What is Acupuncture?Acupuncture is a medical system that is used to diagnose and treat illness, prevent disease and improve well-being. It is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and improve function. Traditional Chinese Medicine views a person as an energy system in which body and mind are unified, each influencing and balancing the other. It works at an emotional, spiritual and physical level.
How does Acupuncture work?
Eastern Explanation: The Eastern explanation for how Acupuncture works is that the life energy flowing through the body which is termed Qi (chee) can be influenced and balanced by stimulating specific points on the body. These points are located along channels of energy known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to Chinese Medicine theory, illness arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced or is blocked. Acupuncture works to restore harmony and energetic balance to the body which stimulates natural healing and promotes health through the insertion of fine needles into this specific points on the body’s meridians.
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How Acupuncture is performed?Acupuncture needles are very thin. In my practice I choose to use very fine Japanese style acupuncture needles that are made of surgical stainless steel. These needles are known to have a smooth insertion and are sterile, individually-wrapped and disposable. Depending on the location of the treatment, you will either sit or lie down. Properly done, acupuncture is painless. When the needles are inserted, you may feel mild tingling around the site, warmth or heaviness, or even nothing at all. Any discomfort which does occur from the insertion of the needles is usually mild and will go away shortly after insertion.
My treatments tend to be both gently and subtle, enabling most patients to fall asleep or at least fall into deep relaxation.
Acupuncture is a safe method of treatment for nearly everyone, including pregnant women and lactating mothers, it can be used safely in the treatment of children.
An acupuncturist may use other techniques including:
- Cupping - suction designed to bring blood to the acupuncture points.
- Moxibustion - burning herbs held over or applied to specific acupuncture points.
- Massage - techniques applied to specific acupuncture points or meridians.
After a session of acupuncture, you will normally feel relaxed and refreshed, but specific responses depend on each person. For instance, some people feel energised, while others feel sleepy. Acupuncture treatments are individually customized for each patient depending on their unique constitution and symptoms. Occasionally, the symptoms get a little worse before they improve.
The number of treatments needed differs from patient to patient. An acute condition may be resolved with one treatment. For a complex or long-standing condition, 2 to 3 treatments per week may be recommended. In most cases, people experience a reduction in symptoms within a few sessions. The idea of acupuncture is to restore the natural balance of energy inside your body. Once the balance is restored, the body can take care of itself and no further treatments are necessary, you can be checked at regular intervals, every four to six weeks, to keep yourself well. Regular acupuncture treatment can regulate the function of the meridians and all body system to bring about the return of overall balance and help restore physical and emotional health.
What can Acupuncture treat?According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and National Institutes of Health acupuncture can be helpful in maintaining good health and is beneficial to treat:
Chronic and acute pain - Injuries, headache, neck, shoulder, back and knee pain, tendonitis, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, etc.
Digestive Disorders - Irritable bowel, colitis, constipation, diarrhoea, gastritis, heartburn, food allergies, chronic duodenal ulcers (for pain relief), acute duodenal ulcer ( without complications), etc.
Neurological and Muscular Disorders - post-stroke recovery, trigeminal neuralgia, facial palsy ( when treatment begins with three to six months after onset), movement disorders, numbness and paralysis following a stroke, peripheral neuropathy (loss of feeling in the outer nerves), Ménière’s disease (ear problem which causes dizziness and vertigo).
Emotional and Psychological Disorders - Stress, Anxiety, Depression, insomnia.
Respiratory Disorders - asthma, allergies, bronchitis, acute sinusitis, acute rhinitis (runny nose), sore throat, laryngitis, colds and flu.
Gynaecological - PMS, painful or irregular menses, infertility, menopause.
The National Institutes of Health has conducted that there is clear-cut evidence that acupuncture is useful in treating such conditions as post-operative pain and the nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy or chemotherapy. In addition, it is beneficial as an adjective to standard biomedical care in the treatment of stroke, headache and chronic back pain, as well as addiction, menstrual cramps, fibromyalgia and more...