Acupuncture is a unique therapeutic method that enables us to influence and treat the interior by using a synergy of points on the exterior aspect of our bodies.
Acupuncture is the treatment modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) most widely used, recognized and taught in the Western world. It presupposes the existence of a vital energy, or “Qi” (pronounced “chi”), that is essential to life and that flows throughout the body. This energy is transported by a system of channels called meridians. These meridians represent a large network of superficial and deep pathways that enable a connection between the inner and outer aspects of our bodies.
Acupuncture points are found on the surface of your body and at very specific locations along themeridians. Mapped and documented for thousands of years by Asian societies (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Taiwanese, etc.), these points have their own characteristics and indications.
The selection and method of stimulation of these points are determined by the acupuncturist and based on Traditional Chinese Medicine energy and pattern diagnosis. By selecting a combination of points, the treatment will have an effect on one or more bodily organs, areas or functions, and therefore act on a set of varied symptoms related to the initial cause of the imbalance.
What happens during acupuncture?
Your acupuncture provider will give you an exam and ask questions about your pain and how well you are functioning. He or she will also ask about your overall health.
Then your provider will look for the places (called points) on your body to access the chi that is blocked or not flowing right. Each of the points relates to certain health problems or body functions.
Your provider will look for landmarks on your body-using certain muscles or bones, for example-to find the points so that he or she can place the needles.
After the provider finds the points, he or she will quickly tap very thin needles into your skin. He or she will probably place several needles. Some may be placed deeper than others, depending on what the provider believes is needed to restore the flow of chi.
Every provider is different, but in most cases treatment lasts for 15 minutes to an hour. You may have several visits to complete your treatment. Some people have ongoing visits.
What does it feel like?
You may feel slight pressure when a needle goes in. Most people find that it doesn’t hurt. The area may tingle, feel numb, itch, or be a little sore. Providers believe that this is a sign that the energy flow, or chi, has been accessed.