Acupuncture has existed in China for over 3,000 years and is among one of the oldest healing practices in the world. It is a key component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Acupuncture is the practice of placing very thin needles into specific points in the body to treat illness and improve health. These points generally follow energy flow pathways called meridians. The belief is that the life energy called qi (chi) is not balanced causing disease. Stimulating acupuncture points can help the body regain this balance and promote healing.
The first part of a session will be very similar to a traditional medical appointment. Your history is taken and a physical exam is conducted. Other parts of the exam may be different with examination of the tongue and wrist pulses and often a more thorough history of illness. Once this is completed, a treatment plan including a variety of acupuncture points will be chosen. The first treatment may be only a few needles and only last a short time. Future treatment can involve more needles left in for longer amounts of time.
At each visit, there will be a reassessment of your condition and any changes noted. Patients feel a slight prick with insertion of the needle and sometimes a zing when the qi is stimulated. Most conditions require multiple treatments to be effective.
Acupuncture can be used to treat a variety of acute and chronic illnesses. The World Health Organization currently recognizes more than 100 medical problems which can be helped by acupuncture proven by medical trials. Some of the more common ones are – arthritis, low back pain, headaches, adverse reactions to radiation and chemotherapy, smoking, drug addictions, high blood pressure, and most pain issues.
Other components of TCM that are offered are electro-acupuncture, ear acupuncture, cupping, vaccaria seeds, and moxibustion.