How does it work?
Acupuncture originated in China more than 2,000 years ago. It was brought to Europe in the 1500s by French missionaries.
Although it is only recently getting attention in the United States, acupuncture is actually one of the oldest known systems of healing. Though it springs from ancient knowledge, acupuncture has shown a remarkable ability to adapt and remain popular. In fact, to this day, more people are treated with acupuncture than any other medical system in the world, including pharmaceuticals.
So, how does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture theory can be broken down into a couple of basic, easy to understand concepts:
The goal of acupuncture is to correct imbalances of flow and restore health through stimulation, generally by inserting needles through the skin at points along the meridians of the body. Current acupuncture information lists up to 400 different acupuncture points for various health problems
What does Acupuncture Treat?
Remember, acupuncture is a total system of medicine, not a specialty, so technically you can treat any problem with acupuncture. That said, in our experience we find some problems respond better than others. The problems we most frequently treat (in no particular order) are:
Low back pain/ Sciatica
General stress Allergies
Infertility (male and female)
GERD (acid reflux)
Side effects of chemotherapy
Common colds and the flu
Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued findings regarding acupuncture in a publication titled “Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials.” It states that the following diseases/disorders respond well or very well to acupuncture treatment
Restricted joint motion
Biliary and Renal Colic
Reduction in Duration of Labor
Regulation of Blood Pressure
Stimulation of Immune System
What happens in a typical Acupuncture session?
During the initial acupuncture session, Dr. Katy takes a thorough history and does a physical examination, including evaluation of the tongue, face and pulse. She will ask about the patient’s diet to evaluate his or her nutritional well-being and may recommend changes possibly including herbal supplements. The first session is generally longer than follow-up appointments so that a treatment plan can be created for the specific conditions and complaints of each patient. During follow-up appointments, our acupuncturist Dr. Katy reassesses the progress of the treatment plan and makes changes if needed. The initial evaluation may take up to 60 minutes with follow-up and maintenance appointments between 30-45 minutes. Following each evaluation, Dr. Katy inserts needles at specific acupuncture points related to the patient’s complaints. Needle insertion causes very little pain; some patients describe a pinching, grabbing or tingling sensation. The needles are sterile and disposable and are not reused on other patients. This decreases the risk of spreading disease from patient to patient. The needles are removed at the end of the session.
The basic idea behind acupuncture, according to ancient theory, is that energy flows within the human body and can be stimulated to create balance and health. The energy flow (or vital force)—called qi and pronounced “chee” or “Qi”—moves throughout the body along 12 main channels known as meridians. These meridians represent the major organs and functions of the body although they do not follow the exact pathways of nerves or blood flow. It’s important to remember that everyone has meridians with energy flowing through them. According to basic acupuncture theory, pain is caused by stagnation, or slowing of energy in the meridian, causing something akin to traffic jams.
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