What Is Acupuncture?
In its modern form, acupuncture has
existed for more than 2,000 years, but the first record of
acupuncture is found to date back to nearly 5,000 years ago.
Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into specific locations
on the body shown to be effective in the treatment of health
problems. There are as many as 2,000 acupuncture points on the body
each having a different effect on the Qi (energy) passing through
it. Through examination and conversation, an acupuncturist learns
to balance an imbalance in the body and creates a treatment program
that is unique to the patient.
How Does It Work?
There are many theories about this,
ancient and modern. Acupuncture is based on ancient theories of the
flow of Qi (Energy) through the meridians or pathways that
cover the body somewhat like the nerves and blood vessels do. Some
explain that the insertion of the needles creates a ripple of Qi
through the body; others use a microcosmic viewpoint and map the
body onto a particular region such as the ear or hand. For the
West, most people think of acupuncture as stimulating the nervous
system since many points are located at, or near neural
Does It Hurt?
Prior to the first acupuncture
treatment, many wonder if it will hurt. While certain areas of the
body are more sensitive than others, the sensation generally varies
from, warmth, pressure, distension, numbness and often a light
electrical sensation along the course of an acupuncture channel.
Is It Safe?
When practiced by a licensed, trained acupuncturist, acupuncture is
extremely safe. As a system of health care, acupuncture has
several inherent safeguards. Because the treatment is
drug-free, there is no worry of having to take any medication or
suffer from adverse reaction. The needles are only used once
and then disposed after the treatment. Slight bruising may
occur, but this is rare.
What Can Acupuncture Do?
Many people use acupuncture for painful
conditions such as headaches, back and neck pain or arthritis, but
acupuncture has a very long history of treating neuromuscular
conditions (such as insomnia and dizziness); emotional &
psychological disorders (depression and anxiety); circulatory
disorders (hypertension and angina); addictions to alcohol, nicotine
and other drugs; respiratory disorders (allergies and bronchitis);
and gastrointestinal conditions (gastritis and bowel diseases).
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
That depends upon the duration,
severity, and nature of your complaint. You may need only a single
treatment for an acute condition. A series of five to fifteen
treatments may resolve many chronic problems. Some degenerative
conditions may require many treatments over time.
How Long is the Treatment?
This varies depending on the
condition. Visiting an acupuncturist generally takes longer than
visiting a medical doctor. You should expect to spend 30-60 minutes
for your first visit, and then with subsequent visits less time is