Acupuncture is a healing method that has been used in China and the Far East for many centuries. It involves the insertion of fine needles at specific points in the body known as acupoints. According to Daoist philosophy, the body possesses a life force energy known as "qi" which flows through established pathways known as meridians. There are 12 main meridians and several extraordinary meridians, with several hundred acupoints along the meridians. When the flow of qi is blocked or if the energy is not in balance, the body becomes suspectible to disease and pain conditions. By insering the needles as specific acupoints, the balance and free flow of qi is restored allowing the body to heal. Ideally acupuncture is used to keep the body in harmony, preventing disease from occuring in the first place.
Acupuncture is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and has spread all over the world to Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Europe and North America. It is based on ancient knowledge but has adapted and evolved to treat medicaly conditions that affect modern society. Western medicine has become fascinated with the inner workings of acupuncture. Much study has has been done in an attempt to understand how acupuncture works on a physical/anatomical level, not just an energetic level. The existence of energy flow through the meridians has been demonstrated by the injection of tracer materials and observing its pathway throught the body. Acupuncture has also been shown to stimulate the body's natural painkillers, decrease inflamation and improve the body's ability to heal. Acupuncture regulates the body's nervous system, balances the endocrine or hormonal system, boosts the immune system and reduces stress. It is a holistic approach of treating the complete individual, with the aim of not just treating "disease" but achieving wellbeing.
What can Acupuncture Treat?
Numerous conditions can benefit from acupuncture.
Injuries - either longterm, or acute. For example if someone has an acupuncture treatment immediately after spraining their ankle, they will have less pain, swelling and bruising, decreasing the time it takes to recover.
Musculoskeletal - arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, any joint pain, tendonitis, carpal tunnel back pain, sciatica, TMJ, muscle strain
The acupuncturist will perform an initial assessment by taking a thorough history of your concerns, combining it with an examination. Much thought is given in establishing the diagnosis and chosing the optimal treatment points. Each acupoint has multiple functions, therefore the combination of points is individualized for each client. We attempt to have the biggest impact with the least number of points as too many points can deplete the energy (qi) of the body and be counterproductive. We can treat the symptoms, but ultimately we want to address the underlying cause,treating the root of the issue. When the points are chosen, very fine, sterile, disposable needles are inserted through the skin to stimulate the acupoints. The needles are not much thicker than a human hair and insertion is virtually painless. Some points may be a little sensitive and you may experience a bit of warmth, tingling or heaviness as a result of the qi or energy flow. The needles are left in place for several minutes, potentially as long as an hour. Many people find the process very relaxing and may even have a restful sleep.
Getting the Most from Your Session
Try to be well rested before your treatment
Wear loose comfortable clothing if possible
Have a light snack beforehand to maintain energy and blood sugar levels
Avoid smoking, alcohol, and caffeine at least 2 hours before and after your session
Continue to take medication as prescribed by your physician
Have a little rest when you get home if you can
For pain conditions, avoid strenuous activity for 48 hours post treatment