Acupuncture is based on the idea that illness is caused by imbalances. By correcting the imbalances, then the body can work to heal itself. Acupuncture corrects imbalances by stimulating specific points on specific channels. When stimulated, these points help the qi to flow smoothly. Acupuncture points are located on the channels, each having a precise healing action.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Imbalances are related to the body’s energy, called qi (pronounced chee). Qi travels though channels in the body like water flowing through a winding river. These channels connect the body’s surface to the internal organs and muscles, this is why acupuncture can treat internal diseases as well as physical ones.
Acupuncture corrects imbalances by stimulating specific points on the acupuncture channels. Each acupuncture point has a precise healing action.
Acupuncture research is beginning to show how the treatment works with the body’s own healing mechanisms. Using a type of brain scanner called an fMRI, scientists have shown that acupuncture works with the nervous system to reset the brain when it is stuck in an unhealthy pattern of pain and illness (1). This is a way of reteaching the body to be healthy. Healing also occurs at the place where the needle is inserted. The surrounding tissue actually grabs hold of the needle and expands (2). Some scientists believe this begins the replication and repair of the cells around the needle.
What is acupuncture treatment like?
After the acupuncture needles are inserted, they will remain in the points for about 30 minutes. This is the period of time for qi to make one circulation through the channels in the body. After the needle is in, there’s a feeling of warmth and tingling. People usually find that acupuncture treatments are very relaxing and often loose track of time.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Yes. Acupuncture ist very safe when done by a Licensed Acupuncturist. We use only solid, single use, disposable needles so there is little risk of contamination. Acupuncture has a very low risk of side effects.
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
Acupuncture needles are much thinner than a doctor’s hypodermic needle, more like a pin than a needle really. Upon insertion there may be a slight prick. After the needle is in, there’s a feeling of warmth and tingling. People usually find that
acupuncture treatments are very relaxing and often fall asleep.
More than Just Acupuncture
Acupuncture treatment may involve many treatments and manual therapies. Acupuncture is often combined with moxibustion, the burning of ai ye (mugwort), a traditional Chinese herb, close to specific acupuncture points. The goal is to warm the acupuncture point and the muscles. We also use heat lamps to relax muscles. Electro-acupuncture is often used for chronic pain and arthritis. Other therapies may include cupping, gua sha, and tui na.
Is Acupuncture right for me?
Acupuncture is effective for a wide range of conditions. If you are not sure if acupuncture is right for you please call us for a free telephone consultation. We can discuss your condition and what treatment is the best course.
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1 Napadow, V. Kettner N., Liu J. Et. al. Hypothalamus and Amygdala Response to Acupuncture Stimuli in Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. Pain. 2007; (130): 254-266.
2 Langevin HM, Churchill DL, Wu J. Et. al. Evidence of Connective Tissue Involvement in Acupuncture. FASEB Journal. April 10, 2002. Published Online.