What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one modality of Oriental medicine. Very fine, sterile, one-time use needles are inserted into specific points on the skin to adjust and regulate the flow of energy in the body. Gentle physiological responses occur, which create the circumstances for the body and mind to re-balance, release pain and heal.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture directly accesses the Life Energy, or Qi (“chee”). Over thousands of years, the Chinese mapped pathways along which this Qi energy flows in human beings. These pathways, known also as Meridians, can be thought of like rivers. They carry Qi energy to all organs, tissues and cells in the body, ensuring proper physiological and structural functioning.
Acu-points are specific areas on the skin through which the Qi in the Meridians can be accessed. Though the Chinese have had knowledge of these points and their locations for thousands of years, Western science can now confirm their existence and locations, through electromagnetic research.
These acu-points are the insertion sites of acupuncture. The needles directly regulate the flow of the Qi energy in the Meridians, correcting imbalances and improving flow, thereby promoting harmony within the body and assisting the body’s own built-in healing mechanisms.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Not generally. The needles are very thin, similar to a cat’s whisker. In fact, about 10 acupuncture needles can fit inside the hole in a typical hypodermic needle. Some patients may feel a light pinch upon insertion at a few points, but once the needle is in place, any unpleasant sensation dissipates. Most people fall into a deep relaxation during treatment and many patients find the whole experience to be relaxing, rejuvenating and enjoyable.
Is acupuncture safe?
Yes, when performed by a trained professional. The needles are made of stainless steel and are sterile, individually-packaged and disposable. No needle is ever used twice, so there is virtually no risk of infection.
Can I combine acupuncture with my current medical treatment?
Yes. Though acupuncture can stand alone for many conditions, it may also be used as a complementary therapy to conventional medicine. In fact, acupuncture is recommended by many infertility specialists, neurologists, orthopedists, physical therapists, psychologists and oncologists to complement their own therapies. Acupuncture is also the perfect adjunct to massage therapy, chiropractic treatment, chelation and other alternative therapies.
What does Western science say about acupuncture?
In Western medical research studies, acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the immune system, positively affect the circulation, blood pressure, rhythm and stroke volume of the heart, increase secretion of digestive juices and enzymes, stimulate production of red and white blood cells, and regulate hormonal balance. It also stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural “feel-good” brain chemicals.
Many hospitals, rehab centers, infertility clinics, and well-respected cancer care facilities have already integrated acupuncture into their treatment services.