Acupuncture has been practiced extensively for a variety of medical purposes ranging from prevention and treatment of disease to pain management for the last 5,000 years in China. It is based on the philosophy of living harmoniously with nature by observing and understanding how the force of nature affects our bodies while striving to restore the balance (homeostasis) of the body when affected by force of nature. Chinese medicine is intended to restore the good health by balancing the three treasures: Essence, Energy, and Spirit (Jing, Qi, and Shen) and harmony of yin and yang for our overall health.
A life force of vital energy (Qi) flows and circulates throughout specific pathways (Meridians) to regulate our daily activities — talk, laugh, think, metabolize, feel, energy level, mental activities, sleep, dream and love. When the Qi travels freely, there will be a sense of well-being in all aspects of life whereas, if the Qi is blocked, physical and emotional illnesses will occur. The free flowing of Qi can be disturbed by our daily lifestyle such as stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, excessive activity, trauma, or seasonal changes. Acupuncture stimulates specific points on these meridians by unblocking the obstruction of Qi, strengthening the vital energy, and restoring the free flow of Qi.
In the United States, acupuncture is used frequently for the treatment of chronic pain conditions (arthritis, headache, athletic injuries, and post-traumatic/post-surgical pain), chronic pain associated with immune dysfunction (allergies, psoriasis, and asthma), and mind-body disorders (anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, insomnia, premenstrual syndrome and menopausal symptoms).
The World Health Organization of the U.N. has identified over 40 conditions that acupuncture has successfully treated. Professional journals and research on acupuncture have shown that the needles can actually regulate the secretion of hormones, reduce pain, and change the pH balancing in the body.
Acupuncture is recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; National Institute of Health (www.nih.gov), National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (www.nccaom.org), California Acupuncture Board (www.acupuncture.ca.gov), Council of Acupuncture and Oriental medicine Associations (www.acucouncil.org), and World Health Organization (www.who.int).
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture treatment is extremely safe because it is a “drug-free” therapy, yielding no side effects. Acupuncture utilizes only sterilized, disposable needles designed for one time use only; thus eliminating all kinds of infections.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture needles are as thin as your hair, unlike hypodermic ones. Acupuncturists are very skillful placing the needles such that the insertion is barely perceptible. The sensation caused by the acupuncture needle varies from patient to patient. Some people feel a little pain as the needles are inserted causing tingling or dull sensation; but most people feel no pain. In fact, people who have received treatments often report a feeling of relaxed, peace, or even euphoric.
Can acupuncture be effective?
Each system of medicine has its own scope of practice to extend its greatest effectiveness. The advantage of the acupuncture is that the diagnosis and treatment include a broad holistic approach to the origin of illness & cause — with a deeper understanding of our energetic nature, as well as the impact of energy in healing. During each acupuncture session, it is important to inform your acupuncturist any preexisting conditions, medication/vitamins you are taking, pregnancy, or cardiac pacemaker. Therefore the acupuncturist can adjust the treatment according to your signs and symptoms so that you will receive constant monitoring of any changes. This will help you to relax and receive the most value from treatments in order to insure continued overall health.
When will I see results?
Acupuncture induces various physiological changes within the body; therefore, each individual will respond differently. Factors such as age, severity, frequency, duration and family history are assessed and taken into account for the number of treatments. In most cases, patients will notice some changes within 4 to 6 treatments. In acute conditions, patients will respond rather well in a couple treatments.
Is acupuncture necessary for healthy people?
Acupuncture has traditionally been used as a preventive medicine — to prevent future health problems and to enhance health. Recent studies have shown that acupuncture can stimulate immunity which increases the resistance to bacterial and viral infections. Acupuncture can also increase overall vitality and energy, and it has beneficial effects to both physical and emotional level. Because of the underlying root cause treatment, your body can begin to heal on a deeper level of healing. Therefore many people find that occasional acupuncture treatments are the best way to regulate the vital energy in the body, creating a deep sense of relaxation, and the feeling of well-being.
Am I a candidate for acupuncture?
Acupuncture is appropriate for people of all ages and medical conditions. In fact, many times people seek out acupuncture treatments when western methods have not completely resolved the issue. The success of this medicine is based on the fact that the diagnosis and treatment includes a broad holistic approach to health care. Most people can experience great benefits from enhanced circulation, increased mental clarity, and regulation of blood pressure. Most of all, it balances the mind, body and spirit.