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rack cardWhat is Acupuncture and How Does It Work

Acupuncture is a relatively non invasive medical procedure that has been used with rich clinical application for thousands of years.   Acupuncture can be used to target very specific conditions but also has a strong health promoting effect.  This often includes a general reductions in stress, pain, and anxiety as well as a general overall health improvement.

Acupuncture involves the stimulation of key points on your body for the purpose of stimulating special areas of connective tissue to influence your central nervous system.  This stimulation results in the release of natural pain-killing substances as well as communicating with your vascular system (heart and blood vessels) to bring healing factors, i.e. oxygen-rich blood, vital nutrients and immune factors to damaged areas of your body. Acupuncture is extremely effective at treating pain directly and is often used as an adjunct therapy along side Chinese internal medicine for chronic, systemic, or psychological problems.

Where Do You Put the Needles?

We use predominantly distal methods of acupuncture.  For example, we can place needles in your left ankle to treat your right wrist. We can select points on your limbs to treat anxiety. The hands and arms may be used to treat the back.  There are many different relationships between the body that allow for highly effective distal needing.

How Do You Know Where To Put the Needles?

There is a vast wealth of knowledge accumulated throughout ancient and modern history that allows us to treat conditions by needling away from the area of insult.  This style is consistently effective and indeed at times awe inspiring.  Chinese Medicine identified areas of increased activity (acupoints) and linked them to a bodily map commonly understood as meridians.

What are Meridians?

The “acupuncture meridians”  are quite simply a road map or instruction manual.  When read properly it helps inform practitioners of where to put needles to treat different areas of the body.  The “acupuncture meridians” are hailed as a mystical channel in which energy flows throughout the body.  This is a very misunderstood concept and not an fully accurate representation of the acupuncture or the “meridians”.  In reality they are simply a carefully observed and clinically tested road map to demonstrate relationships throughout the body.

How are patients treated?

Treatments are provided In private rooms with natural lighting.  Patients recline back in supportive, non-portable gravity chair. Heat lamps are available to strengthen the treatment, Pandora one radio’s are available for patients to either select their own music or listen to standard “relaxing” music.  Optional aromatherapy diffusers are available to provide additional quality and relaxation to the treatment.

Does Acupuncture hurt?

The sensations associated with acupuncture are not what you think. They can be strong or strange feeling but hurt is not quite the appropriate explanation. The therapeutic sensations associated with acupuncture may be dull, heavy, “washed over feeling”, potentially a type of tingly, flickering, achy, or any other subjective feeling. Occasionally upon insertion there may be a pinchy or warm feeling that may be uncomfortable but this is typically uncommon and goes away in short order. Typically acupuncture is very comfortable, relaxing, and many people sleep like a baby right through the session.

Acupuncture can be explained by two different effects:

Non specific acupuncture is associated with the relaxing, rest promoting, anxiety reducing, healing state that people find themselves in during acupuncture sessions. It is very systemic in nature and effects perhaps the whole body. From a practitioner perspective this effect is generally easy to achieve even when being treated by students and inexperienced practitioners. With but the knowledge of the most commonly used acupuncture points and a little bit of practice most any practitioner get achieve some positive effect if at all possible. With regular treatments even the nonspecific effects of acupuncture alone can produce life changing benefit.

Specific acupuncture effect is associated with the targeting of specific locations or conditions in the body. This effect can be more difficult to achieve but impressively powerful. When harnessed properly the specific effects of acupuncture can cause instantaneous results for many conditions and strong sustained effect for many others. Without highly effective specific acupuncture it is quite difficult to treat many of the more challenging conditions. Having said this, sometimes the general effects of acupuncture are all that is required or all that can be achieved.

How does acupuncture work to create these specific and non specific effects:

Acupuncture is able to generate such a substantial effect through its interaction with the nervous system. Acupuncture is essentially a neurological and vascular medicine.  Acupuncture causes a heightened nervous system response which is capable harnessing the neurological endocrine system to influence the body in an numerous away’s that contribute toward healing. Perhaps the strongest way acupuncture helps healing is through circulation. As people experience aging, sickness, injury, stress, and trauma of all sorts their circulation locally or systemically diminishes. This can occur through every part of the body. The circulatory system stretches to practically every part of the human body. Viscera, skin, arteries, muscles, bones, etc. It is through circulation and the other neurological and endocrine effects that acupuncture can have on the body that cause these specific and non-specific effects.