Getting the Qi

acupuncture on upper backDuring and acupuncture treatment there are many considerations: what acupuncture points to choose, how long should the acupuncture treatment last, and if to use electroacupuncture or not. Another goal is to “Get the Qi” at certain acupuncture points.

Getting the Qi

Qi is the energy which flows through channels on the body. Acupuncture stimulates the movement, production, and balance of Qi. Getting in the Qi, traditionally called De Qi, is when I stimulate the acupuncture needle to stimulate the acupuncture point. You will feel the acupuncture point grab the needle and if there is a trigger point, the muscle under the acupuncture point will twitch.

This is getting the Qi which has been described as the feeling of catching a fish with a string.

After the initial stimulation, there may be a feeling of numbness, heaviness, movement, or warmth which is a sign of the stimulation of the body’s Qi.[1,2] When this happens, people will often fall asleep during the acupuncture treatment.

Acupuncture Stimulates the Body to Heal Itself

Acupuncture needles are very small, thin, and solid.  Nothing is injected during the acupuncture treatment, the acupuncture only stimulates your body to begin the healing process.  I like to think of it as acupuncture reteaches the body how to be healthy.

1. MacPherson H, Asghar A. Acupuncture needle sensations associated with De Qi: a classification based on experts’ ratings. J Altern Complement Med.2006;12(7):633-637; PMID: 16970533.

2. Tian DS, Xiong J, Pan Q, et al. De qi, a threshold of the stimulus intensity, elicits the specific response of acupoints and intrinsic change of human brain to acupuncture. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med.2014;2014:914878; PMID: 25228908.

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.
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