Acupuncture treatments consist of placing small, sterile, disposable needles in specific areas of the body called acupuncture points. Unlike hypodermic needles, which are used for shots and vaccinations, acupuncture needles are not hollow. They are very small and flexible, about the width of a hair. Most patients feel nothing, or a slight sensation like a mosquito bite with needle insertion. During acupuncture treatments patients may feel sensations of qi movement in the meridians such as warmth, tingling or heaviness. Acupuncture can be very relaxing; in fact many patients fall asleep during treatment.
What conditions does Acupuncture treat?
Infants, children, teens, adults, and seniors in China have used acupuncture for thousands of years. Acupuncture is applicable in both external medical conditions (muscular, skeletal and skin conditions), and in internal medical conditions (including those affecting organs, as well as the reproductive, digestive, circulatory, nervous and immune systems).
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the international authority on health-related issues, the following conditions, symptoms and diseases can be treated effectively by acupuncture:
- Low back, knee, neck and facial pain
- Tennis elbow
- Facial pain, dental pain and tempromandibular (TMJ) dysfunction
- Periarthritis of the shoulder
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Induction of labor
- Correction of malposition of the fetus (breech presentation)
- Morning sickness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Postoperative pain
- Biliary colic
- Essential hypertension and primary hypotension
- Renal colic
- Allergic rhinitis, including hay fever
- Adverse reactions to radiation or chemotherapy
- Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
- Acute bacillary dysentery
- Painful periods
- Acute epigastralgia
- Peptic ulcer
- Acute and chronic stomach pain
Acupuncture points are located on meridians, which are pathways that carry qi. The meridian system is analogous to the circulatory system where blood vessels transport blood, and the nervous system where nerves carry nerve impulses. Every organ has a meridian that runs from that organ to the surface of the body. Sometimes qi becomes blocked in a meridian, which can disrupt organ function and/or cause pain along the meridian. There are many reasons why qi becomes blocked, like poor dietary habits, stress, lack of exercise, physical and emotional trauma, overexertion, infections, seasonal changes or a weak constitution. By stimulating points on specific meridians, acupuncturists can unblock qi, thereby reducing pain and correcting organ function.
How many treatments are necessary?
On the first visit I conduct an extensive intake and examination to assess my patients condition. Then, an individualized Chinese medical treatment plan is formulated which includes recommended frequency of treatments, and possibly herbal formulas, nutritional supplements, and dietary and lifestyle suggestions. The number of treatments depends on the severity and duration of the complaint and the patient’s constitution.