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How Does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture is based on the concept that the body is a bio-energetic system, reflecting the balance between health and disease. The energy or qi (chi) flows through energy channels or meridians. Meridians make up a physiological map on the body, which is not associated with specific muscles, blood vessels or with the nervous system. When the flow of qi is disturbed or diminished, disease is likely to occur. Stimulating appropriate points on the meridians causes blocked energy to be released and the system’s balance can be restored.
Does it hurt?
The first question people ask if they have never experienced acupuncture is, does it hurt?
The experience of having acupuncture is nothing like being injected with a hyperdermic needle. The needles we use in acupuncture are very thin and flexible, about as thin as a hair. They are inserted gently and shallow. We are not piercing the vein with acupuncture. What a person feels varies. Acupuncture needles are inserted into the skin and muscle layer. Often people describe the sensation is like a mosquito bite. Some people feel tingling or warmth or heaviness around the site of the needle, Usually, people are surprised at how comfortable and relaxed they are and often people fall asleep with the needles in. This feeling of relaxation usually lasts for hours, and days after an acupuncture treatment. The most common response I hear from people when I insert an acupuncture needle is, “that’s it?”
What are the main objectives of acupuncture treatments?
1 – to relieve pain and other acute symptoms
2 – to Strengthen the immune system
3 – Balance, harmonize and integrate functions of the organ systems of the body.
How long do treatments take?
An individual acupuncture session lasts about 60 minutes. The practitioner will update information about signs and symptoms since the last treatment and examine the patient with traditional Chinese Diagnostic tools. This is followed by a 30 minute acupuncture treatment Sometimes the needles are retained for a longer period of time.
What are the Chinese Diagnostic tools?
The Chinese diagnose by observing the patient’s pallor and overall energy. The tongue is diagnosed for various information and Chinese Pulse diagnosis is an involved system for evaluating many aspects of a patient’s health,
How many treatments and how often?
The number of treatments varies because the severity, duration and nature of each patient’s complain and response to treatment are unique. In general, a series of treatments are suggested to achieve maximum benefits. The number of treatments depends on the condition being treated and on whether the symptoms are chronic or acute. Acute conditions, such as pain from a recent injury, respond well to frequent visits over a short period of time. Chronic conditions are often treated once a week, for a longer period of time. TO help reduce the number of treatments, the acupuncturist may suggest dietary modifications, exercises, relaxation techniques or herbs to increase the efficacy of acupuncture.
Herbs and/or Essential oils are often prescribed as an adjunct to acupuncture treatment or alone. They can prolong and deepen the effect of the treatment, creating longer lasting results.
What kind of herbs?
Chinese herbs. Chinese herbs are typically given in combination prescriptions and made up, individually, for each patient’s needs.
Do all acupuncturists treat in the same way?
No There are many styles of acupuncture. The objective is always to help the patient to achieve equilibrium within the body so the body can heal itself.