Acupuncture stimulates the balance and flow of Qi energy that in Traditional Chinese Medicine is considered essential to health. When the body is healthy, Qi (pronounced chee), flows smoothly through the meridians that make up a conceptual network of pathways throughout the entire body. When the balance or flow of Qi is deficient or obstructed it may be diseased or susceptible to illness. Acupuncture treats both the symptoms and the root causes of the patient’s illness.
In North America acupuncture is often used when western medicine has failed. In western medicine, the yin/yang balance it achieves is known as homeostasis.
How does it work?
Acupuncture is an ancient, safe and effective alternative to medication and, in some cases, surgery. Acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins – the body’s natural pain-relieving neurohormones – through the insertion of needles into specific anatomical points (acupuncture points) to encourage natural healing. Therapeutic effects include:
- Pain relief
- Increased energy
- Improved mood
- Improved body function
Atraumatic acupuncture needles are rounded at the tip so that they slide smoothly through tissue and are unlikely to cause bleeding. Needles are left in place for 15 to 30 minutes during which time the practitioner may manipulate the needles in order to strengthen or reduce the flow of Qi.
Are there similar therapies that don’t use a needle?
Related techniques include acupressure which involves the application of pressure on acupuncture points using thumbs or fingers. Electrical or laser stimulation may also be used.