What is Acupuncture and How Does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture is a medical treatment, which originated in China approximately 3,000 years ago. It involves the stimulation of specific areas on the body to regulate and balance energy flow in order to treat disease, improve health and increase immunity. This can be accomplished with the use of needles, electrical stimulation, heat, manual pressure and a variety of other means. In the early 1970′s, acupuncture was introduced to the American public after American doctors visiting China witnessed major operations being performed with just acupuncture anesthesia.
According to traditional Chinese medical theories, our bodies require a balanced flow of energy. This energy (Qi) is said to circulate throughout the body along pathways known as meridians or channels. As long as this energy flows freely, health is maintained. If, however, the flow is interrupted, the system is disrupted resulting in pain and illness. Acupuncture is employed to stimulate appropriate points along these pathways to unblock and regulate the energy back into harmonious balance.
What are the Advantages of Acupuncture?
Acupuncture offers an effective non-invasive option when one wishes to avoid more invasive treatment or when those treatments have failed. In comparison to the astronomical cost of today’s healthcare, it is considered an affordable alternative. When performed by a properly trained, licensed acupuncturist, there are seldom any significant risks or side effects.
Perhaps the most profound difference between acupuncture and traditional medicine is in the approach. The focus of many allopathic (conventional) therapies is to remove symptoms or complaints by pharmacological, surgical, or radiological means. Each syndrome or disease is seen as independent from one another and treated accordingly. An apt analogy is the “check engine” light in your car. If the light comes on, you have a few choices; you can take a piece of duct tape and cover the light, or unscrew the light bulb altogether. All fixed, right? Of course not. You can keep driving thinking all is well, but at some point soon you’re in for a big surprise. This is what we do when we use drugs or surgery to hammer away at symptoms.
In holistic medical approaches, the body is seen as a whole, complete system. Seemingly unrelated complaints become clearly connected and treatment is focused on many symptoms at once thereby restoring the whole body to an increased level of health. The “check engine” light of symptoms are extinguished by opening the hood and looking into what’s causing them. Top off some of the fluids, tighten up some belts, clean a few filters and you’re on your way.
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
Acupuncture is virtually painless. The majority of patients that are anxious about acupuncture treatments are surprised that there is little actual discomfort associated with the procedure. (Whew!) In fact, most patients feel relaxed during the treatment and many fall asleep. Upon needle placement, one may sense a slight pinch followed by a warm, heavy, or numb feeling in the treated areas.
The acupuncture needle is far different from the hypodermic needles we are all used to. They are solid, stainless steel, and are hair-thin. All needles are individually packaged, single use, sterile, and disposed of immediately after use. Your safety is of the highest priority.
I’m suffering now! How long until I start to feel better?
Most patients feel better physically and mentally after their treatments. They experience greater levels of energy, better sleeping habits, and less anxiety. Many describe an improved “sense of well-being”. Some patients respond very quickly and will note an immediate relief of symptoms after the first treatment, while most will notice a gradual improvement of symptoms over the course of treatment. Courses of treatment will vary (with specific complaint) and is determined on an individual basis. In general, acute disorders require fewer treatments while chronic conditions call for longer care.
It is important to remember that unlike western medicine, the primary focus of acupuncture is to relieve your symptoms by correcting their underlying causes thereby bringing about a lasting cure. After treatment, many acupuncture patients remain symptom-free for years. We strongly recommend occasional “booster” treatments to maintain good health and to prevent future health issues.
Does Acupuncture Really Work?
Simply put: yes! Acupuncture is used to treat millions of people worldwide. It is much more prevalent outside the United States and is often incorporated into regular medical practice. The World Health Organization (WHO) studied acupuncture and now recommends it as the treatment of choice for over forty common diseases.
Because of recent medical research verifying the effects of acupuncture, it has become a viable and respected health care alternative in the United States. It often benefits those patients who have not been helped by conventional medicine. More and more, people are discovering that the traditional Chinese methods of healing are excellent tools for improving symptoms, maintaining optimum health and preventing illness.
Most every patient feels better physically and mentally after treatments experiencing greater levels of energy, better sleep, and less anxiety. Many describe an improved “sense of well-being”. Some patients respond very quickly and will note an immediate relief of symptoms after the first treatment, while most will notice a gradual improvement of symptoms over the course of treatment, some examples of this are outlined on the “testimonials” page.
Courses of treatment will vary (with each specific health concern) and is determined on an individual basis. In general, acute disorders require fewer treatments while chronic conditions call for longer care.
It is important to remember that unlike western medicine, the primary focus of acupuncture and other holistic methods we may employ is to relieve your symptoms by correcting their underlying causes thereby bringing about a lasting cure. After treatment, many acupuncture patients remain symptom-free for years.
Here is a partial list of ailments that respond to our approach:
|Sports InjuriesSubstance Abuse
Neck Pain / Whiplash
PMS / Menopause
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
High Blood Pressure