What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the placing of sterile needles in specific points around the body. Point selection is made through several methods including detailed questioning, pulse diagnosis and tongue diagnosis. The goal of acupuncture is to identify areas of stagnation and areas of weakness and to redistribute the “Qi”, or vital energy.
The easiest way to understand how acupuncture works is to think of the body as being made up of channels of energy (meridians) which run in a specific pattern through the body. An obstruction in the movement of any of these energy channels is like a dam in a river which not only leads to stagnation but can cause imbalances in other channels.
The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points; acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions at the dams. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body to correct imbalances and improve the circulation of energy through the meridians. Points can be selected locally or distally to the place of discomfort – so don’t be too surprised if, for example, you have a headache and your acupuncturist puts a needle in your foot!
A more scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body’s own internal regulating system.
The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.
If you have any questions about acupuncture, or if you’re wondering if acupuncture is right for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch.