Acupuncture, founded in China over 5,000 years ago, is a medical system that, when used by a well-trained and licensed acupuncturist, encourages the body to promote natural healing, improved vitality, and restore balance. This is accomplished by inserting super fine needles into precise acupuncture points in the body and/or applying heat or electrical stimulation at these specific points.
Acupuncture is a complete health care system, which is used to diagnose and treat disease. However acupuncture is not only capable of treating illness, it was traditionally used to prevent illness and improve well-being. Since it is a holistic system that addresses the person as a whole, it can be effective for physical, psychological and emotional symptoms. The symptoms are the body’s way of drawing attention to an imbalance, as such, it is important that they are heard and not masked. Acupuncture is currently used throughout the world due to its effectiveness and low cost.
One of the most common questions I am asked is whether or not acupuncture is painful. Insertion of the hair-like acupuncture needles is practically painless. Often patients are unaware of the needle insertion since it is so subtle. If the technique dictates ‘de qi’, known as waking the qi, one will often feel a tingling, spreading, or pulling sensation, but not pain.
Another common question is how long will it take to get results? Some people will be able to see an improvement with their first treatment. For others more treatments may be necessary before they experience noticeable improvement. Every person reacts differently to acupuncture and longer standing symptoms may require more time before the body is able to find balance again. A series of treatments in China is considered to be ten. In other words changes in diagnosis and treatment are not usually made until after ten treatments, however most patients see marked improvement before the series is complete.
Acupuncture points lie along pathways called meridians. These meridians are somewhat analogous with an electrical system. By stimulating specific acupuncture points we are sending a message, reminding the body of a way of being. This is a state of being that it has experienced and has left, usually due to an outside influence. Sometimes it is a physical injury, or illness. Sometimes it is a change in diet and/or life style. Often in today’s fast paced world people seek support in dealing with generalize ‘stress’. Acupuncture treatment helps to clear the effects of these outside influences, allowing the energy to flow again and the body to right itself. Each of us has within an amazing capacity to self-heal; acupuncture serves as a gentle reminder to the body. Often one experiences a sensation of deep relaxation during and after treatment. Your sleep may be more restful and you may be less reactive to outside situations. Just as each person is different, so will be their experience during and after treatment.
It is important to be well hydrated before a treatment and not to come on an empty stomach as this may lead to light headedness.