WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
The intent of acupuncture is to promote health and alleviate pain and suffering. The method by which this is accomplished, though it may seem strange and mysterious to many, has been time vested over thousands of years and continues to be validated today.
The perspective from which an acupuncturist views health and sickness hinges on concepts of “vital energy,” “energetic balance” and “energetic imbalance.” Just as the Western medical doctor monitors the blood flowing through blood vessels and the messages traveling via the nervous system, the acupuncturist assesses the flow and distribution of this “vital energy” within its pathways, known as “meridians and channels”.
The acupuncture provider is able to influence health and sickness by stimulating certain areas along these “meridians”. Traditionally these areas or “acupoints” were stimulated by fine, slender needles.
Today, many traditional forms of stimulation are incorporated, including herbs, electricity, magnets and lasers. Still, the aim remains the same – adjust the “vital energy” so the proper amount reaches the proper place at the proper time. This helps your body heal itself.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
For millennia, the acupuncture provider has been engaging subtle human energies, otherwise known as “Qi”. According to time-tested principles unique to Oriental Medicine, the acupuncturist would assess and adjust the flow and distribution of “Qi” in order to promote health and healing.
So far, modern research has described various physiological shifts following acupuncture, such as beneficial changes in the body’s own natural painkillers, anti-inflammatory agents, immune system functions and hormonal activity.
Despite the powerful technology available today, event the physicists cannot explain exactly how this ancient healing therapy works. Perhaps in the near future, the actual chemic al and electromagnetic events that occur during acupuncture will be described.
WHY USE ACUPUNCTURE?
In addition to being effective for many acute and chronic common illnesses, acupuncture has much more to offer to those who wish to raise the quality of health & vitality.
Practitioners operate with prevention in mind, attempting to correct small energetic imbalances before they become big health problems. Current health trends emphasizing exercise, proper nutrition, stress reduction and immune system strengthening all validate the life-styles and methods that have always been promoted by advocates of acupuncture.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?
When performed properly, acupuncture is safe and effective, free from adverse or addictive side effects. Quite often, a sense of relaxation and well-being occurs during and after treatment.
While undergoing therapy for one ailment, other problems may resolve concurrently. This is a common side benefit that again demonstrates the value of balancing the quality and quantity of “vital energy” within the entire person.
DO THE NEEDLES HURT?
Most people who have had acupuncture would describe it as virtually painless or far less painful then plucking out a hair. The sensation that follow range from nothing at all, to mild tingling, to slight numbness / achiness, to electrical pulsations in areas distant from the site of insertion.
All these sensations usually subside once the needles are removed. The needles used for acupuncture are much smaller than the hypodermic needle, they do not draw blood and solid, not hollow.
WHAT IS TREATMENT LIKE?
Most patients would say “relaxing.” Usually patients leave in less discomfort and are more functional than when they walked in. Sometimes the effects are too subtle to perceive, especially in the beginning of treatment. Yet after 5 to 10 treatments the improvements become more and more apparent.