What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an effective form of medical treatment that has evolved into a complete holistic health care system. Originating in China over 3,000 years ago, it is the world’s oldest continuously practiced form of medicine. Practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have used this treatment method to help millions of people become well and stay well.
Acupuncture promotes natural healing. It can enhance recuperative power and immunity, support physical and emotional health, and improve overall function and wellbeing. It is a safe, painless, drug-free and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.
At the core of this ancient medicine is the philosophy that Qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy, flows throughout the body. Qi animates the body and protects it from illness, pain and disease. Our health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi. Qi flows through specific pathways called meridians. There are 12 main meridians inside the body. Each of these is connected to specific organs. Meridian pathways are like rivers flowing inside the body. Where a river flows, it transports life-giving water that provides nourishment to the land, plants and people. Similarly, where meridian pathways flow, they bring life-giving Qi that provides nourishment to every cell, organ, gland, tissue and muscle in the body.
An obstruction to the flow of Qi is like a dam. When Qi becomes backed up in one part of the body, the flow becomes restricted in other parts. This blockage of the flow of Qi can be detrimental to our health, cutting off vital nourishment to the body. Physical and emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise, overexertion, seasonal changes, poor diet, or accidents are among the many things that can influence the balance of Qi. In health, when a blockage or imbalance occurs, the body bounces back, returning to a state of health and well-being. However, when this disruption is prolonged or excessive, or if the body is in a weakened state, illness, pain, or disease can set in.
During your initial visit a full health history is taken. Questions are asked regarding health, symptoms and lifestyle. An exam is conducted, including pulse and tongue diagnosis. Gathering this information enables your practitioner to effectively diagnose and detect any specific imbalances of Qi that may have contributed to your health challenges. Your practitioner can then create a well-structured treatment plan.
Once the imbalances of Qi are detected, your acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific points along meridian pathways. This safe and painless insertion of the needles can unblock the obstruction and balance Qi where it has become stuck or unbalanced. Once this is done, Qi can freely circulate throughout the body, providing adequate nourishment to cells, organs, glands, tissues and muscles. This can eliminate pain, restore balance and harmony, and it stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself – ultimately leading to optimal health and well-being.