What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an effective form of medical procedure that has evolved into a complete holistic health care system. Practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine have used this non-invasive treatment method to help countless people become well and stay well.

Acupuncture promotes natural healing. It can enhance recuperative power and immunity, support physical and emotional health, as well as improve overall function and well-being. It is a safe, painless and effective way to treat a wide range of medical ailments.

What is Qi?

At the core of this ancient medicine is the philosophy that Qi (pronounced “chee”) or vital energy, flows throughout the entire body. Qi animates the body and protects it from any form of ailment. A person’s health is determined by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.

How does Qi move?

Qi flows through specific pathways known as meridians. There are 14 main meridians inside a person's body. Each meridian is connected to various organs and glands.

Meridian pathways are like rivers flowing inside the body. Where a river flows, it brings life-giving water that provides nourishment to the land, plants and people. The same thing applies to where meridian pathways flow. They bring life-giving Qi that offers nourishment to every cell, organ, gland, tissue and muscle in the body.

How is Qi disrupted?

Having an obstruction to the flow of Qi is similar to what a dam looks like. When Qi becomes backed up in one part of the body, the flow becomes restricted in some parts of the body. This blockage of the flow of Qi can be critical to a person’s health, cutting off vital nourishment to the body, organs and glands.

Physical and emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise, overexertion, seasonal changes, poor diet, accidents or excessive activity are among the many things that can cause blockage in the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.

Normally, when a blockage or imbalance happens, the body easily bounces back, returning to a state of health and well-being. On the other hand, if this disruption is prolonged or excessive, or if the body is in a weakened state, illness, pain or disease can occur .

What does an acupuncturist do?

During the initial exam, your health history will be evaluated. Questions will be asked according to your health, symptoms and lifestyle. An appropriate physical exam would follow, complete with pulse and tongue diagnosis.

Collecting this information allows the practitioner to effectively diagnose and detect any specific imbalances of Qi that may have contributed to a person’s health problems. The practitioner can then come up with a well-structured treatment plan.

Once the imbalances of Qi are known, an acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints along meridian pathways. This safe and painless insertion of the needles can remove the obstruction and balance Qi where it has become unbalanced. Once this is done, Qi can freely go throughout the body, providing adequate nourishment to cells, organs, glands, tissues and muscles. This can remove pain and restore balance and harmony, as well as the body’s ability to heal itself - ultimately leading to optimal health and well-being.

The following is a list of health conditions commonly treated by licensed acupuncturists.

· allergies/asthma
· anxiety/depression
· arthritis/joint problems
· back pain
· bladder/kidney problems
· constipation/diarrhea
· colds/influenza
· cough/bronchitis
· dizziness
· drug/alcohol/smoking
· addiction
· fatigue
· gastrointestinal disorders
· gynecological disorders
· headache/migraine
· heart problems/palpitations
· high blood pressure
· immune system deficiency
· knee pain
· menopausal discomfort
· musculoskeletal injuries
· pre-menstrual syndrome
· paralysis/numbness
· rhinitis
· sciatica
· sexual dysfunction
· side effects of chemotherapy
· sinusitis
· skin problems
· stress/tension
· stroke rehabilitation
· tendonitis