Acupuncture: What Is It?


Acupuncture is a 5,000 year-old tradition used to alleviate pain and promote overall good health. Acupuncture uses needles placed along invisible meridians (energy channels) that run throughout the body and are associated with the various body systems. Each meridian has a series of points along the energy channel, that has a specific meaning and is used to unblock and improve the natural flow of vital energy or Qi. Through the stimulation of the meridians, an acupuncturist is able to restore balance and ergo health to the patient.

At the heart of Traditional Acupuncture is an in-depth understanding of the natural laws governing the movement of energy that supports and maintains all living things. This energy is commonly known as Qi (or Ch'i). Through centuries of observing and studying Qi, acupuncturists have shown that people experience pain, discomfort, and symptoms of illness when Qi energy is weakened or cannot move freely through the body. By revitalizing and balancing the Qi energy of our bodies, acupuncture treatments can not only help clear symptoms, but also correct the underlying reasons the symptoms appeared.

Acupuncture is a system of healing that treats the whole person, considering not only the body, but also a person's unique emotional and spiritual needs. It is this "whole-being" scope of care that can help people successfully deal with a lifestyle which places great demands on their vitality as well as chronic illness/conditions that have resisted other treatment forms. Perhaps the most powerful aspect of acupuncture treatment is its ability to help people maintain good health and vitality. Traditional acupuncture is a system of preventive medicine that is unparalleled. As evident from thousands of years of acupuncture practice around the world, you may observe the following from the treatment process:

  • You will tend to get sick less often and recover more easily
  • Your vitality and stamina will improve
  • You will be able to take a larger role in the care of your own health
  • You will observe improvement in other health concerns that were not the reason for starting treatment.

During a treatment, your acupuncturist will observe you closely to evaluate vital information (history, pulse, tongue presentation, skin, hair & nails), to understand where there is an opportunity to improve the flow of life-sustaining Qi. Specific points along the meridians are chosen, and extremely thin, disposable needles (the witdth of a human hair), are gently inserted just below the surface of the skin. The sensation of needles varies from no feeling at all to a slight twinge. Usually only a few needles are used for treatment and most people report a deep sense of peaceful well-being during and after their treatments.

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