Originating in China more than 2,500 years ago, acupuncture remains one of the oldest and most commonly used methods of holistic healing by way of using needles to stimulate and regulate the body’s natural functions. When performed by a trained acupuncturist, it is entirely safe and does not cause any of the side effects associated with many modern medicines.
Acupuncture works by targeting 12 primary meridians, or channels in the body, and stimulating acupoints on these meridians with ultra-thin needles. These 12 primary meridians are believed to run vertically, bi-laterally, and symmetrically on the whole of the body, with each meridian corresponding to an organ system: heart, lung, kidney, liver, bladder, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and gallbladder. These meridians are believed to be the pathways for the flow of blood and Qi (universal life energy).
In the late 1970s, the World Health Organization recognized that acupuncture medicine can be used to treat nearly four dozen common ailments, including skin disorders (such as eczema, hives, acne, itching, dry skin), circulatory disorders (such as anemia, hypertension, arteriosclerosis, and angina pectoris), neuromusculoskeletal conditions (such as arthritis, insomnia, neuralgia, vertigo, and neck/shoulder pain), emotional and psychological disorders (such as anxiety and depression), addictions to alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs, gastrointestinal conditions (such as food allergies, indigestion, chronic diarrhea , ulcers, gastritis, intestinal weakness, constipation, and anorexia), respiratory disorders (such as allergies, bronchitis, emphysema, and sinusitis), and hormonal imbalances (such as infertility, menopause, and pre-menstrual syndrome). In 1997, a consensus statement released by the National Institutes of Health found that acupuncture could be useful by itself or in combination with other therapies to treat headaches, osteoarthritis, addiction, asthma, menstrual cramps, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain (muscle), tennis elbow, lower back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Acupuncture is safe and effective for all people. Anyone who is looking for an alternative method to improve a specific ailment or achieve overall well-being on physical, mental, and emotional levels is a good candidate for acupuncture treatment.
The duration of acupuncture treatment tends to be rather relaxing. Upon insertion of the hair-thin needle, the needling site may feel a dull aching, warm tingling sensations, or even electrical impulses that traverse up and down the body—all of which are normal signs that the acupoints are being activated—and these should subside fairly quickly.Otherwise, any sharp pains or poking sensations are cause for alarm, so be sure to tell your acupuncturist if these occur.
Performed correctly, you should be able to completely relax during acupuncture treatment, and you may forget that the needles are there.
Acupuncture takes about 50 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes depending on extensiveness of treatment.
$125 – $200 per session.
The side effects from acupuncture are minor and vary from person to person. It is normal to feel mild soreness at the needling site, but only on occasion. It is also common to feel fatigued or ‘spaced out’ immediately following acupuncture treatment; conversely, some people feel rejuvenated and energized post treatment.
Other less common side effects include bruising at the needling site, involuntary muscle twitching, and lightheadedness. Acupuncture can be an emotionally and physically intensive experience and our minds and bodies may need time to adjust once complete.
With acupuncture, healing is a gradual process and results are subjective to the patient and therefore difficult to measure. Results are widely attributed to the strengthening and balancing of one’s immune system and the benefits that follow can be many, including healing of particular physical and emotional ailments, reversing signs of aging, curing addictions, and a general sense of improved well-being.
It is uncommon that a condition be resolved after only one treatment. In China, a typical acupuncture protocol for any chronic condition is every other day for three months. However, based on your specific condition(s), your acupuncturist will best able to recommend a course of treatment; the suggestion may be anywhere from every day for a week, to once a week for an extended amount of time.
Only a licensed and board-certified acupuncturist should give you acupuncture treatment
Acupuncture falls under the umbrella of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which includes a number of holistic remedies such as herbal medicine, dietary therapy, Tui Na massage, and Tai Qi exercises…all are worth looking into.
Many people have been known to cry during or after acupuncture…. this is normal and encouraged. This type of emotional expression is an indication that pain is being released from within and that physical healing is forthcoming.
Charlotte trivia: acupuncture was brought into the Western spotlight by the New York Times after President Nixon witnessed the use of it for pain management on his newsworthy visit to China in 1971.
Disclaimer: As always, this information is provided to you for educational and/or informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an endorsement of any particular product, treatment, or procedure. This information is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment by a doctor or other qualified health care professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about any procedure or treatment, users should always consult their doctor or other qualified health care professional. Please visit our Terms of Service to view our full disclaimers.
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