Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical therapy using very fine, thin stainless steel needles to stimulate specific points and organ systems. Acupuncture points have been “mapped” out by the Chinese for about 2,000 years. This treatment is used to promote health and treat organic or functional disorders. According to the World Health Organization, many common acute and chronic health disorders lend themselves to acupuncture treatment based on clinical experience such as:
- Colds, flu, bronchitis, allergic rhinitis, depressed immune function
- Gastrointestinal disorders: IBS, gas/bloat, constipation, diarrhea
- Gynecological disorders: PMS, PCOS, fibroids, heavy bleeding, irregular cycles, endometriosis
- Fertility, stimulating labor
- Neurological and muscular complaints: post herpetic neuralgia
- Any type of local pain, strain or sprain
- Aid in stopping smoking or other addictions
A single acupuncture appointment may include any combination of acupuncture and these other Chinese Therapies as part of the patients treatment.
- Moxa: heat therapy using the herb, mugwort directly on the skin or needle to promote circulation of qi and blood
- Infrared therapy: gentle heat therapy to increase microcirculation and loosen fascia
- Tui Na: a type of massage
- Cupping: warmed “cups” that slide across the skin or stay stationary
- Chinese herbal medicines and nutrition
What is “qi”?
In Chinese qi (pronounced “chee”) translates to mean vital energy and is considered to flow through channels called Meridians that traverse the body in a manner similar but not identical to the nervous and circulatory systems. Acupuncture can regulate the flow of energy by moving it away from areas that have too much to create a balance by moving to areas that are deficient for the patient.
What Will I Feel?
Acupuncture is considered to be relatively painless, however, with stimulation, the movement of qi for a patient may cause a sensation that has been variously described as heaviness, distention, tingling or electric. This sensation may only be at the location of the needle or may travel up or down the meridian (energy pathway) that is being affected. This sensation is what the acupuncturist wants to happen for the patient as it is a sign that the patient’s qi is adjusting towards balance.