Acupuncture, one of the main forms of therapy in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), has been practiced for at least 2,500 years. In acupuncture, certain points on the body associated with energy channels or “meridians” are stimulated by the insertion of super fine needles, that range from 0.12mm to 0.30mm (compared to a normal hypodermic needle at 29mm, acupuncture needles are barely felt if at all). The points can be needled between 15 and 90 degrees relative to the skin’s surface, depending on treatment.
Acupuncture restores health by removing energy imbalances and blockages in the body. Practitioners of TCM believe that there is a vital force or energy called qi (pronounced “chee”) that flows through the body, between the skin surface and the internal organs, and along channels or pathways called meridians. There are 12 major and 8 minor meridians. Qi regulates the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical harmony of the body by keeping the forces of yin and yang in balance. Yang is a principle of heat, activity, brightness, outwardness, while yin represents coldness, passivity, darkness, interiority, etc. TCM does not try to eliminate either yin or yang, but to keep them in harmonious balance. Acupuncture may be used to raise or lower the level of yin or yang in a specific part of the body in order to restore the energy balance.
The overall experience for those receiving acupuncture treatments can vary greatly. Most report feeling very relaxed during the treatment and many fall asleep. Some find the treatments to be very invigorating and energizing. Almost all report decreased stress and improved well-being. Interestingly, it is rare that a patient reports overall discomfort or pain associated with the treatments, even if they went in with a good deal of concern or fear over the idea of needling. Whatever the case, it is worth looking into further if you are interested in this ancient form of healing. Call or email today for a free informational consult with one of our acupuncturists.