The traditional Chinese
explanation of Acupuncture is that channels of
energy (meridians) run in regular patterns throughout
the body. An obstruction in the flow of energy in the meridians can
cause pain or disharmony.
very fine, sterile needles or applying heat at precise Acupuncture
influence the meridians. Acupuncture
needles unblock obstruction and re-establish regular energy (Qi) flow
the body, which can affect problems on the surface, in the extremities,
influence internal organ functions.
Diagnosis and Treatment
During the initial consultation, the
acupuncturist determines the nature
of the disharmony of the patient by careful questioning and
A detailed understanding of the
patient's present symptoms, past medical
and family history, lifestyle and diet, and of all the systems in the
such as digestion, circulation, sleep, etc. is required.
examination of the tongue for its structure, color, and coating and of
pulses at the wrists, which are felt for their quality, rhythm, and
What the practitioner is looking for are not
symptoms in isolation, but rather
a pattern into which is woven a total picture of the patient. Having
the cause(s) of the problem, the acupuncture points and
appropriate method of
treatment are selected according to various rules governing the
energy within the body.
During acupuncture treatment, hair-thin needles
are inserted and left
in place for up to 50 minutes, depending on the effect required. During
this time there may be a heavy sensation in the limbs and a pleasant
Acupuncture needles are very thin
and solid. They are not designed to cut the skin, but to displace the
stimulate areas beneath. Needles are sterile and disposable.
on the treatment plan, from one to several dozen needles could be
Other methods of treating acupuncture points
include massage (acupressure) or
Treatment with acupuncture can produce rapid
results but more often it
requires a number of treatments over a period of time. Usually
once or twice a week, but they can be less frequent. Sometimes the
quite dramatic and the patient will only need one or two treatments.
the effect is subtle for the more chronic conditions and may require
for several months. There is, however, usually a noticable
change over time.
Sensation of Acupuncture
People experience acupuncture differently, but most feel minimal pain
needles are inserted. Some people are energized by treatment, while
relaxed. When the needles are properly placed, a Qi or energy sensation
often be perceived. People experience this sensation differently, and
been described as heavy, tingling, distending, warm,
spreading. The intensity of this sensation can be modulated to best
needs and comfort level.