Acupuncture For Everyone
Acupuncture is one of the most popular forms of alternative medicine!
Although it has been practiced in various parts of Asia for over 2000 years, acupuncture is relatively new in the United States. And yet people are quickly coming to understand how potent this gentle medicine is, and how it can help people, not only to heal, but to avoid some of the side effects of western medical drugs and surgical interventions.
As defined by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, “the term ‘acupuncture’ describes a family of procedures involving the stimulation of anatomical points on the body using a variety of techniques. The acupuncture technique that has been most often studied scientifically involves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or by electrical stimulation.”
Scientists are studying the efficacy of acupuncture for a wide range of conditions, and many theories regarding “how it works” are still under development.
Acupuncture is not a replacement for standard biomedical treatments; it is a therapy to be integrated with other forms of medicine. Be sure to inform your physician if you intend to incorporate acupuncture into your health care treatment plan. Fortunately, however, relatively few complications have been reported from the use of acupuncture.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture works by using needles to balance and move the vital energy that circulates through our bodies. The experience of pain is viewed by Chinese Medicine as vital energy that is stuck and unable to move through a particular area of the body.
Other types of illness are related to the body’s “organs,” the energy of which can be accessed and manipulated by using points on the energy pathways. In order to understand the relationships of the channels and the organs and any particular person’s symptoms, we have to gather information about the person’s whole health pattern. Then we can create a plan for treatment and give the patient an idea of how long it might take to bring their body back into balance and provide relief for their symptoms.
The body learns from the acupuncture needles how to return to balance, or how to move through areas of blockage; acupuncture treatments are like tutoring sessions that train the body and enable it to take over the work of creating and maintaining balance on its own. The goal of acupuncture is not to have the patient come in forever for treatment, but to help the patient get to a place where they only need to come in occasionally for a “tune-up” or when a new issue arises.
what does it treat?
Acupuncture is capable of treating a wide range of health problems. Some of the general categories of health concerns we treat are:
- Musculo-skeletal problems: pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia and arthritis, back pain, sciatica, neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shoulder and knee pain, general muscle tightness…
- Digestive disorders: gastric reflux, IBS, constipation, diarrhea, digestive related side effects of medications, nausea, morning sickness, ulcers, hemorrhoids…
- Gynecological disorders: pain and cramping, abnormal bleeding, infertility, menopausal symptoms, PMS, amenorrhea…
- Emotional issues: stress, depression, anxiety, manic depression, grief…
- Weight loss and others: skin disorders, sleep problems, immune deficiency, allergies, asthma, common cold, smoking cessation, weight loss…
…and many, many other problems and conditions.
Acupuncture often works along side, and complements, other healing modalities – such as Western Medicine (including western medications), Chiropractic, Herbal Medicine, Reiki, and Massage – to name a few.
what does it feel like?
Acupuncture needles cause the vital energy of the body, called “Qi” (pronounced “chee”), to gather at the points that are needled. Sometimes needling also causes sensations in other parts of the body which seem unrelated, but are actually areas along which those energy pathways flow. Sometimes a “Qi Sensation” can feel like an achiness or warmth or tingling at the point. Acupuncture needles are VERY thin. The reason the needles can be so thin is that, unlike syringes, no fluid passes through the needles, so the needles can be as thin as a hair. Sometimes, however, needle insertions can be briefly uncomfortable. Usually, this sensation dissipates within moments. If not, the acupuncturist will adjust or remove the needle so that you can be comfortable. Comfort and relaxation are key parts of acupuncture.
Along with needling, the acupuncturist may use other tools of the medicine. One is electroacupuncture, which is used to gently stimulate the needles on different parts of the acupuncture pathway. Another is cupping, where glass suction cups are placed in different areas where there is muscle tension.
At Acupuncture for Everyone we use only sterile disposable needles. We are carefully trained and tested in clean needle technique and precautions in needling. Although acupuncture is generally safe, it may have some side effects including bruising, numbness or tingling near the needle site, and rarely dizziness or fainting. Although acupuncture has many benefits for pregnancy, there are some points that are contraindicated, so be sure to tell your practitioner if you are pregnant.
If you’d like to learn more about acupuncture check out yinyanghouse.com for more information.