What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient, natural healing art that has been proven safe and effective for treating pain and dysfunction in the body. As with chiropractic, acupuncture is based on the philosophy that if you restore normal function and balance to the body, you will feel well and experience great health. But unlike chiropractic which restores motion and function to the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, acupuncture works on an invisible energy network that is located just under the surface of the skin. This energy works in harmony with the body's circulatory, nervous, muscular, digestive, and all other systems in the body. When this vital energy becomes blocked or weakened, an effect in a body system or anatomic location becomes evident.
How does it work?
Acupuncture works by restoring balance to this energy system through the stimulation of a variety of acupoints located along the network. The Chinese refer to this subtle energy as Qi (pronounced chee). Traditionally acupuncturists would use needles to accomplish this, but there are a many ways to stimulate the points without piercing the skin, such as acupressure.
Is treatment painful?
One would assume that inserting a needle into the skin would be painful, however four acupuncture needles can easily be inserted into the hollow tube of a hypodermic needle. Because the needles are narrow, most patients compare the sensation to 'less than a mosquito bite', however, that will vary based on where the needle is placed, and many times there is no pain at all. They are sterile and disposable, but other methods can be used instead to stimulate the acupoints for those who would rather not use needles.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments will vary with different conditions and individuals. As with chiropractic, chronic conditions generally require more treatment than acute ones. Some patients notice an immediate improvement after one session, whereas others may not notice any effect until their eighth or tenth visit. Researchers internationally agree that the usual number of treatments is between eight and sixteen. The frequency of visits is between two and four a week, and it is best to give it enough time and be patient with the healing process.