H e a lt h a nd w e ll n e ss
As acupuncture grows in popularity, more Americans have questions. Does it work? Am I a good candidate for this type of therapy? What should I expect from a visit? And, of course, does it hurt? By Angela Huhman
Acupuncture is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine that dates back nearly 2,500 years. All natural and drug free, this therapy encourages the body to promote self-healing by stimulating points located near or on the surface of the skin. Oprah experienced acupuncture on live TV, and being from the Show-Me State, I wanted to experience acupuncture for myself. You don’t have to go far to find a licensed and board-certified practitioner in both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Gina Butler, whose energy is infectious, obviously practices what she preaches. How acupuncture works Acupuncture is based on the explanation that the body naturally has a constant flow of vital energy, called qi (pronounced chee), which travels throughout the body in vessel systems. According to the Chinese philosophy, the body contains two opposing forces: ying and yang. When they are in balance, the body is functioning as it should. When the energy flow is disrupted, much like a dam in a river, we experience pain and illness. To clear the blockage, hair-thin needles are inserted at a combination of points on the body and, when stimulated, can
Acupuncture in CoMo
sometimes result in immediate pain relief. Needles stimulate the central nervous system, releasing in your brain endorphins and serotonin, both natural chemicals that regulate pain and mood. What to expect on your first visit Acupuncture is truly a medical art, with various approaches, styles and techniques. During a visit you can expect a tremendous amount of time given to listening to the body and treating the root of the problem, including kindly asking you to stick out your tongue. The traditional Chinese medical system used more than 2,000 years ago wasn’t developed with modern technology. Acupuncturists rely on going through the body and addressing body temperature, your
Gina Butler received her Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree at the Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine. She is nationally board certified in both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and is licensed by the State of Missouri to practice acupuncture. After completing her training, she began her practice at the Acupuncture and Wellness Center P.S., which is currently one of the largest Chinese medical clinics in the United States. She has also practiced in Oregon and now Missouri, where she resides with her husband and son. Gina’s practice, located in Women’s Wellness at 1705 E. Broadway, is founded upon an integrative approach to medicine that recognizes the unique state of each individual’s specific condition. Learn more about acupuncture at Gina’s website, acupunctureofcolumbia.com.
mood, emotions, strengths and weaknesses within your system and feeling the pulse and looking at the tongue when evaluating your health. The body has more than 2,000 points that connect with 20 different pathways. Acupuncture points tend to be located in depressions and grooves between muscles and other tissue, which allows easy access to energy flow. An average of five to 20 FDAapproved stainless-steel needles are inserted into the body and left for approximately 30 to 45 minutes depending on the needs of the individual’s condition. Many patients report feeling very relaxed during this period. For some, relaxation sustains after treatment, while for others there is a feeling of rejuvenation.
“Food can be your best and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison. Be mindful of what you are putting in your body. Quality sleep, stress management and exercise are all essentials to health and wellness.” – Gina Butler
Conditions improved by acupuncture The World Health Organization has endorsed acupuncture treatment for more than 40 conditions, which include neurological, gastrointestinal, gynecological, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal pain and respiratory conditions. Gina also uses acupuncture for acute and chronic pain, fertility, relieving anxiety, insomnia, allergies and many other conditions. columbiahomemagazine.com | 93
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