What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine that involves the insertion of solid filiform acupuncture needles into the skin at specific points on the body (called ‘acupoints’) to achieve a therapeutic effect.
What are the benefits of Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is used to encourage natural healing, improve mood and energy, reduce or relieve pain and improve function throughout the body. It is safe and effective and is often successfully used as an alternative to medications or even surgery. When traditional medicine fails, relief can often be found through acupuncture.
What should I expect with Acupuncture?
Acupuncture needles are solid, made of stainless steel, and measure from 13-70 mm. The needles are very fine, flexible and rounded but sharp at the tip. They are ‘atraumatic’, meaning that they do not have a cutting edge like a hypodermic needle, which slices through tissue. Their design allows acupuncture needles to slide smoothly through tissues and makes them unlikely to cause bleeding or damage to underlying structures.
Acupuncture points (also referred to as ‘acupoints’) are places on the skin that have a lower resistance to the passage of electricity than the surrounding skin and are part of a network of points that were mapped centuries ago by the Chinese. Most are found along ‘meridians’ or ‘channels’ that are believed to be the pathways by which energy or Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) flows through the body.
A dull, heavy, or aching feeling often occurs when the needle is placed. This is referred to as ‘de Qi’ and is considered by some traditional acupuncturists to be necessary for acupuncture to be effective. The needles are left in place for 15-30 minutes, and the practitioner may manipulate the needles to strengthen or reduce the flow of Qi.