What is Acupuncture and how does it work?
The simplest answer would be, from a modern western medicine standpoint, is that tiny needles, smaller than a sewing needle even, inserted into the skin promote blood circulation to targeted areas. This process then activates your bodys immune and nervous system to help reduce inflammation and release endorphines to alleviate pain. Acupuncture has a history that spans over 2,000 years. Acupuncture corrects imbalances in the body caused by stress, toxins, and injury, once restored to proper balance, the body can begin to heal itself.
Does acupuncture hurt?
The short answer is NO. The needles used are very fine and can be inserted with very little to no feeling at all. Many times the acupuncture points over the course of the treatment these points begin to calm down and then they are no longer felt.
What if I am afraid of needles?
he most common concern about acupuncture is the fear of needles. However, the needles used are very thin compared to traditional needles used for injections of medicine. you’ll feel a little pressure as the needle pierces the skin. Once the needle is in the muscle, there should be no pain!
What illnesses are treated using acupuncture?
Both acute and chronic illnesses can be treated with acupuncture. because everyone responds differently, the number of treatment sessions can vary.
How many visits does it take to achieve a goal with acupuncture?
The number of acupuncture treatments you need depends on the complexity of your illness, whether it is a chronic or recent condition, and your general health. For example, you may need only one treatment for a recent wrist sprain, whereas for a long-standing, chronic illness you may need treatments once or twice a week for several months to get desired results.
What is Qi?
Qi (pronounced- CH-ee) is one of the most foundational concepts of TCM and one of the most difficult to translate. It is most well known as the vital energy of the body that circulates within the specific meridians or channels, but it is also much more than that. It has duality such as all things do, it is matter with out form as well as the function and activity. It is the most basic substance that comprises the world and the movement and changes of Qi determine the state of the world and health with ones body. There are various types of Qi, when speaking in terms of health within TCM, and various functions such as transforming, transporting, holding, raising protecting and warming.
Tell me more about the acupuncture needles…
Acupuncture needles are sterile, single use needles that vary from a diameter of 0.16 mm to 0.46 mm and vary in length between 13 to 130 millimeters. The filiform needles are super fine, flexible and strong and are made of high grade stainless steel- sometimes adorned with copper or gold handles. Many times they are inserted into the skin with a plastic guide tube. The needles are often manipulated to achieve a specific stimulation in accordance with the treatment plan.
What does an Acupuncturist do?
In addition to asking questions about your health, the acupuncturist may want to take your pulse at several locations along the wrist, and look at your tongue to observe its shape, color, and coating. He or she may also observe the color and texture of your skin, your complexion, and other physical characteristics that offer clues to your health. The acupuncturist then asks you to lie down on a padded examining table, and he or she inserts the needles, twirling or gently stimulating each as it goes in. You may not feel the needles at all, or you may feel a quick twinge that subsides as soon as the needle is completely in. Once the needles are all in place, you rest for 15 to 60 minutes. During this time, you’ll probably feel relaxed and sleepy and may even doze off. At the end of the session, the acupuncturist quickly and painlessly removes the needles. The acupuncturist might also discuss diet, exercise, and lifestyle recommendations, as well as herbal supplements.
Does acupuncture really work?
YES! There is increasing scientific evidence proving the efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of medical ailments, including chemotherapy-induced nausea, autoimmune disorders, chronic back pain, hypertension, and allergic rhinitis. The World Health Organization recognizes almost one hundred diseases, symptoms, or conditions for which acupuncture is effective. Much of the research on acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine is being conducted by universities, research institutions, and the National Institutes of Health.
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|Beth Kathan, L.Ac, MSTOM
Board Certified Acupuncturist