What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice developed thousands of years ago. It is said that acupuncture is linked to the belief that disease is caused by disruptions to the flow of energy, or qi (pronounced “chee”), in the body. Acupuncture entails stimulating certain points on the body, most often with a needle penetrating on or under the skin in certain points in the skin called acupressure points, to alleviate pain or to help treat various health conditions.
How, exactly, does sticking needles into the body help promote healing?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) recognizes 20 meridians, 12 of which are linked to internal organs, and scholars have mapped out over 400 points on the body where these pathways can be manipulated.
Acupuncture therapy can release blocked Qi in the body and stimulate function, evoking the body's natural healing response through various physiological systems. By stimulating the body's various systems, acupuncture can help to resolve pain, and improve sleep, digestive function, and sense of well-being. Common ailments that respond well to acupuncture include: chronic pain, arthritis, anxiety, depression, stress, insomnia, headache and migraine, trigeminal neuralgia (TMJ), “frozen shoulder”, “tennis elbow”, sciatica, low-back pain, osteoarthritis, gynecological problems.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Often the patient won't feel the needles being inserted, because they are thin and gently inserted. Once a needle reaches its intended depth, the patient is likely to feel a mild, dull ache or a slight tingling sensation. This may be a sign that the treatment is working and the acupuncture point is being activated.
What is the most common response to acupuncture?
In terms of results, it’s nearly impossible to say what one should expect, as everyone responds to and experiences acupuncture differently.
“There is no universal response to acupuncture. Some people feel relaxed and may be a little tired, others feel energized and ready for anything,” as explains P. Kempisty, licensed acupuncturist with a MS in traditional Oriental medicine. “Some people experience an improvement right away and for others it can take several treatments before noticing a positive change.”
“People feel happy and content,” Kempisty says. “It’s hard to put into words but there’s a distinct balanced and harmonious feeling that acupuncture gives most people and it just feels good!” You may also feel tired after a treatment and see changes in your eating, sleeping, or bowel habits, or experience no changes at all.
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acupuncture is most commonly used to treat:
Repetitive strain conditions like tennis elbows and carpal tunnel syndrome
Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis
Back pain and sciatica
Dysmenorrhea and other gynecological conditions
Chronic migraines or headaches
Post operative and chemotherapy nausea
Patients undergoing recovery from addiction and substance abuse