Acupuncture is an ancient study. It is a technique that has been done for hundreds of years as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The goal of this procedure is to restore the well being and the health of the individual. While it may seem strange, acupuncture uses a method of inserting needles into specific points in the body. It should only be preformed by a skilled individual, one that has received training in it.
Energy, or qi, flows throughout the body. Qi concentrates its flow through major pathways, called channels or meridians. On each channel are points where qi can be manipulated by a skilled practitioner. These are the places the acupuncturist chooses to needle.
Needles are a major factor in acupuncture. The needles used in acupuncture are not the large size syringes that people are familiar with from their doctor s office. These are solid needles that are about the size of a dressmaker pin and smaller.
Why It Works
There are six yin channels and six yang channels. There are three of each in each arm and three of each in each leg. There are yin and yang points throughout the body including the hands and the feet. The goal is to restore the balance of qi in the body. Qi is a term used to describe vital energy. This is the very foundation of being alive and functioning in Traditional Chinese Medicine technologies. If there are deficiencies of qui, there can be pain and illness. Pain is supposed to mean that there is a blockage or a poor flow of qi.
Acupuncture points are located throughout the body. Today, stainless steel needles are used. They are about .01 to .02 in thickness. The procedure treats the body as a whole. It works to improve the function of several systems of function that are associated with several physical organs in the body. If there is a problem with the systems or a disease is present, acupuncture tries to address this by attempting to modify the activity of one or several of the systems of function. They do this with a combination of heat, needles, and pressure on the sensitive parts of the body which are called acupuncture points. They help to restore the body through a method of yin and yang.
What Happens During Acupuncture
When you visit an acupuncturist, you will already have insured that the individual is capable of performing the procedure because they have been trained. This individual will determine which points to treat based on questions that they will ask you . They will then use diagnostic skills to determine and observe the left and right radial pulses. They will look at the tongue coating and notice if there are teeth marks around the edges of it.
Through the choice of points to needle, a practitioner can balance the body s Qi and thereby alleviate the symptoms of disease or illness. In order to make lasting change, the patient must have a series of treatments. The body becomes habituated to certain imbalances and though the patient may feel better after a treatment to correct this, it is natural for the body to go back to its familiar way of being. This may explain why acute problems, such as an injury, generally respond more quickly to acupuncture treatments than long term ailments.
After the needles are inserted, the patient can expect to lie on the table with the needles for about twenty to thirty minutes. In some cases, this will be longer. During this time, there is rarely any discomfort. It can be a very relaxing time for the patient. After this rest, the acupuncturist will remove the needles and perhaps do a bit of massage if there is a painful area. They will make recommendations about when the patient should return and any other types of treatments that may be beneficial to the patient.