Trends are showing an increase in the field of acupuncture, the number of doctors beginning practices or implementing forms of treatment into their practice.The the number of individuals seeking acupuncture as an alternative approach to relieving headaches, nausea or stress is also increasing.
This 2,000 year old form of traditional Chinese medicine is based on the belief that there is a life energy flowing through the body which is referred to as Qi (chee). This energy flows through channels (meridians) that are connected to all of the major organs. According to Chinese medical theory, illness is caused when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians become interrupted or unbalanced.
Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points located near or on the surface of the the skin which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to achieve the desired effect. Symptoms are relieved by tapping into this energy and restoring the equilibrium or 'balance' of energy flow.
“Acupuncture is about the overall wellness, prevention is a strong component,” said Tina Cooperrider, a licensed acupuncturist who practices in Mansfield. “Acupuncture is coming into its own here in America, people are becoming more aware of the benefits,” added Cooperrider.
Cooperrider moved to Mansfield from Loudonville where she built a practice of Massage Therapy and was introduced to the benefits of acupuncture about seven years ago when she personally suffered from a bulged disc.
After being unable to achieve relief from other types of treatment, she tried acupuncture and immediately felt relief, which leading her to pursue her study and ultimately expand her practice. Her six week internship at a Bejing hospital gave her a firsthand perspective of the Chinese acupuncture which traditionally couples needles and herbs.
“We hit it from a different angle,” said Cooperrider of the Western approach to acupuncture. The Western approach focuses on the preventive. She continued, “The benefits of acupuncture are stronger when Western and Eastern come together.”
According to Cooperrider, acupuncturists use their knowledge and understanding of Qi (life energy flow) and its various points of entry and exit (359 basic points) that are grouped in the twelve regular meridian to understand the profile of a persons health. To understand these meridians, one has to recognize the five elements and emotions that are thought to be connected to vital organs.
Cooperrider said,”I hope to help people to think of needles in a new way.”
Though Cooperrider is also a licensed massage therapist, she has recently shifted her practice to focus on acupuncture. Cooperrider added that various ailments or conditions may benefit from acupuncture treatment. She commented that pain management makes up over half of her treatments.
“We usually affect the issue immediately,” she said. Cooperrider also added,” People love the first treatment,” She noted that relaxation and stress reduction is a part of every session. “It's about balance,” Cooperrider added. A key element of diagnosing ones health issues Cooperrider added is 'tongue and pulse'. Cooperrider stated the visual inspection of the tongue together with a monitoring of the pulse deepens the diagnosis and that talking plays a vital role, especially when meeting with a client for the first time.
“The first time is intense, I try to help them to create a space to relax, to get stress down and to educate them as much as possible,” added Cooperrider. She also shared her belief that she in turn shares with her clients the importance diet, exercise and food plays in affecting Qi.
“Generally it takes six to ten treatments to effect change,” noted Cooperrider. She recommends two treatments the first week and once a week there after, re-evaluating after a period of time to assess the progress and what is in the best interest of the client.