Acupuncture: What Is It?

pulseWhat is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an effective form of holistic healthcare derived from ancient Chinese medicine. Commonly used to alleviate pain, it can also address a wide range of conditions including fertility, gynecological issues, digestive disorders, and psychological issues such as anxiety and depression. Please reference our tab "what does acupuncture treat?" for a list of over 200 conditions the World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture for effectively relieving.

How does it work?

Acupuncture uses very fine sterile needles placed along meridians that run throughout the body. Stimulation of these specific points promotes free flow of Qi that restores balance and homeostasis in the body. When the body achieves homeostasis, it’s own natural healing process can work to create better overall function and health. Western science has proven that acupuncture can regulate the body by several mechanisms, such as stimulating the endocrine and nervous systems. Acupuncture is a safe, painless and effective way to address a wide variety of medical problems.

What should I expect during my acupuncture treatment?

The initial treatment often takes about one hour, as we will discuss your health history and health concerns in detail. Once an understanding of your health history is obtained, a thorough evaluation of your systems will be performed by taking a tongue and pulse reading. This will help us in understanding the energetic imbalances that are contributing to your current state of health. The tongue is a map of the body, reflecting the general health of the organs and meridians. Taking your pulse in Chinese medicine, we palpate your pulse positions on each wrist. Each position corresponding to a specific meridian and organ. 

While usually painless, you may feel sensations such as a dull ache, tingling, vague numbness or heaviness. Sometimes people experience a sensation of energy spreading around the needle. This is called the "Qi sensation”. All these reactions are good and a sign that the treatment is working. If required, the acupuncturist may also suggest herbal treatment or cupping as well.

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