Acupuncture FAQ

Healing with Acupuncture

In China, acupuncture is famed for quick relieving pain. After a few treatments, you walk out the door definitely feeling better and more optimistic about your condition. Acupuncture works because it stimulate the healing mechanisms of the body locally (the lower back, neck, shoulders) and systemically (the liver and kidneys). Improved circulation brings nutrients to the wounded tissues reducing inflammation and spasms and restoring mobility and range of motion. When you experience the pain relieving effects of Acupuncture, it is because your painful condition or injury has begun to heal.

Beneficial Side-Effects of Acupuncture Pain Relief Include:

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  • Improved energy and vitality
  • Emotional well-being and deeper relaxation
  • Your initial relief from pain will let you know you’re on the right track. For chronic conditions typically 4-8 treatments are required for sustained relief, defined as “no need to come back” or return occasionally for a “tune up”.
  • Treatments are safe and inexpensive.

What You Should Know About Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese Medicine, one of the oldest forms of health care known, is a great treasure house. The special methods of Acupuncture and Moxibustion have multiple advantages handed down from ancient times and improved through the generations by Chinese physicians.

Today, more and more Western doctors and scientists have discovered that these medical treatments work. There has been an increasing awareness of the usefulness of acupuncture in treating many medical conditions. The World Health Organization has formally proclaimed that Acupuncture must be taken seriously as a clinical procedure of considerable value. In California, acupuncture is recognized as a primary health care profession and its licensing is regulated by the CA Department of Consumer Affairs Acupuncture Board.

What is Acupuncture and Moxibustion?

A patient being treated with acupuncture moxibustionAcupuncture treats pain and disease by the insertion of extremely thin needles into certain designated points on the body. Once the needle is properly in place, the patient will feel a characteristic tingling or mild ache. Due to the design of the needles and the developed skill of the acupuncturist, there should be none to minimal discomfort with the insertion of the needles.

The therapeutic effect of Moxibustion is produced by the heat and vapors of a slow-burning roll of medicinal herbs held above the acupuncture point. This may be administrated along with acupuncture or as a procedure by itself.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

According to the classic doctrines of Chinese Medicine, there is a continues flow of bioelectrical “life energy” throughout the body. This vital energy which Chinese call Chi circulated between the major organs and the surface of the body along continuous pathways called meridians. When the circulation of this energy through the meridians is smooth and balanced, one is healthy. If the circulation of this energy is interrupted or unbalanced, there may be pain or disease.

Acupuncture points are specific place along the channels where the flow of life energy can be influenced, thereby improving organ functions and stimulating the body’s healing mechanisms.

This is the Chinese way to explain how acupuncture normalizes physiological dysfunction and helps to restore the body’s harmonious equilibrium. According to this philosophy, Chinese physicians not only use acupuncture and Moxibustion to treat disease, but also to strengthen the humans body’s physical condition, prevent disease and promote health.

From a modern medical point of view, acupuncture achieves its effects by the following mechanisms: First of all, according to biochemical and neurological research, acupuncture works by activating a natural pain suppression system in the brain. Substantial evidence demonstrates that acupuncture may serve to stimulate the release of endogenous morphine-like substances, endorphins, which in turn mediate the analgesic effects.

Secondly, acupuncture has an obvious effect of stimulating the body’s immune system which in turn mobilizes the natural defense power inside the human body. This reaction is the major mechanism of anti-inflammatory and anti-infectious effects by acupuncture.

Image Credits: Jaap Buijs.

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