Acupuncture involves is the insertion of extremely thin stainless steel needles into precise points on the body. The acupuncture needles are small bits of stainless steel, about the width of a human hair. Steel, like all metals, is a conductor of energy. By placing the needle in the correct spot, acupuncturists can tap into the energy of the body and subtly manipulate it until it moves in the proper direction. While perhaps best known for pain relief, traditional acupuncture is used to maintain health and treat a wide range of illnesses. It focuses on the patient’s overall well-being, rather than treating only specific, isolated symptoms. In Chinese medicine, a person’s “wellbeing” is deponent on the smooth balanced flow of qi and blood and it is only when this flow is disrupted that pathology is created. This disturbance can occur in several ways such as emotional disturbance (anxiety, depression), weather conditions, poor nutrition, stress, genetics, trauma, and environmental toxins and infections.
By gathering a patient’s health history, the practitioner will be able to properly diagnose the root disharmony and pattern of imbalance and from there develop a proper, custom acupuncture point combination. There are over 400 acupuncture points on the body, each with its very own function, indication, location, and depth. By inserting these needles into these points you are tapping into this internal highway of blood and qi and manipulating it in whichever way necessary for the patient.
When treating more musculoskeletal issues, the acupuncture points aren’t always the same. In cases where specific muscles are injured, atrophied, or weak rather than always choosing only acupuncture points, the practitioner will also needle motor points. Motor points are points on the body where the nerve enters each specific muscle belly. Again, these points are very specifically mapped out, each with a certain anatomical location and depth. By placing a stainless steel needle, which has the lowest resistance to electrical conductivity, near a motor point, it will cause the muscle to react and contract. This will “wake up” the muscle temporarily meanwhile eliciting an immune response – delivering qi, blood and nutrients to that area producing a powerful therapeutic effect
Does it hurt?
Generally, acupuncture does not hurt. The acupuncture needles used are so small, about the size of a human hair. You may feel a slight pinch, or you may feel nothing when the needle is initially placed through the skin. Once the needle is in the appropriate location and depth you may feel a heaviness, an ache, a muscle twitch, or an electric sensation. As these sensations are very foreign to most, people immediately think of pain when, however, if you just allow yourself to relax the sensations will become much more comfortable. Everyone perceives pain differently and some people don’t feel the needles at all.
What can acupuncture and Chinese medicine treat?
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine has been successful in treating a wide variety of illnesses from head to toe. Most commonly, acupuncture is recommended for the treatment of all types of pain and musculoskeletal imbalances, headaches, anxiety, infertility, and insomnia but it doesn’t stop there. Traditional Chinese medicine is capable of diagnosing and treating a much wider variety of conditions including but not limited to:
Gastrointestinal disorders: IBS, diverticulitis, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal bloating, hemorrhoids.
Emotional disorders: stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, PTSD.
Respiratory disorders: common cold, emphysema, asthma, chronic cough, bronchitis.
Autoimmune disorders: MS, allergies, candida, chronic fatigue.
Ear, eyes, nose and throat disorders: dizziness, tinnitus, earache and infection, sinusitis, hay fever.
Gynecological and urogenital disorders: male and female infertility, endometrioses, irregular periods, PCOS, menopause, PMS, painful periods, fibroids, chronic bladder infections, complications in pregnancy, morning sickness, chronic miscarriage, assisted labor induction, insufficient lactation, mastitis, incontinence, uterine or bladder prolapse, sexual dysfunction.
Cardiovascular and circulatory disorders: Reynaud syndrome, high blood pressure, angina, anemia
Musculoskeletal disorders: arthritis, gout, all types of joint pain, back pain, neck pain, carpal tunnel, sciatica, tendonitis, bursitis, headaches and migraines, neuralgia, muscle spasms, stroke, shingles, Bell’s palsy.
Pediatrics: colic, pediatric dermatological issues, poor immune system, abdominal bloating, insomnia, bed wetting, diarrhea, constipation, fever, ear infection, thrush, epilepsy.
Dermatology: eczema, psoriasis, alopecia, bit bits, hives, acne, dermatitis, rashes
Other conditions: diabetes and blood sugar control, chemotherapy side effects, weight control.