According to TCM theory, there is a network of energetic pathways, known as channels or meridians, that course throughout the human body. A substance called Qi (pronounced ‘chee’), described as vital energy or life force, circulates through these meridians to all parts of the body, regulating physiological function. When the flow, quality, and/or quantity of Qi are disrupted, there can be pain, dysfunction, and illness.
Acupuncture stimulates points located along the meridians to promote and restore the balanced flow of Qi, encouraging the body to repair itself.
Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points located near or on the surface of the skin which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to achieve the desired effect. Acupuncture points are areas of designated electrical sensitivity. Inserting needles at these points stimulates various sensory receptors that, in turn, stimulate nerves that transmit impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary system at the base of the brain.
The hypothalamus-pituitary glands are responsible for releasing neurotransmitters and endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killing hormones. It is estimated that endorphins are 200 times more potent than morphine. Endorphins also play a big role in the functioning of the hormonal system. This is why acupuncture works well for back pain and arthritis and also for P.M.S. and infertility.
The substances released as a result of acupuncture not only relax the whole body, they regulate serotonin in the brain which plays a role in human and animal disposition. This is why depression is often treated with acupuncture.
Some of the physiological effects observed throughout the body include increased circulation, decreased inflammation, relief from pain, relief of muscle spasms and increased T-cell count which stimulates the immune system.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) endorse and recognize acupuncture’s ability to treat over 40 common disorders such as:
– asthma, allergies, common cold & flu, emphysema, sinusitis, bronchitis
– food allergies, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, ulcers, colitis, nausea, IBS
– hypertension, high cholesterol, arteriosclerosis, angina pectoris
– irregular menstruation, PMS, infertility, menopause, endometriosis
– incontinence, urinary tract infections, sexual dysfunction
– pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, arthritis, fibromyalgia, toothache
Psychoemotional & Neurological
– anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, headache, migraine, dizziness, tinnitus, chronic fatigue, stress, post-stroke paralysis
– alcohol, drug, smoking
Additionally, clinical experience and research suggest that acupuncture may be an option for treating many other conditions.
Harmful side effects are rare. Needles used are sterile and disposable (single-use). Some bruising may occur at the point of needle insertion, and occasionally there may be a drop of blood when needles are removed.
If you are pregnant, have a pacemaker, a bleeding disorder or are on any medications, let your practitioner know so appropriate points, therapies, and herbs are chosen.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Women should avoid one-piece dresses and stockings.
- Avoid large meals just before or after treatment, but also avoid receiving treatment while hungry.
- Avoid working out, overexertion, or alcohol for several hours after your treatment.
- Come with any questions you have, and take note of any changes that occur between visits.