Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and improve function. This is done by inserting sterilized, stainless steel needles (that are as fine as a human hair) into specific points located near or on the surface of the skin. This stimulation has the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to treat a wide variety of illnesses.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
Acupuncture is based on the traditional Chinese teaching that energy, qi (pronounced ‘chee’), courses through the body along channels called meridians that connect all our major organs. According to Chinese medical theory, illness occurs when the flow is disrupted.
Scientists are now starting to identify some of the physiological mechanisms at work, and there’s evidence that the insertion of needles into designated acupuncture points induces neurological responses, which can affect sensation (i.e., pain), muscle tissue (i.e., spasm, strain) as well as autonomic function (i.e., digestion, sleep). Electrical stimulation of the needles is also used to increase effects on the nervous system. These signals may increase the flow of endorphins and opiates and other pain-relieving chemicals, as well as immune system cells, which aid healing.
DOES ACUPUNCTURE HURT?
Acupuncture needles are 25-30 times thinner than a hypodermic needle. There is little sensitivity to the insertion of acupuncture needles. While some people feel nothing at all; on occasion others may feel a brief moment of discomfort, however this quickly dissipates so that there is no discomfort while the needles are in. It is normal to sometimes feel the sensation of fullness or a tingling sensation. When the electrical stimulation is added you usually feel comfortable ‘tapping like’ sensation or mild muscle twitching. The needles are left in place for 10-20 minutes. Most people find the experience extremely relaxing and uplifting and may even fall asleep during their treatment.
THE BENEFITS OF ACUPUNCTURE:
– decreased muscle tension
– increased ranges of motion and mobility
– improved soft tissue health
– improved muscle and nerve function
– increased immune function
– decreased pain levels
– improved circulation
– improved lymphatic drainage
– improved digestion
overall sense of relaxation and well-being