The body is constantly working to fight against many kinds of toxins. Toxins can come as a bi-product of the natural functions of the body, from stress, or from external factors like food, inhalation of fumes, or skin contact. Along with many other alternative health disciplines, the sciences of acupuncture and acupressure deal with the body’s systems of toxin elimination.
The body has an intricate web of pathways for the circulatory, lymphatic, and nervous systems. These pathways can be found in any human anatomy book and are learned by every aspiring Medical Doctor (MD). But over 3,000 years ago, these and similar pathways were being mapped by Chinese medical practitioners and called meridians.
Every organ is connected to a pathway, or meridian. Every meridian has dozens of points called acupoints or pressure points. Each point is mapped exactly the same on every body--just as a toe is on a foot, or eyeball is on a face of every human body.
Each and every point corresponds to an organ in a specific way and also corresponds to the brain in a certain way--similar to a nerve. When a point is stimulated, it sends messages to that corresponding organ and also to the brain.
Blood and lymphatic fluids are constantly carrying toxins to the appropriate organs for elimination via these pathways. But, like an overfilled truck of construction debris, toxins on their way through the body’s systems sometimes fly off and cause a traffic jam. Then, the area accumulates more waste, the backup grows, and a domino effect occurs.
Essentially, acupuncture and acupressure are techniques used to find these toxin traffic jams and start clearing out the debris. As the toxins are broken down, they are reabsorbed into the blood stream or lymphatic system and get back on their way towards elimination from the body.
Think of the debris on a highway. If it just stays there, the traffic jam never ends. Then the subsequent toxins coming down that path will have nowhere to go and they will get backed up--negatively effecting the organ connected to that path, and thus negatively effecting the health of the body. But, if someone cleans up the debris, then the path is open again for movement, which assists in proper organ function.
Many physical ailments can be treated very effectively with acupuncture/acupressure: it’s all about cleaning out the traffic jam. And there are no side effects like there are with taking medications.
Using acupuncture as a first line of offense benefits many people who recognize that along with the healing compounds that pharmaceuticals bring into a body, they also add more toxins that the body must work very hard to eliminate. Acupuncture treatment for a condition can often (though not always) prevent a person from having to take a pharmaceutical medication, or help them to wean off of one.
But there is more. Every time we stress about a situation, our body creates hormones like cortisol. The body is incredibly systematic. So the kind of thing you are stressing about, worried about, or simply thinking deeply about, will determine where these toxins are distributed within your body.
In other words, every one of the hundreds of acupoints in your body is specifically related to certain kinds of thoughts or experiences, as well as to specific organs. If you are stressed out about a relationship, or excited about a new job, or worried about a performance, or going through a romantic break up, or running away from a mugger, excess toxins related to that particular emotion, thought, or event will get dumped off in a particular spot as they wait to be eliminated from the body. If there is too much toxin, the spot becomes clogged.
Not coincidentally, when a practitioner works on various points, you may actually start thinking about a certain topic "out of the blue." Sometimes (I dare say, quite often), you may actually experience an "a-ha" moment where an answer comes to mind about an issue you’ve been dealing with--you gain insight about an issue from your past, you may feel a step closer to overcoming an obstacle or a step closer to forgiveness, or a good deal less angry about something.
I have worked with the body as a personal trainer and massage therapist, and I have worked with the mind as a professional counselor. After personally experiencing such a-ha moments with both acupressurist Stephen Markman of Germantown and acupuncturist David Schiman of Roxborough, I am convinced that what I have studied academically (and attempted to explain here) is true.
There are times in life that we are stuck, no matter how much we think about or talk about an issue. But it is my conclusion that even if our brains know the answers, we may have so many toxins stored in our bodies related to the topic that we can not move forward effectively until those toxins are cleansed.
So if you have a physical issue like high blood pressure, acid reflux, allergies, or a bad case of restless leg syndrome, acupuncture /acupressure can totally help the physical issue. But these modalities of treatment can also be extremely helpful if you have a psychological issue like depression, or you are stressed about a situation, or you're deliberating about a difficult decision.
Aside from the excellence of the practitioners at Roxborough Acupuncture, I love that they offer “Community Acupuncture”. This model enables them to charge less for treatments than typical acupuncture. And, because they want to make this healing practice available to everyone, they offer a sliding pay scale based on income of only $20-$35 per treatment.