What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is part of the traditional health practice of China. It is based on the general theory that there are patterns of energy flow (Qi) through the body. Disruptions in the flow are believed to cause disease. Acupuncture is felt to correct imbalances of flow by stimulating certain anatomical points on the body. Practitioners use very thin solid needles inserted into these specific points to correct the imbalance of Qi. There have been promising results from studies looking at acupuncture for treating certain conditions, including chronic pain, nausea and vomiting, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, headaches and much more.
How does acupuncture work?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is believed that there is a vital energy ‘Qi’ (pronounced ‘Chee’) flows in channels (meridians) throughout the body and over its surfaces. These channels are rivers of energy, which are referred to as meridians.
Qi flows smoothly through the meridians to nourish the organs and tissues. If an obstruction occurs in one of the meridians, the Qi is disrupted and cannot flow properly. When the Qi cannot flow smoothly or is forced to flow in the opposite direction, the body’s innate balance is disrupted and illness results.
Acupuncture points are the specific points on the meridians where the Qi is both concentrated and accessible. Acupuncture engages the Qi by inserting needles at these specific points, the goal being to restore the proper flow of Qi. As the body regains its natural balance, well-being returns.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is quite safe. In this country, sterile single-use disposable needles must be used to prevent infection. The treatment site should be swabbed with alcohol or another disinfectant before needles are inserted.
You must be aware that when you are undergoing this therapy, bleeding rarely occurs. However, in the treatment of certain diseases, bleeding is done on purpose and it is no way hazardous to health. The reason is only minimal amount of blood is bled. If your acupuncturist is skillful and knows what he is doing, then there is nothing to fear. If administered properly, from a professional, it can be free of any side effects.
Does Acupuncture hurt?
No. Acupuncture is the gentle insertion of very fine needles at specific points on the body. The extreme thinness of the needles ensures that little or no discomfort will be experienced during the treatment. Acupuncture needles are 25-50 times thinner than a hypodermic needle. They are so thin that several acupuncture needles can go into the middle of a hypodermic needle. There is little sensitivity to the insertion of acupuncture needles.
What happens during the treatment?
Depending on the areas to be treated, you may be positioned on your back, your stomach, your side, or sitting. Be certain that you can remain relaxed in this position, as you may not wish to move for the duration of the treatment, usually 45 minutes.
How do I know if acupuncture will help my condition?
An initial evaluation is conducted to obtain a history and initial examination. During this “consultation period” we will discuss your diagnosis and the options for treatment.
How long does a treatment last?
An initial visit lasts for about 60 minutes. Each treatment after that lasts for about 45 minutes.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments necessary depends on the condition being treated. Recent injuries and conditions seen at an early stage will often improve immediately. Those conditions that have been present for longer periods may require more treatment, and serious derangements of structure or metabolism will require extensive therapy. Acupuncture treatments produce a cumulative effect with time, so you will be able to increase the duration of time between visits as the results build.
How often should I be treated?
This depends on what you are being treated for. It is common for treatments to be scheduled one or two times a week in the beginning to obtain optimal response and then we will recommend a schedule of treatments that will provide the best results.
How long will it take for the treatments to work?
A positive response to acupuncture treatments is generally seen after the first to fourth treatment. If you are being treated for a menstrual problem or infertility, give the treatments three menstrual cycles for your body to respond.