What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is part of traditional chinese medicine (tcm). The idea behind acupuncture is that there are channels along which the “life force” or qi moves around your body. Acupuncture points are places where you can access this qi. There is some debate as to what, exactly, acupuncture does beyond this point- most theories revolve around the idea of balancing out an unbalanced life force and allowing it to flow freely throughout the body.
In order to stimulate these points, acupuncturists insert very fine needles into them. They leave them in for anywhere from a few seconds up to half an hour, depending on how much stimulation is necessary and whether they’re trying to influence a specific organ function.
How does it relate to gender dysphoria?
One study suggests acupuncture may be able to influence hormone levels. This study looked at the effects of electro-acupuncture on plasma acth and cortisol in patients with addison’s disease (a hormonal disorder). They found significant increases in both hormones, though they were unable to determine the exact mechanism by which this happened.
Another study looked at the impact of acupressure on uterine contractions during labor and delivery. These researchers also concluded that further research is needed as to whether or not acupressure can induce uterine contractions.
None of these studies look as specifically at what happens when you stimulate an acupuncture point related to a particular or system, but i can imagine that it wouldn’t be such a stretch to assume that stimulating an acupuncture point related to the endocrine system might influence hormone levels.
This is especially plausible in light of the fact that i have found anecdotal evidence of dysphoric people experiencing alleviation or even outright remission of dysphoria due to regular treatment with acupuncture. Since this isn’t a very widely researched topic, my suggestion would be for someone who is interested in pursuing this option to research acupressure points and experiment on themselves (with the help of an experienced acupuncturist if necessary).
How do i learn more?
If you are considering pursuing acupuncture as part of your gender exploration journey, i highly recommend reading through these two resources: acupuncture for transgender care the case for acupuncture.
Both of these have great information about the history of acupuncture and its use in trans health. They also have extensive lists of links to articles, studies, and online resources to explore on your own if you’re interested.
If you are a medical professional who is considering recommending or prescribing acupuncture as part of your patient’s transition, i recommend consulting with your patient’s primary healthcare provider before beginning treatment. Some of the studies referenced in these resources suggest that certain acupuncture points are best used only after gender-affirming surgeries rather than before; it is up to you and your patient to decide whether or not this applies to them.
Finally, if you are trying out acupuncture on yourself, keep in mind that there is no guarantee that it will work for everyone who tries it. It is always important to be cautious when experimenting on one’s self and especially so when experimentation could increase dysphoria.
If an acupuncturist tells you they can help alleviate/eliminate dysphoria through regular use of acupuncture, please remember that they have a vested interest in telling you that; it is not guaranteed to be true.
Acupuncture is derived from traditional chinese medicine and involves the use of fine needles to stimulate specific points along ‘meridians’ or energy pathways.
Refuge acupuncture are a group of highly experienced acupuncturists that are dedicated to providing outstanding acupuncture treatments in an environment of care, creativity and comfort. It refers to their location in acupuncture denver highlands as well as their philosophy on treating patients. They are located in the highlands area near downtown denver.
They have had extensive training in all areas of asian medicine including acupuncture, herbal therapy, homeopathy and mind-body therapies such as tui na (chinese massage) and qigong (breathing and movement exercises).
It is the oldest acupuncture clinic in acupuncture denver highlands. They have been providing acupuncture treatments since 1976 and are considered “the pioneers” of alternative medicine. Their location in the downtown area near downtown makes us easily accessible by public transportation or convenient parking. You can also call 303-433-3322 for more information about their acupuncture practice.
Why choose acupuncturists at acupuncture denver highlands?
Because they are committed to providing outstanding service and results to their patients. Many of their patients come to us because their doctors, chiropractors, dentists or physical therapists have recommended that they try acupuncture to help them feel better before resorting to prescription medications or surgery. Other patients come to them because they are already taking medications or have had surgery and are looking for an improved quality of life.