestation of dis-ease within the body that can show up as physical pain, stress, sleeping disorders, digestive disturbance, fertility issues and much more. Logically, when anything gets in the way, our first instinct is to move it out of the way, hence, this is when the beauty and power of acupuncture as well as other modalities within the East Asian and old-world medicine therapies from many different cultures comes in to create positive change within.
There are as many as 2,000 acupuncture points on the body and each have specific functions, and when paired together they create a synergistic flow to address specific areas of concern. Acupuncture needles act as keys to unlock and unblock obstruction that stagnates the flow of qi within the meridian pathways of the body’s delicate energetic system. The needles when inserted into acupuncture points summon up the De Qi (the vital energy within meridians) to essentially create movement to unblock stagnation, to clear excess, or even to tonify deficiency. The sensations that arise with the summoning of De Qi can be tingling, heaviness, dull or sharp pain and or numbness. From anecdotal experience, I’ve seen patients begin releasing emotions by crying on the table during an acupuncture session. It really depends on each person. No patient is the same and no treatment is ever the same.
The results of acupuncture are cumulative and work best over time with regularity. As your energy patterns change, the treatments will as well. The ultimate goal is to get patients to a place of homeostasis, so they can return for maintenance and renewal as needed. It’s important to understand that acupuncture doesn’t work overnight. It takes some effort on the patient’s side to be committed to their healing journey and overall health.
The key to having a positive experience with an acupuncturist to resonate with is simple; trust your instincts and know that the energy between you and a practitioner can set the tone for real life change that can remove fear and anxiety about acupuncture into noticeable and improved health. The best way to understand this is to have a go.
To learn more about Walda: www.waldalaurenceau.com