What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one component of traditional Chinese Medicine (which is also referred to as Eastern Medicine). Acupuncture therapy and traditional Chinese Medicine is an ancient form of alternative medicine based on the general theory that there are patterns of energy (Qi) flow through the body that are essential for health and balance. Any disruptions to the flow of Qi are believed to be the cause of disease, and acupuncture treatment aims to restore the balance and allows proper flow of energy.
Acupuncture treatments are performed by licensed practitioners and can be used to treat almost any condition. Stimulation of specific anatomical locations with thin metal needles are used to treat varying pathologies. Acupuncturists often use a combination of traditional Chinese Medicine modalities including acupuncture (needling) with therapeutic massage and/or cupping treatment to restore balance and treat both acute and chronic pathologies.
Acupuncture can be used to treat both acute and chronic conditions, including both physical and mental health concerns. As a system of alternative medicine, Acupuncture is designed to treat the whole person, and can therefore be considered in almost any situation where a person’s health is depleted. An Acupuncturist will assess both physical and emotional health, including any symptoms, and will then customize a suitable course of treatment.
Acupuncture is a popular and effective choice for pain relief treatment of headaches, musculoskeletal/joint pain, neuralgia, and for the treatment of many other conditions, including gastrointestinal and emotional conditions.
Common pathologies treated with Acupuncture include:
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Respiratory disorders
- Hormonal disorders
- Skin problems
- Digestive problems
What to Expect During your Acupuncture Treatment
During the first consultation, the Acupuncturist will make their recommendations for a treatment plan after a thorough interview including questions regarding medical history, personality traits, stress, and lifestyle. Typically, the practitioner will also observe your pulse and tongue and discuss their recommendations for treatment.
Acupuncture treatment will generally consist of the patient laying on a massage table and having small sterile needles inserted into certain specifically chosen anatomical locations, called acupuncture points. Most patients report feeling very relaxed during their treatment and report very minimal, if any, discomfort when the needles are being inserted.
Before and After Acupuncture Treatment
You should make sure that you have eaten a light meal prior to having acupuncture. You should avoid consuming caffeine or nicotine for 90 minutes before and after treatment. Continue with all medications as prescribed.
As all Acupuncture treatments are tailored to a unique individual and condition, always follow the detailed instructions of the Practitioner. Most patients choose to relax following their treatment as patients may report feeling fatigued; however, each treatment varies by patient and desired outcome.
Risks/Common Side Effects of Acupuncture
Risk of serious adverse events is extremely low. The most commonly reported side effects include post-treatment fatigue, dizziness or minor aches, which can be explained as part of the healing process.