Acupuncture has been practiced for over 2500 years as a therapy of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is performed by placing very fine needles into specific points on the body to stimulate the body’s own natural ability to heal itself. Acupuncture points are located on the meridian system, which is the energetic pathway that flows through and nourishes the body. A typical acupuncture treatment may include from as few as two needles to as many as 20 or more needles, which are gently manipulated manually then retained in the body for 20 to 30 minutes. Most people find the treatment very relaxing with little or no needle sensation. Some people who are more aware of their body’s energetics may enjoy a dull sensation of energy movement. For some conditions, the use of electrical stimulation on the acupuncture needle provides the best therapeutic affects.
According to ancient tradition, acupuncture works by restoring and supporting the smooth flow of vital energy or Qi in our body. This smooth flow of energy throughout our body is necessary for the healthy functioning of all our body’s systems. When this energy gets stuck or isn’t flowing properly, the body is unable to maintain proper balance and pain, illness, and eventually disease may follow. This disruption of energy flow can result from stress, overwork, poor diet, external disease pathogens, environmental conditions and lifestyle practices. Acupuncture works by releasing the stuck energy and allowing for the return of normal energy flow, balance, and health.
From a western perspective, the smooth flow of Qi corresponds to the healthy release of neurotransmitters, hormones, and immune system signaling that restores the body’s homeostatic balance. Acupuncture affects the whole body by stimulating the central nervous system to release chemical signals, which travel from the brain via the nervous and endocrine systems to all organs, tissues and systems involved in the disease and healing process. Locally in the tissue surrounding the needle insertion, acupuncture increases blood flow and lymph circulation and reduces inflammation and pain.
Acupuncture is an effective therapy for many conditions. It treats the skin, muscles, joints, ligaments and connective tissues, as well as the cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, reproductive, nervous, immune and hormonal systems, and mental and emotional functioning. Acupuncture works well with other forms of healthcare including massage, physical therapy, chemotherapy and surgery. Acupuncture is an excellent treatment for preventative care, keeping patients of all ages in a state of healthy balance.