How Does It Work?
Oriental medicine is based on an energetic model rather than the biochemical model of Western medicine. The ancient Chinese recognized a vital energy behind all life forms and life processes. They called this energy Qi (pronounced chee). In developing an understanding of the prevention and cure of disease, these healing practitioners discovered that this energy flows along specific pathways called ‘meridians’. Each pathway is associated with a particular physiological system and internal organ. Disease is considered to arise due to a deficiency or imbalance of energy in the meridians and their associated physiological systems. Acupuncture points are specific locations along the meridians. Each point has a predictable effect upon the vital energy passing through it. Modern science has been able to measure the electrical charge at these points, thus corroborating the locations of the meridians mapped by the ancients. Traditional Oriental medicine uses an intricate system of pulse and tongue diagnosis, palpation of points and meridians, medical history and other signs and symptoms to create a composite Oriental medical diagnosis. A treatment plan is then formulated to induce the body to a balanced state of health.
What Can I Expect?
Many conditions may be alleviated very rapidly by acupuncture and Oriental medicine. However, some conditions that have arisen over a course of years will be relieved only with slow, steady progress. As in any form of healing, the patient’s attitude, diet, determination and lifestyle will affect the outcome of a course of treatment. Patients are encouraged to actively participate in their healing process. Although Oriental medicine can treat most conditions, there are circumstances that can be dealt with more effectively by Western medicine. In such cases, your acupuncturist will recommend you contact a Western medical doctor. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine should be seen as complementary to Western medicine.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
In the hands of a comprehensively trained acupuncturist, your safety is assured. Acupuncture needles are sterile and are either disposable or autoclaved between treatments. If you have a preference, you should discuss the type of needles to be used with your practitioner.
Is Acupuncture Painful?
Acupuncture bears no resemblance to the feeling of receiving an injection, since the main source of pain from injections is the larger diameter, hollow needle and the medication being forced into the tissue by pressure. Acupuncture needles are very fine and flexible, about the diameter of a human hair. In most cases, insertion by a skilled practitioner is performed without discomfort. You may experience a sense of heaviness or electricity in the area of insertion. Most patients find the treatments very relaxing and many fall asleep during treatment. In some cases, your practitioner may also recommend herbs or dietary, exercise or lifestyle changes.