What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture originates from Traditional Chinese Medicine and is the practice of inserting very fine needles into the skin to stimulate specific anatomic points in the body (called acupoints or acupuncture points) for therapeutic purposes.
Along with the usual method of puncturing the skin with the fine needles, the practitioners of acupuncture also use heat, pressure, friction, suction, or impulses of electromagnetic energy to stimulate the points.
How does Acupuncture work?
Acupuncture is based on ancient Chinese theories of the flow of Qi (energy), also referred to as Chi and Xue (blood) through distinct pathways or meridians that cover the body. Acupuncture stimulates and enhances the free flow of Qi, therefore regulating the harmonious energetic balance of the body. This consequently relieves pain and restores health.
How can Acupuncture help?
While acupuncture is often associated with pain control, it has a much broader application. Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment used, or as the support or adjunct to other treatment forms in many medical disorders.
The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems, including:
• Digestive disorders: gastritis and hyperacidity, spastic colon, constipation, diarrhea.
• Respiratory disorders: sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, recurrent chest infections.
• Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, facial tics, neck pain, rib neuritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, various forms of tendinitis, low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis.
• Urinary, menstrual, and reproductive problems.
Acupuncture is particularly useful in resolving physical problems related to tension and stress and emotional conditions.
During the treatment you will need to uncover the areas which will be worked on and will be asked to lie down, either face-up, face-down or side, depending on where the needless are inserted. The acupuncturist will use single-use disposable sterile needles. As each needle is inserted you should feel them, but initially without pain. However, when the needle reaches the right depth there should be a deep aching sensation either around the needle or travelling along the energy pathway. Sometimes the needles are heated or stimulated with electricity after insertion. Once inserted, the needles will remain there for several minutes.
Acupuncture generally involves several weekly or fortnightly treatments. Most courses consist of up to 12 sessions. A visit to an acupuncturist will involve an exam and an assessment of the patient’s condition, the insertion of needles, and advice on self-care. Most sessions last about 30 minutes. The number of treatments required for healing varies depending on the duration, severity and nature of the complaint.
Commonly treated conditions
The list of conditions commonly treated with acupuncture is extensive and includes:
Allergies / Asthma
Arthritis / Joint Problems
Bladder / Kidney Problems
Constipation / Diarrhoea
Cough / Bronchitis
Drug Addiction / Smoking
Headache / Migraine
Heart Problems / Palpitations
High Blood Pressure
Immune System Deficiency
Knee Pain / Neck Pain / Stiffness
Paralysis / Numbness
Sprains and Strains
Stress / Anxiety
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome