Acupuncture - The Art of Healing
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of Chinese medicine. Quite simply, it is the insertion of very fine needles, which work by influencing the physiological functioning of the body. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years in China and other eastern countries to help restore, promote and maintain good health. Although proven clinically successful, the scientific and medical communities of Europe and North America have only recently started to use acupuncture as a treatment option.
Since acupuncture was introduced to North America in the 1970’s, a modern approach to treatment has been developed. This newer approach is called anatomical acupuncture and combines knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology to explain how acupuncture treats many injuries and disorders.
The Holistic Approach to Disease
Eastern medicine is based on treating the body as a whole and on understanding that health must be restored instead of removing disease. Holistic care takes multiple aspects of a person (mental, emotions, physical, and spiritual) into consideration. Acupuncture works by using needles to stimulate key points on the body in order to restore natural balance.
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
There are many types of needles that can be used, which vary in length, width of the shaft, and shape of the head. With the use of disposable needles, the risk of serious side effects or infection is minimized. For most patients, minimal to no pain is felt upon needling. The extreme slenderness of the needles and the skill of the acupuncture practitioner can both contribute to the lack of pain felt by the client. If any discomfort is felt, some people compare the sensation to that of a mosquito bite. Most patients respond well to acupuncture, with noticeable improvement within the first few sessions.
What Can Acupuncture Treat?
Acupuncture has been credited with helping many conditions. The approach is holistic which means that the treatment is not directed at the disorder itself but rather the health needs of the individual.
Acupuncture has been used in many countries to treat individuals with:
- Neck and low back pain
- Shoulder, elbow, hip and knee pain
- Arthritis pain
- Acute and chronic pain disorders
- Anxiety and stress related symptoms
Prior to Treatment
It is recommended that you have a light meal and be well rested before your acupuncture treatment.
Immediately following treatment it is recommended that you rest for 2 hours. Caffeine, alcohol and tobacco are not recommended for 1-2 hours following a treatment . If you are receiving your treatment for pain, you should avoid strenuous activities for 1-2 days following a treatment, even if you are pain free. Medications should be taken as directed by your physician.
To the Chinese, the mind and body are all part of one continuous whole. Both aspects can be affected by treatment with acupuncture.