Originating in China, acupuncture is an ancient alternative medicine philosophy that has been perfected over hundreds of years of practice and is one of the more widely accepted treatments in integrative medicine. It uses a variety of techniques involving insertion and manipulation of very thin needles on the body's surface, acupressure, cupping, warming techniques like moxibustion and infrared, and the diagnosis of tongue, pulse, skin, and eyes. Acupuncture connects with all levels of your health, no matter where the pain or condition you are experiencing occurs. It is a safe and effective treatment option that can be used alone or in conjunction with other therapies for a wide range of diagnoses.
Acupuncture treatments have traditionally been associated with the Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy that the human body is composed of two opposing energies – the yin and the yang. When the body is healthy, these two forces or energies are in balance. The energy known as qi, flows like a river in energy pathways through the human body, and these energy channels are called meridians. Each meridian is connected to a specified organ or groups of organs that govern specific functions within the body and emotions. The constant flow of energy through the meridians keeps the balance of the yin and the yang. If the flow of energy is blocked, the disruption of flow may result in illnesses or disturbances. In acupuncture, it is believed that using thread-like needles and inserting them in certain key points in the human body will relieve blockages in the flow of energy. Such relief enables the body to heal and restore its balance.
In the West, acupuncture treatment initially aroused curiosity and became popular because of its amazing effects for pain relief. From the allopathic medical perspective, Acupuncture is explained through physics and physiology. From this point of view, Acupuncture works by stimulating the human central nervous system to release body chemicals which are known as neurotransmitters and hormones. Stimulating specific points will generate a change in the flow of energy. This then induces the release of certain chemicals and the related chemical reactions relieve pain and inflammation and stimulate the release of endorphins and serotonin (mood enhancing neurotransmissions), which helps relieve stress, anxiety and pain.
Hundreds of clinical studies on the benefits of acupuncture show that it successfully treats conditions ranging from musculoskeletal problems (back pain, neck pain, and others) to nausea, migraine, anxiety, depression, insomnia and infertility.
The initial consultation includes an in-depth health history review, taking the pulse on both arms and inspection of the tongue. Based on the results of this assessment, acupuncture treatment is highly individualized and treatment focus will vary depending on your treatment goals. Subsequent treatments will follow a treatment plan determined by your needs and therapeutic goals.
A frequently asked question by a number of clients is whether or not acupuncture needles hurt?
Naturally, people associate needle pain with their past experience with hypodermic needles. You can fit close to 10 acupuncture needles inside the top of one hypodermic needle. Acupuncture needles are tiny, thin, and flexible, about the size of a cat's whisker. Once the needles are inserted, some patients may experience a mild tingling or a sensation of fullness, along with an increased sense of relaxation. These are all quite normal and suggest that the treatment is working.
Hundreds of clinical studies on the benefits of acupuncture show that it successfully treats conditions ranging from musculoskeletal problems (back pain, neck pain, and others) to nausea, migraine headache, anxiety, depression, insomnia and infertility.
Case-controlled clinical studies have shown that acupuncture has been an effective treatment for the following diseases, symptoms or conditions:
The vast majority of contraindications for acupuncture are relative rather than absolute contraindications, and professional judgement is necessary for areas such as