Acupuncture is one of several modalities within the framework of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM is a system of healthcare that is based on energy rather than the biophysics of Western Allopathic Medicine and can be used to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness. It has evolved over 5000 years and is rooted in theories of harmony, balance, and change; and it views the human holistically, body, mind, and spirit together as components of one. Besides acupuncture, it includes herbs, moxabustion, cupping, Tuina (massage), nutrition, exercise, and meditation. Theses all work together to maintain balance, which enhances your body’s natural healing power. Energy or Qi (Chi) flows through specific pathways (Channels) in the body, much like blood flows through vessels. Health depends on the free flow of Qi; abundant, free flowing Qi results in improved health. Acupuncture points lie on theses channels and can affect the energy flowing through them. Thus, they can be used successfully in the maintenance of health, the prevention of disease and the treatment of pain, Acupuncture is especially effective in “Quality of Life” issues that are difficult to manage with Western Allopathic Medicine.
Most people find Acupuncture very relaxing, in fact they often fall asleep during the treatment. It is important to wear comfortable clothing and have something to eat and drink before the treatment to ensure optimal benefit. Initially, a review of current complaint, health, history, taking pulses, looking at the tongue, palpation and appropriate physical exam, are done to determine the most appropriate and effective treatment. Then, the patient assumes a comfortable position, and very fine, flexible needles are inserted at specific acupuncture points. Upon insertion, a brief feeling of heaviness or tingling may occur at the site. The needles are left in place for 15-20 minutes while the patient quietly relaxes. Often, beneficial results are seen quickly, after just a few treatments over several weeks. Typically, acute conditions respond faster, chronic conditions require more treatments. Responses vary, and are affected by stress, diet, lifestyle, and willingness to make changes in these areas.
Yes, acupuncture is very safe. It is used extensively by one quarter of the world’s population, and it is endorsed by the World Health Organization to treat over 40 different medical conditions. There are no drug related side effects however bruising occasionally does occur. Only sterile, disposable needles are used, following the Clean Needle Technique, in compliance with mandates by The National Commission for Certification of Acupuncturists (NCCA).