What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of medicine and is gaining recognition as a very safe, powerful and effective modality that treats many conditions. It was developed in China between 2,000-3,000 years ago and is currently used by one-third of the world. It is a complete system of medicine based on natural laws, which describe the flow of life energy in nature and in the human body. This life energy, known as 'Qi,' is what animates and sustains vitality in all living things. The flow of Qi supports all functions of physical, emotional and mental well being and moves through the body along meridians, similar to rivers traversing the earth or blood coursing through the vessels. When energy is moving smoothly one feels well and the body is able to fight disease and maintain proper homeostasis. When energy gets stuck, which can happen for a multitude of reasons including injury, trauma, infection, stress, poor diet and lifestyle choices, and emotional disturbances, it creates blockages within the meridians. When there is a blockage of energy one might experience pain, inflammation, illness, or a variety of mental and emotional issues.
Acupuncture treatment involves the use of very thin pins, which are solid, pre-sterilized, single use needles that are about the diameter of a few strands of hair. Acupuncture pins are inserted into the skin at various points along the meridians to help restore the smooth flow of Qi. Some individuals will experience a quick and mild sensation when the acupuncture pin is first inserted, similar to a tiny pinch. Other sensations such as tingling, numbness or a dull ache are common and are a good sign that the treatment is working. Often times there is very little sensation accompanying the insertion of the acupuncture pins.
Over time acupuncture treatments help bring the body back into normal functioning. This does not just happen on a physical level. Because acupuncture is a system that treats the whole person and the underlying cause of an imbalance, patients often experience positive changes in their mental and emotional well-being as well, feeling better in themselves, in their work and in their relationships.