Frequently Asked Questions
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a complete system of medicine and procedures based on principles which have been used in the Orient for the last 4000 years to keep a balance of energy in the body. It works with the natural energies inherent within all living things, to promote the body's ability to heal itself.
How does it work?
Science can trace the development of a baby, but it cannot explain exactly how the miracle of life begins. Science can study what happens when bones mend or wounds heal, but cannot explain why this happens. Acupuncture works with the life force behind these processes.
This life force (Chi or Qi) is the vital energy which created the body originally and continues to keep it alive and functioning properly. This vital energy originates from major organs, and flows along the continuous circulatory channels called meridians. When the energy flow is smooth and in balance, a person is healthy; if the balance is disturbed, then a person will feel ill or pain.
There are some specific points along the meridians called acupuncture points where the energy flow can be stimulated and the function of related organs can be regulated. In this way, acupuncture regulates and restores the harmonious energetic balance of the body, allowing it to heal.
What is the theory behind acupuncture?
Acupuncture is based on the assumption that Qi courses through channels in the body just as streams and rivers ebb and flow across the surface of the earth. Every Organ Network has a corresponding set of channels.
The acupuncture points are located in small depressions in the skin called "men" or "gates" where the channels come closest to the surface. In ancient times, when cities were fortified by walls, gates were opened to receive sustenance and closed to keep harm away. With acupuncture, the gates of the body are opened and closed to adjust circulation in the channels and expel noxious influences from them. Acupuncture invigorates proper function of muscles, nerves, vessels, glands, and organs.
Is acupuncture painful?
Acupuncture needles are very fine and flexible, about the diameter of a human hair. Insertion by a skilled practitioner usually will be completely painless; in most cases needles are inserted just below the surface of the skin.
Acupuncture bears no resemblance to the feeling of getting an injection, as the main source of pain from injections is the hollow needle and the medication being forced into the tissue by pressure.
How do most people respond to acupuncture?
Insertion of the slender needles goes unnoticed by some, and to others feels like a small pinch followed by a sensation of tingling and warmth. Usually a tremendous sense of relaxation, well being and/or elevation of spirit accompany the treatment. It is as normal to want to continue resting as it is to be immediately energized.
Some notice a relief of symptoms or feel more energetic in the days that follow treatment. Most people are pleased to find that sessions are not uncomfortable and even look forward to them.
How many treatments are necessary?
The total number of treatments required to effect change in a condition varies dependent upon the disease, its severity, the duration of a disease, the amount of deterioration, and the constitution of each patient.
Specific recommendations for number and frequency of treatments are made on an individual basis following detailed review of the patient's condition, and ongoing evaluation of the patient's response.