Point Well Taken: Acupuncture To Treat And Balance During HIV Medications
by John D. Convey, L.Ac. (Facebook, Twitter): November 1, 2010
As an acupuncturist and physician, I remain committed to bringing each of you and my community important information about the benefits of acupuncture. I’d also like to share the insight I have gained when it comes to maintaining a healthy life.
For over a decade, I have used acupuncture and my practice to help battle the side effects of powerful HIV medications and treat and maintain the balance of the body’s Qi, (pronounced Chi or Key).
My goal and hope is to provide you with answers that better explain how the practice of acupuncture will support your physical health at a time when the body is challenged by the side effects of highly toxic HIV medications.
In this monthly update I’ll share my much-loved craft of acupuncture with you and others who are new to the practice. It is my hope and desire to continue to gain insight while simultaneously sharing pertinent information that will bringing all of us closer to achieving healthy living.
Can acupuncture help with the side effects a patient suffers through while using HIV medications such as digestive problems and the pain caused by peripheral neuropathy?
Absolutely. The human body is the most miraculous machine you’ll ever own. Acupuncture is a catalyst for the body’s own ability to heal itself. Each needle stimulates the body’s many cellular communication systems. Once your system is inspired the door to alternative treatment opens and healing begins.
So in a sense acupuncture helps the body communicate with itself?
That’s right. At the core of acupuncture is the profound understanding of how the human body communicates with itself. It is the force that moves blood, nutrients, gases and waste throughout our body. When there is an imbalance in the body caused by outside circumstances acupuncture can “reset” the system and heal any disturbances. Strategic needle insertion makes it possible to stimulate blood flow through the infected or injured area of the body – this starts and stimulates the healing process.
The art of acupuncture is the management or manipulation of Qi?
Yes. In traditional Chinese medicine the balance of negative and positive forms in the body and is believed to be essential for good health. In cases of neuropathy and stomach illnesses acupuncture increases the flow of blood to the extremities and the gastrointestinal tract. By directing blood flow to these specific areas, the cells receive the essential nutrients needed to maintain optimal health.
What happens when HIV medications are introduced to the system?
HIV medications often produce unwanted side effects that are harsh and exhausting. The body’s Qi languishes when the medication is introduced on a regular basis and the lack of blood flow through the middle section and abdomen creates an unhealthy stagnation. When circulation is congested the extremities are deprived and the stomach doesn’t properly digest food. Over time the side effects suffered become worse making life extremely uncomfortable.
How does this happen?
The Chinese viewed the abdomen like a bowl of soup – it should not be too hot or too cold. Unfortunately the properties of the medication have a cooling effect on the stomach. This cold forces the Qi and blood to stay in the digestive tract in an attempt to warm up the soup. Nausea and bloating followed by loose stools and low energy are the first side effects to show up when circulation becomes stagnate.
This can also cause irritation, numbness, cramping, pain and a cold sensation in the extremities generating neuropathy. We know that severe discomfort is the body’s cry for help.
What is your response when the body is in crisis?
Treatment. Acupuncture moves the blood and Qi throughout the body’s system instead of allowing it to fester in the region of the stomach and abdomen. The acupuncturist’s needles create a network of communication signaling it to heal. The brain responds immediately to treatment and sends additional blood and nutrients to the extremities, which allow tissue to return to normal cellular function.
So, in closing, the doctor’s patients enjoy a sense of well-being and freedom from pain and suffering often associated with the side effects of HIV medications when acupuncture is utilized?
Yes, this is true. By keeping an open mind and developing an understanding of how acupuncture works and remaining in-tune with the self healing properties of the body’s system this practice will go a long way in restoring and maintaining optimal health.