Can Acupuncture and Cannabis Work Together?
People tend to seek out acupuncture to relieve physical pain and emotional stress. It is a traditional practice from China that has been well-accepted and well-studied in modern medicine. Acupuncture is a medical system where the practitioner inserts tiny needles into the skin to stimulate body’s innate healing mechanisms. The practice is founded in part on the idea that the body’s ability to function physically and emotionally is run by the nervous system.
Ancient acupuncture practice would call this stimulation of the body’s energy, or qi. But today’s modern science understands that acupuncture needles are actually physically stimulating the nerves that run from our brains through every muscle and organ of our bodies.It can be a fantastic option for patients who don’t want to take pharmaceutical drugs or who want to reduce the amount of pharmaceutical prescriptions they should take to manage their pain or stress.
As acupuncturists are keen to suggest natural, non-pharmaceutical treatments to serious problems, cannabis is a fantastic and promising option to add into treatment. Whether you visit an acupuncturist because of a chronic pain issue or because of stress-induced issues, the numerous strains and formulations of cannabis that are available to you can be tailored to suit your needs.
More specifically, acupuncture stimulates the endocannabinoid system, a certain set of receptors and signalling proteins that was first discovered because it is the exact same system which senses cannabis in our bodies and brains.
These naturally-occurring receptors are present in the brain, spinal cord, muscle, and immune tissue nerves. This system plays a significant role in your body’s “relax, eat, sleep, forget and protect” functions, and are specifically associated with pain perception. When the endocannabinoid system is activated, it stimulates the body’s pain-reducing and anti-inflammatory reactions.
The ability of THC and CBD to tackle pain and stress in the same pathways as acupuncture make them a perfect pairing in therapy. By acting directly on the same endocannabinoid system, you can achieve pain relief and better relaxation at a systemic level leading to improved health overall.
When the endocannabinoid system is activated–whether through acupuncture or through cannabis– this triggers a cascade of therapeutic effects. These can include emotional benefits like anxiety reduction, relaxation, and bliss (an actual clinically-described feeling). They can also include physical benefits like pain relief and anti-inflammation. It all depends on the specific ways you stimulate the nervous system.
Many acupuncturists are already using topical cannabis ointments in combination with their acupuncture practice to treat muscle and joint pain. These formulations are rich in CBD, cannabis’s naturally-occurring painkiller cannabinoid. It has been used as a remedy against stress, pain, inflammation, free radicals, and muscle spasms. Since CBD doesn’t induce the feeling of “highness,” acupuncturists can combine its powerful therapeutic effects with their trained stimulation of nerves in, say, a torn muscle.
But you can take advantage of cannabis’s ability to relieve pain and stress by incorporating a cannabis strain that balances CBD with its psychoactive sister cannabinoid, THC, too. After all, even for people who go to acupuncturists first for pain relief, they find that they also experience huge emotional and mental benefits like better sleep and less stress. Similarly, you can absolutely find a cannabis strain that improves your physical and your mental wellbeing (since the two are tightly woven together through the nervous system, anyway).
Future Berries is a great example of a strain that you could incorporate into your acupuncture visits because of its dual effects on your mood and your body. The strain starts you off with a cerebral relaxation, then melts into a bodily peacefulness free from pain. Try using this between sessions, or as an add-on before treatment. Even better, find an acupuncturist who is well-versed in combining his or her practice with your own cannabis practice.
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Deeper Genius Acupuncture & Healing Arts is a modern acupuncture practice that provides empowering healthcare to deepen your connection to your creative, authentic self using the ancient technology of acupuncture. Proudly serving the Downtown Los Angeles community!