How Does Acupuncture Work?
The theory and practice of acupuncture is based on Oriental medicine, a comprehensive natural health care system that has been used in Asian countries for thousands of years to preserve health, diagnose, treat and prevent illness. Acupuncture treats conditions by stimulating “acu-points” found at specific locations on the surface of the body. Acupuncturists stimulate the acu-points by inserting very thin needles through the skin to produce physiological effects. Other methods are also used to stimulate acu-points, such as heat or finger-pressure.
The general theory of acupuncture is that proper physiological function and health depend on the circulation of nutrients, substances, and energy, called qi (pronounced “chee”), through a network of “channels” or “meridians.” This network connects every organ and part of the body, providing balance, regulation and coordination of physiological processes. Pain and ill-health result when the flow of qi through the body is disrupted or blocked by things such as, disease, pathogens, trauma, injuries, surgeries, and medications, as well as lifestyle factors such as overwork, poor diet, emotions, lack of rest and stress.
Stimulation of the appropriate acu-points through acupuncture treatments helps to restore sufficient, continuous and even flow of qi and other nutrients throughout the body. Restoring proper flow of qi and nutrients restores health and balance to the body, while relieving pain and other symptoms. The acupuncturist uses a sophisticated and complex system of diagnostic methods that take into consideration the person as a whole, discerning the body’s pattern of disharmony rather than isolated symptoms.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine are one of the newest primary health care professions in California. The potential benefits of acupuncture are widely recognized, and it is being increasingly integrated with mainstream health care. Since the 1970’s, when acupuncture and Oriental medicine first became available in the United States, more than 15 million Americans have tried it. The risk of side effects is low and the potential benefits are high. Knowing what to expect from acupuncture will help patients get the most benefit from treatments.
Is Acupuncture Painful?
Unlike hypodermic needles, acupuncture needles are hair-thin and flexible, permitting a nearly painless insertion. You may feel a minimal amount of discomfort as the needles pass through the skin. Some patients report feeling a sensation of excitement, while others feel relaxed.
Is Acupuncture Safe
Yes, it is very safe when practiced by a licensed acupuncturist. We use only sterile and disposable needles.