Rhode Island Monthly 2013 Guide to Health and Wellness : Page 8

On the MEND | | Rec 04 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6 perform their activities before getting out of breath, which is often danger-ous,” Bouffard says. Complementary therapies Acupuncture is often used for pain management in sports injuries, back or neck pain; for chronic pain such as in fibromyalgia, migraine and Lyme disease; and for relieving anxiety, insomnia and stress. It involves the stimulation of locations on or in the skin through a variety of techniques, the most familiar being thin, solid, metallic needles which are inserted and manipulated manually or by electrical stimulation. Acupressure applies the same principles on the same locations, with no needles. I don’t routinely recommend adjunct therapies such as acu-puncture, pet therapy, etc., but if a patient comes to me and says, ‘I meditate and it works for me,’ I say don’t stop now. “There are many different theories of how acupuncture works, but the way I like to explain it is that we are stimulating the flow of chi — which consists of blood, lymph, energy, everything in the body — toward the needle insertion point,” says Sara Ryan, D.Ac., from Acupuncture RI. “By working at many points through-out the body we create a circuit, so energy starts to move through the body from point to point and undo any blockages.” Patients sometimes report odd sensations — a dull ache or tingling — at certain points, even where there’s not a needle. Ryan says that’s often the body breaking through old scar tissue or what can be called chi stagnation. “In arthritis, for example, the needle tells the body something is going on and sends the body’s healing mechanisms to that area. So acupuncture takes what the body does on its own over time and magnifies it exponentially,” Ryan explains. | | Continued on page 10 8 Rhode Island Monthly | Guide to Health and Wellness 2013

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