Acupuncture is an ancient healing science used for more than 4,000 years to successfully treat both pain and dysfunction in the body. The practice involves the insertion of extremely thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body.
Traditional Chinese medicine uses acupuncture to balance the flow of energy or life force – known as gi or chi (CHEE) – that is believed to flow through pathways or meridians in your body. This energy works in harmony with the body’s nervous, circulatory, muscular, digestive, urinary systems and all other systems of the body.
In normal health, the energy flows freely in the body, but when the chi becomes blocked or weakened, the disruption can affect certain organs, or even the whole body itself.
When needles are inserted into strategic points along the meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe your energy flow will re-balance, restoring harmony to the body. Acupuncture has been used to relieve symptoms in a variety of conditions including:
• Neck & back pain
• Tennis Elbow
During an acupuncture treatment, your practitioner will insert between 5 and 20 very thin needles along your body. The insertion usually causes very little discomfort, but you may feel a deep, aching sensation when a needle reaches the correct depth.
The acupuncturist may gently move or twirl the needles after they’ve been placed. Heat or a mild electrical stimulation may also be applied to the needles. The needles typically remain in place for 10-20 minutes, while you lie still and relax. Patients generally don’t feel any discomfort when the needles are removed and discarded.
After an acupuncture session, some people will feel very relaxed, while others may feel energized. The usual number of treatments for a single complaint varies anywhere between 6 and 12, scheduled over a few months time.
While the benefits of acupuncture are sometimes difficult to measure, many people find it helpful. The Mayo Clinic has said acupuncture, “may be an alternative if you don’t respond to or don’t want to take pain medications.”