1) What is Acupuncture?
- Acupuncture is a complex part of Oriental Medicine. Yet, the concept can be understood fairly easily.
- Everything starts with balance. This is what is represented by the “Tai Ji” or “Yin/Yang” diagram.
- If the human body is out of balance then ill health and disease follow. Similar to cell death and decay when our bodies’ PH balance is off..
- Chi (chee) is the life force that connects everything and everyone. This subtle energy is what separates our concept of life and death.
- When Chi is balanced and flows smoothly- health, mental clarity and emotional stability follow.
- If there is a block, misdirection or any other changes in the flow, quantity or balance of Chi the result can be pain, dysfunction and ill health.
- Chi flows and is accessed via acupuncture points on the MERIDIANS (please read question 2).
- Through the manipulation of Chi via Acupuncture points on the Meridians, an acupuncturist helps restore the normal balance and flow of Chi so that organs and bodily systems can work together in harmony as intended.
- This allows the body to do what it does best, repair itself to maintain a healthy medium for cells to grow and reproduce. This leading to optimum health.
2) What are Meridians?
- Meridians can be thought of as rivers of energy (Chi) that flow through the body. These meridians closely mirror what we know as our nervous system and circulatory system.
- Acupuncturist uses 14 major meridians on the Human body. These Meridians are on the head, back, torso, arms, abdomen, legs and course through the internal organs of the human body letting Chi reach the most remote cells.
3) What is Chi (chee) and what does it do?
- One English translation of the word Chi is energy. Although Chi is invisible, its presence becomes especially apparent in the workings of the bodily organs and systems which require prodigious amounts of energy.
- Yet the Chinese view of Chi is not only as powering a function, they see it as inseparable from function as though there’s no Chi without function and no function without Chi.
- Chi is also known as the life force and since total absence of Chi is death, therefore one’s good health depends on a balanced distribution of Chi throughout the meridian network that influences the organs as well as the bodily systems: skeletal, muscular, endocrine(glands), circulatory, digestive, respiratory, urinary, reproductive and nervous.
- When Chi flows smoothly and harmoniously throughout the meridians, each bodily system and organ interacts with and affects all the other systems and organs, which in turn are interdependent, interrelated and integrated leading to optimum health.
4) Does Acupuncture hurt?
- Acupuncture needles are the size of a human hair or thread and are flexible. With a skilled acupuncturist these thin needles produce little to no sensation at all.
- Unfortunately many people have past memories of receiving vaccine shots or giving blood and relate needles to those uncomfortable and painful moments in their life.
- First time patients are usually amazed at how pain-less the procedure is and how comfortable they are during their treatments.
- Studies have also shown that patients who received Acupuncture had significant increase in B-Endorphin compared to the control group that did not receive acupuncture and started with the same natural levels.
5) What are Endorphins?
- Endorphins are neurotransmitters. They are produced by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus and resemble opiates in their ability to produce analgesia and a feeling of well being.
- When we partake in exercise, consumption of spicy foods, pain, excitement, love or orgasm Endorphins are released.
- When patients receive Acupuncture, many experience this high feeling of well being due to this release of Endorphins.
- The pituitary gland is about the size of a pea and located at the base of the brain. It is a protrusion of the Hypothalamus which is about the size of an almond and located above the pituitary gland.
6) Are Acupuncture needles Sterile and Safe?
- Yes, acupuncture needles are both Sterile and Safe.
- Government regulations requires that acupuncturist follow strict sterilization procedures.
- In the state of California Acupuncturist can only use needles that are manufactured, packaged and shipped in sterilized containers.
- These needles are specifically for a one time use.
- This means that patients have brand new sterile needles used for them every time they receive a treatment.
7) What does Acupuncture treat?
- When thinking of Acupuncture and Traditional Oriental Medicine, most people generally are familiar with the ability it has to help patients with pain management and the side effects to Chemo-therapy for Cancer.
- Others look into Acupuncture and Oriental medicine as:an alternative to Western Medicine, as a last hope of relief when all else has lacked results or when the side effects of their current treatment out-weights the gains.
- Below are a few conditions commonly treated successfully by Acupuncturist:
*Abdominal Pain *Addiction Control *Allergies *Ankle pain
*Anxiety *Arthritis *Asthma *Back Pain *Blood Pressure Regulation
*Constipation *Colds / Influenza *Cough / Bronchitis *Depression
*Dizziness *Diarrhea *Elbow pain *Fatigue *Fibromyalgia
*Gastrointestinal disorders *Gynecological disorders *Headache
*Hip pain *Immune system deficiency *Indigestion *Infertility
*Insomnia *Knee pain *Menopausal discomfort *Migraines
*Muscle Cramping *Muscle Pain *Muscle Skeletal Injuries
*Muscle Weakness *Neck Pain *Nervousness *Neurosis
*Numbness / paralysis *Pre-menstrual Syndrome *Rhinitis
*Sciatica *Sexual dysfunction *Shoulder Pain *Sinusitis
*Smoking Cessation *Stress *Tendonitis *Urinary dysfunction
8) Do I need to believe in Acupuncture for it to work?
- NO. A patients current beliefs on the validity of Acupuncture and if it works or not does not matter.
- Acupuncture is used successfully on pets such as dogs, cats, horses and other animals.
- These animal patients have no idea what acupuncture is and don’t have a belief or understanding in the process of their condition getting better.
- As with all medicine, a patients attitude towards treatment will play a role. A positive attitude will always support the healing process, while a negative attitude will always hinder the effect of acupuncture or any other treatments.
9) Are there any side effect to Acupuncture?
Usually not. Acupuncture is a very safe. Its method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and improve function rarely creates side effects.
Experiencing a dull ache around the needle after it goes in is common.
The National Institutes of Health recently concluded, acupuncturists have an extremely good safety record.
Occasionally, the original symptoms worsens for a few days after an acupuncture treatment.
Other general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns, or emotional state may be triggered. These should pose no concern, as they are merely indicating that the acupuncture is beginning to work.
It is also common when beginning treatments to have a sensation of deep relaxation, lethargy or even mild disorientation immediately following the treatment. This usually wear off within 24-48 hours and some rest.
Always share with your Acupuncturist how you feel during and after your treatment.
The following are possible risks which are rarely seen: fainting, muscle spasm, bleeding, bruising, nerve damage, puncture of lungs, injury to organs(kidney ,spleen ,liver, heart, brain, spinal cord)
10) Do I need to be sick or in pain to see an Acupuncturist?
- Acupuncture as a lot to offer to someone who wants to prevent their body from going out of balance.
- See your Acupuncturist once a month for maintenance is highly recommended.
- Waiting for you body to be so out of balance that it creates symptoms of pain or discomfort will make the process of getting better twice as long.
- Your Acupuncturist will be able to see subtle signs and changes to help you avoid illness.