Acupuncture originated in China about 5000 years ago, Acupuncture is the oldest continuously practiced medical system in the world. It is used by by nearly one-third of the world as a primary health care system and many more as an adjunctive therapy. The fundamentals principles of acupuncture are to treat the person as an integrated whole in body, mind and spirit, and to remedy the root cause of illness and disease, not only the symptoms.
Although well known for pain relief, acupuncture is effective for a wide variety of problems. It has been endorsed by the World Health Organisation of the United Nation which has declared acupuncture an effective treatment for the following conditions :
Digestive disorders (Ulcers, nausea, gastritis, IBS)
Ear problems ( ringing, earaches)
Infections, cold, flu
Menstrual and female disorders
Muscle and joint pain ( tendonitis, sprain..)
How does acupuncture work ?
Acupuncture is based on the movement of Qi (pronounced « Chee »).
Qi is the life-giving energy that circulates along channels to all organs of the body and enables them to function. Qi is what animates you., gives you vitality and shows as a sparkles in your eyes. When Qi in the body is abundant and flowing freely, you thrive. If your Qi is depleted or obstructed, symptoms ( the body’s distress signals warning there is a problem) begin to arise. If the underlying problem is not addressed, very likely sooner or later more serious illnesses or disease affecting your physical body, your mental clarity, your sense of joy in living, or your sense of purpose, may show up.
Nature’s tendency is to self-correct imbalances in Qi and maintain homeostasis, so we usually recover from most illness or emotional hurt in due course. Symptoms that persist, however, alert us to an imbalanced on a deeper level. The acupuncturist looks to the underlying disharmony and focuses treatment on both the root cause and the symptoms brought on by the imbalance.
There are approximatly 360 points that acupuncturists use to influence the Qi. This is done with the use of acupuncture needles, moxibution ( smoldered herbs – artemesia vulgaris- over a point until patient feels a pleasant warming sensation) and/or cupping.
Over time, acupuncture treatment re balances the circulation of Qi to all the organ systems. Acupuncture is completely free of side effects.
What do the needles feel like ? Are they safe ?
The needles used to stimulate acupuncture points are very slender, barely beyond the thickness of several human hairs. The finest quality solid stainless steel, pre-sterilized, single-use, disposable needles are used.
The sensation from the needle varies from person to person. You may feel nothing at all, a quick pinchor perhaps a dull ache or tingle.
What happens during Acupuncture treatment ?
During the initial visit, information about your medical and physical history, life situation, likes and dislikes, as well as information from a brief physical examination.
This is a time for your concerns to be heard and understood in the context of your particular life situation. Acupuncture does not separate the mind and body, and looks at everything about a person, including lifestyle and stresses as well as symptoms. From this visit, your acupuncturist determines the underlying energetic imbalancing your well-being.
This holistic evaluation is very important because even though two people may suffer the same complaint, the energetic imbalance causing it is often different, reflecting the unique circumstances of each individual.
At subsequent visits, brief update of your life situation, symptoms and bodily systems is taken.
Ultimately, to maintain well-being, check-up at the change of seasons provides an opportunity to correct minor imbalances. Frequency of treatment varies with each person. In addition to treating their primary concern, people often report side benefits such as increased energy and vitality, more restorative sleep, healthier appetite, better handling of stressful situations, improved menstrual cycles,an overall sense of well-being.
What is the relationship between Acupuncture and conventional medical care ?
Acupuncture can be undertaken at the same time that other treatment modalities and medications are being used. It is easily integrated into and used with conventional medecine. We recommend not altering medication or other therapies without consulting your physician or provider.
Why do people try acupuncture ?
While acupuncture is widely known to relieve pain, it is also helpful for many conditions in which pain is not primary, including a wide variety of chronic conditions. It can be used for almost any physical or emotional problem, or simply the desire to stay well. People from all walks of life use acupuncture for many different reasons. People who might particularly benefit include those :
with chronic pain or other symptoms not responding to Western medical treatments
who are taking a lot of medications and are reluctant to take more or interested in cutting back, or concerned about drug interactions for whom there are limited medical interventions as with acute viral infection, nutritional and metabolic disorders, chronic degenerative disease, allergies and auto-immune diseases, arthritis, hypertension, psychosomatic diseases, and certain mental condition such as depression or anxiety
who feel as if something is wrong even though test are inconclusive
whoses symptoms seem to be associated with or worsen by stress (asthma, migraine etc ..)
who would like additional support for their prescribed treatment to help cope with side effects or to improve vitality
who are in basic good health and want to prevent illness.
Do I have to believe in Acupuncture for it to work ?
Acupuncture has been used successfully to treat children and animals, neither of whom have preconceived beliefs about the effectiveness of acupuncture. As with any healing modality, be it traditional Western medicine or a complementary system such as acupuncture, a positive mental outlook and lifestyle can reinforce the effects of treatment, just as negative attitude or lifestyle can hinder healing.