Acupuncture | Absolute Health
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a family of procedures originating in China, the most well known of which involves penetration of specific anatomic locations on the skin, called acupuncture points, by thin, solid, generally metallic needles. Acupuncture is one of the oldest and most commonly used forms of natural, traditional medicine in the world—dating back at least 2,500 years. It is based on the ancient Chinese theory of the flow of Qi (Energy) and Xue (Blood) through distinct meridians or pathways that cover and fill the body, somewhat like the nerves and blood vessels do. Healthy, open meridians where energy and blood can flow freely are essential for optimal health. Acupuncture treatment is rendered based on Chinese medical diagnosis, which includes assessment of pulse quality, shape and color of the tongue, medical history, and whole body evaluation. Chinese medicine and acupuncture work to treat the whole patient and the root of a problem rather than using medication to mask a symptom and let the problem persist.
How does Acupuncture Work?
Following the Chinese diagnosis, acupuncture needles are inserted into the body at specific points along acupuncture “meridians,” or pathways, which stimulates the body’s healing energy or qi. The body has approximately one thousand acupuncture points. Electromagnetic research has confirmed their locations. Neurophysiologist Bruce Pomeranz at the University of Toronto suggests that the needles trigger the nervous system, releasing painkilling and inflammation-reducing substances. According to ancient theory, acupuncture allows Qi to flow to areas where it is deficient, and away from areas where it is in excess. In this way, acupuncture regulates and restores a harmonious energetic balance in the body. In Chinese there is a saying, “There is no pain if there is free flow; if there is pain, there is no free flow.”
What problems can be treated by acupuncture?
On November 5, 1997, a panel convened by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded that there is clear evidence that acupuncture needle treatment is effective for nausea and vomiting from postoperative conditions as well as chemotherapy, morning sickness, and postoperative dental pain. The 12-member panel also concluded in their consensus statement that there are a number of other pain-related conditions for which acupuncture may be effective. These conditions include but are not limited to fibromyalgia (general muscle pain), low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma. Other conditions that may be benefited include:
Acute / Chronic Back Pain
High Blood Pressure
And Many Other Female Health Problems
Allergies / Hay Fever
Assist Cancer Therapies
Car Accident Complication
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments depends upon the duration, severity, and nature of your complaint. You may need only a single treatment for an acute condition or a series of five to fifteen treatments may resolve many chronic problems. Some degenerative conditions may require many treatments over time, as well as Chinese herbs and lifestyle and dietary changes.
What types of needles are used?
This clinic uses only sterilized, individually packaged disposable needles. The needles come in various sizes. Depending upon the nature of the problem, the location of the points selected, and the patient’s size, age, and constitution, needles can be inserted from ¼ to 3 inches in depth.
How does acupuncture feel?
At the time the needle is inserted, one may feel soreness or slight pain; some patients describe it as an “ant sting.” While the needles remain inserted, for approximately 20 minutes, the patient may feel some cramping, heaviness, distention, tingling, or an electrical sensation either around the needle or traveling up or down the affected meridian, or energy pathway. In any case, if you experience any discomfort after the treatment, it is usually mild and short term. Because the purpose of acupuncture is to balance your body, there are no long-term negative side effects. On the contrary, relaxation and a sense of well-being often occur during and after treatment. Many patients fall asleep while the needles are inserted because of this sense of relaxation and balance.