WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
For thousands of years Chinese Medicine has acknowledged that there is a vital life force (called “Qi”) that flows though all things. In the west it is often referred to as “energy”. Energy (Qi) flows along pathways (meridians) in the human body. These pathways are related to the organs and the tendon-muscular system. When the balance of this energy is disturbed due to trauma, poor diet, medications, stress, hereditary conditions, environmental factors, or excessive emotional issues, pain or illness results. Acupuncture focuses on correcting these energetic imbalances by breaking up obstructions and encouraging the flow of Qi, which stimulates the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
WHAT IS A TREATMENT LIKE?
The practitioner will diagnose your condition with a thorough examination, which will include medical history, pulse and tongue examination and meridians palpitation. A treatment plan is than made accordingly. Extremely fine, hair-thin, flexible, sterile, disposable needles are placed at specific points on the energetic pathways, known as meridians. When the needles are inserted, you may experience one or more sensations like tingling, heaviness, fullness, and warmth. People are surprised to find that treatments are actually quite relaxing. Many people fall asleep during the treatment.
WHAT CAN ACUPUNCTURE TREAT?
While acupuncture is often associated with pain control, in the hands of a well-trained practitioner, it has much broader applications. Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment used, or as the support or adjunct to other medical treatment forms in many medical and surgical disorders. In fact, the best part of Acupuncture is to prevent diseases, maintain the optimal health and promote longevity.
The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems.
please click Conditions for a list of sample conditions that can be successfully treated by Acupuncture.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS ARE NEEDED?
Since each individual is unique, the length and frequency of treatments may vary from person to person and will be determined by the acupuncturist depending on the individual condition. For complex or long-standing conditions, one or two treatments a week for several months may be recommended. For acute problems, usually fewer visits are required, and for health maintenance, several sessions a year may be all that is necessary.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS? IS IT SAFE?
Usually there are no side effects and it is safe.As energy is redirected in the body, internal chemicals and hormones are stimulated and healing begins to take place. Occasionally the original symptoms worsen for a few days, or other general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination pattern, or emotional state may be triggered. These should not cause concern, as they are simply indications that the acupuncture is starting to work.
It is quite common with the first one or two treatments to have a sensation of deep relaxation or even mild disorientation immediately following the treatment. These pass within a short time, and never require anything more than a bit of rest to overcome.
Acupuncture is a safe medical procedure and is well known for its efficacy and lack of side-effects when administered by a qualified practitioner.
WHAT ARE THE NEEDLES LIKE? DO THEY HURT?
People experience acupuncture needling differently. Most patients feel only minimal pain as the needles are inserted; some feel no pain at all. Once the needles are in place, there is no pain felt.
Acupuncture needle are very thin, solid and are made from stainless steel. The point is smooth; there is no hollow with cutting edges like a hypodermic needle. Insertion through the skin is not as painful as injections or blood sampling. The risk of bruising and skin irritation is less than when using a hollow needle. Since the needles are disposable and used only once, there is no risk of infection from the treatments.
DOES ACUPUNCTURE REALLY WORK?
Yes. In the past 2000 years, more people have been successfully treated with acupuncture than with all other health modalities combined. Today acupuncture is practiced widely in Asia, Russia and Europe. It is now being used more and more in America by patients and practitioners.
Acupuncture treatments can be given at the same time as other techniques are being used, such as conventional Western medicine, osteopathic or chiropractic prescriptions. It is important that your acupuncturist know everything that you are doing, so he or she can help you get the most benefit from all your treatments.