What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine that originated in China more than 2000 years ago. From China it spread to other nations in Asia but didn't gain popularity in the West until the mid-19 70s. Today acupuncture is becoming more respected by Western medicine. It is a widespread and well recognized form of alternative therapy. In fact, the World Health Organization recognizes 47 different ailments that acupuncture is effective in curing.
There have been many studies that show a connection between acupuncture treatment and healing on many different levels. Allergies, asthma, arthritis, depression, fertility and migraine headaches are just a few of the many different conditions that have been shown in clinical settings to be helped with acupuncture treatments.
Acupuncture is actually a group of different techniques that are used to stimulate specific points on your body. These points, called acupoints, are connected to your meridians. The meridians are energy pathways that run throughout your body. The meridians facilitate the transport of Qi (or Chi), the Chinese name for the energy that powers the universe.
Meridians form a map over your body. Each point on your meridians affects a certain part of your body. There are points for motion sickness, sciatic nerve pain, anxiety and everything else one could think of. When Qi is blocked due to stress, poor diet and negativity, the blockage affects your health. By stimulating the acupoints that are related to your problems, the acupuncturist releases the blocked Qi and promotes healing.
Although there are many variations of acupuncture treatment, the most commonly known involves the use of small sterile needles. These needles are inserted by an acupuncturist in specific acupoints. They are no bigger than a hair, and are disposable for safety reasons; the procedure is completely painless and without any known side effects if delivered properly. After inserting the needles, an acupuncturist will leave his patient to relax for 20 to 30 minutes. Then the acupuncturist will remove the needles and question the patient about the effects that he or she felt. In most cases, people report feeling a gentle tingling sensation at the insertion point, muscle relaxation and a general feeling of well-being. In addition to needle insertion, acupuncturists may also use pressure from their hands or a tool, herbal remedies and deep tissue massage to increase the flow of Qi.
Depending on your specific condition, the acupuncturist may ask you to come back several times or he will be able to alleviate your problem within just a few sessions. Acupuncture treatments are completely customized to your needs. In addition to the treatment, the acupuncturist may also suggest that you take specific blend of herbs to help increase your healing.
Acupuncture is completely safe when done by a trained practitioner. There are dozens of schools throughout the United States that offer training in traditional Chinese medicine and specifically in acupuncture. Acupuncturists must go through a rigorous certification process in order to obtain a state license to do business.
Acupuncture is perfect if you've tried other methods of treatment available in Western medicine and haven't seen any results.