What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a complicated branch of Chinese medicine, but as a medicine of the people, it is easily grasped. Acupuncture developed over 3,000 years ago. The body was seen as a microcosm of nature and still is. Illness is described in terms of a “weather report” of wind, cold, damp and heat. The five elements of earth, wind, fire, wood and metal correspond to various organs and imbalances are examined through this system as well.
Fourteen major energy channels called meridians travel up, down and around the body. Qi, pronounced “chee,” circulates in these channels. Qi translates as life force. Any blockage or misdirection of qi can result in disease and pain. Qi blockages happen when the elements and weather system of the body become unstable and unharmonious due to internal or external factors including poor nutrition, toxins, infectious disease, injuries and stress.
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How Many Treatments and How Often?
Each person is unique, but in general, the recommendation is 1-3 treatments a week for a month or two and then start cutting back until they drop off to a preventative treatment with every change of season. Some people only need a couple of treatments and some may need to come once a week or once a month for months or years. Others like to come routinely to relax and ease stress. Rarely does one treatment solve everything. A commitment of personal responsibility is needed from the patient for this modality to work. Acupuncture sets the stage for the body to heal itself. Your practitioner opens the gate to your way of wellness. It is up to you to follow it.
But Does it Hurt?
Needles are hair thin. They aren’t hollow like a hypodermic syringe. Pain is not part of this process. Sensations of warmth, a pinching or a dull ache may initially take place, but if they do not fade quickly, tell the practitioner! Sometimes a bruise or an ache may happen after a session. This is not unusual. Take note of how you feel and how you progress so you can tell your practitioner.
How Long is a Session?
Most people know when they are done. After relaxing or cat-napping for a bit, there is a time when one just feels ready to get up. This can be 15 minutes to two hours. Babies and the aged can have treatments lasting only seconds due to their sensitivity. A tightly wound person may need to rest for a much longer time.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
The government requires acupuncturists to follow strict protocols regarding needles. They are sterile, disposable and used one time in one place. Acupuncturists undergo three to four years of training in a master’s level program and must undergo national and/or state boards to qualify for licensure. Continuing education is mandatory. Acupuncture is a flexible, gentle and powerful modality that can help ease pain and stress of all kinds. It blends well with other modalities such as chiropractic care and is a good adjunct to western medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.
What Acupuncture Treats:
Rates for Acupuncture
$80 an hour for private sessions.