What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture seeks to correct health on the qi level. There are pathways within the human body through which qi flows; these pathways are called meridians or channels. Small, sterile, single-use needles are inserted along these meridians into specific acupuncture points to influence the qi that flows to the internal organs; this process affects both the structure and function of these organs. These acupuncture points were mapped by practitioners in China over 2000 years ago and in the past few decades research has confirmed the existence and location of these points. Needles can also work on specific areas of pain that may not be associated with internal problems; sport injuries, for example. A needle inserted near the area of a pulled tendon or overstrained muscle will increase the flow of qi to that area; this decreases the pain and accelerates the healing process.
Is Acupuncture Painful?
Acupuncture should not hurt, but you should feel it. Most people enjoy treatment and find it very comfortable, restful, and relaxing. Sometimes the needle insertion feels like a quick pinch that rapidly subsides. Some people report a mild tingling, heaviness, warmth, or a dull ache at the acupuncture point, which is a sensation of qi moving. Generally sessions last about an hour, in which the patient rests or even falls asleep. After your treatment, you can expect to feel less pain, more energy, and a heightened sense of well-being. Side effects are rare but may include the following symptoms: light-headedness, dizziness, sleepiness, euphoria, nausea, slight bruising and residual muscle aching. Any of these should last only a very short time.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments a patient needs depends upon the severity and duration of the symptoms. Acute conditions such as cold and flu symptoms and recent injuries generally take 4-6 visits to resolve. For chronic symptoms, a longer course of treatment (6-12 acupuncture treatments) is normally required. It is important to remember that everyone is an individual and heals at different rates. Your treatment plan will be determined and discussed with your practitioner during your first visit.