HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
The classical Chinese explanation is that
channels of energy run in regular patterns
through the body and over its surface.
These energy channels, called meridians,
are like rivers flowing through the body
to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An
obstruction in the movement of these
energy rivers is like a dam that backs up
the flow in one part of the body and restricts it in others. The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points; the acupuncture needles unblock the
obstructions at the dams and reestablish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body's internal organs to correct imbalances
in their digestion, absorption and energy production activities and in the circulation of their energy through the meridians. The modern scientific explanation is that
needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of
pain or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body's own internal regulating systems. The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by
acupuncture results in promotion of physical and emotional well-being and the body's natural healing abilities.
WHAT IS MEDICAL ACUPUNCTURE?
Acupuncture is a very old medical art, and there are many approaches to learning
and practicing it. Medical acupuncture is the term used to describe acupuncture performed by a doctor trained and licensed in Western medicine who has also had thorough training in acupuncture as a specialty practice. Medical acupuncture is a system which can influence three areas of health care: promotion of health and well being, prevention of illness and treatment of various medical conditions. While acupuncture is often associated with pain control, in the hands of a well-trained practitioner it has much broader applications. Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment used or
as the support or adjunct to other medical treatment forms in many medical and surgical disorders.
WHAT ARE THE NEEDLES LIKE? DO THEY HURT?
People experience acupuncture needling differently. Most patients feel only minimal pain as the needles are inserted; some feel no pain at all. Acupuncture needles are very thin and solid and are made from stainless steel. The point is smooth and insertion through the skin is not as painful as injections. The risk of bruising and skin irritation is less
than when using a hollow needle. Because your doctor uses disposable needles, there is little risk of infection from the treatments.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS ?
Very rarely. As energy is redirected in the body, internal chemicals and hormones are stimulated and healing begins to take place. Occasionally, the original symptoms worsen for a few days or changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns or emotional state may be triggered. These should not cause concern, as they are simply indications that the acupuncture is starting to work. It is common to have a sensation of deep relaxation or even mild disorientation immediately following the treatment. These pass within a short time and do not require anything more than a bit of rest to overcome.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
The number of treatments needed differs from person to person. For complex or long-standing conditions, one or two treatments a week for several months may be recommended. For acute problems, usually fewer visits are required. For health maintenance, a few sessions a year may be all that is necessary.
DOES ACUPUNCTURE REALLY WORK?
Yes. In the past 2,000 years, more people worldwide have been successfully treated with acupuncture than with all other health modalities combined. It is now being used more and more
DO I HAVE TO BELIEVE IN ACUPUNCTURE FOR IT TO WORK?
No. Acupuncture is used successfully on cats, dogs, horses and other animals. These animal patients do not understand or believe in the process that helps them get better. A positive attitude toward wellness may reinforce the effects of the treatment received, just as a negative attitude may hinder the effects of acupuncture or any other treatment.
9 August 2011