Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese Medicine tool that focuses on balancing Qi, a term for energy in the body. This energy, or Qi has a basic polarity that is called Yin and Yang. When these two polarities are out of balance, it is thought to lead to illness. In Chinese Medicine there are 5 elements (Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal) that are considered to within the body. These elements are metaphors for how energy or Qi moves. The goal of acupuncture is also to gain an overall homeostatic balance between the elements as well as the polarities of Yin and Yang.
The technique of acupuncture involves placing hair-thin needles in various spots throughout the body. Stimulating these points is believed to promote the body’s natural healing capabilities and enhance its function. Most people find that acupuncture is pain less and leads to great benefits in health, as well as a general sense of well being.
Approximately 2,000 different acupuncture points lie along the body’s meridians. The idea behind acupuncture is that stimulating these points with acupuncture needles or pressure relieves obstructions in the flow of energy, enabling the body to heal.
In the Western view, acupuncture likely works by stimulating the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) to release chemicals called neurotransmitters and hormones. These chemicals dull pain, boost the immune system and regulate various body functions.
Prior to receiving treatment, an initial consultation is required to go over necessary health and medical history. Classically, in clinical practice, acupuncture is highly individualized and based on philosophy and intuition, not on controlled scientific research. The number and frequency of acupuncture sessions vary but generally more than one session is needed. In the United States, acupuncture typically lasts from 10 to 60 minutes, with diagnosis and treatment for a single session.