What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the main forms of treatment in traditional oriental medicine. It involves the use of sharp, thin needles that are inserted in the body at very specific points. This process is believed patterns and is used to treat a wide variety of illnesses and health conditions.
How does Acupuncture work?
The classical explanation is that channels of energy (Qi) run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up in others.
The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points; the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions at the dams, and reestablish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body's internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and energy production activities, and in the circulation of their energy through the meridians.
The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body's own internal regulating system.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments needed differs from person to person. For complex or long standing conditions, one or two treatments a week for several weeks or months may be recommended. For acute problems, usually fewer visits are required.
Are there any side effects?
Usually not. As energy is redirected in the body, internal chemicals and hormones are stimulated and healing begins to take place. Occasionally the original symptoms worsen for a few days, or other general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns, or emotional state may be triggered. These should not cause concern, as they are simply indications that the acupuncture is starting to work. It is quite common with the first one or two treatments to have a sensation of deep relaxation or even mild disorientation immediately following the treatment. These pass within a short time, and never require anything more than a bit of rest to overcome.
What are the needles like? Do they hurt?
Most patients feel only minimal tingling sensation as the needles are inserted some feel no pain at all. Acupuncture needles are very thin, solid and made from stainless steel. Because your doctor uses only disposable needles, there is no risk of infection from the treatments.
What is the scope of acupuncture?
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical conditions, including:
Digestive disorders: gastritis and hyperacidity, spastic colon, constipation, diarrhea.
Respiratory disorders: sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, cough.
Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, facial pain, neck pain, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, tendonitis, low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis.
Urinary, menstrual and reproductive problems
Acupuncture is also particularly useful in resolving health problems related to tension, stress and emotional conditions such as insomnia, depression, anxiety and irritability.