While the strategic placing of needles through the skin is not the only Traditional Chinese Medicine technique included in acupuncture it is the most widely used and well-known. This technique uses hair-thin needles or pressure to stimulate points on the body causing the body to heal itself. Many people turn to it wanting to avoid the risk and side effects of medication, surgery and other new technology. Though some doubt its effectiveness, there is new research being published to support its use as a tool to aid in relieving pain and other medical ailments.
In Chinese philosophy it is believed that energy flows through pathways or meridians through the body. Illness is caused by blockages in the flow of energy through the body. There are 2,000 acupuncture points along the body’s meridians. By stimulating the points with hair-thin needles or pressure the flow of energy will be restored and the body can heal itself. Different points correspond to different organs in the body. In Western medicine it is believed to work by stimulating the central nervous system. The body responds to needles or pressure used at these points by releasing neurotransmitters and hormones.
Through a consultation you will discuss your medical history and the current condition you are experiencing. The practitioner will examine you and identify which organs are involved with your ailment, then map out the pressure points that correspond to your problem. Needles may be placed in the immediate area of the problem, or at distant sites in other parts of the body. Stimulating points in different areas of the body can increase treatment effectiveness. Several needles are usually inserted about a quarter of an inch to three inches deep in the skin at the mapped out points. You may feel a little pain when needles are inserted but shouldn’t feel any discomfort once they’re in. Treatments times can can vary from 5 up to 20 minutes. The amount of treatments depends on what the treatment is for and other factors like the severity.