Acupuncture is an essential part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is based on ideas and theories formulated over thousands of years. Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles into specific sites on the body chosen according to the guiding principles of Traditional Oriental Medicine. Needles may also be used with an application of moxibustion, an herbal heat source, or sometimes an electrical pulse is combined with the needles for increased stimulation.
How and where the needles are inserted encourages the body to promote natural healing by enhancing recuperative power, immunity, physical and emotional health and improves overall function and well-being. Acupuncture balances and maintains our health in a natural way.
As a system of medicine, acupuncture is over 2500 years old, and may have been practiced in China in a rudimentary form 5,000, even 7,000 years ago. The oldest continuously used medical textbook is the “Huang Di Nei Jing” (“Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic”). Still relevant today, this textbook remains a valuable reference on the theory, and on acupuncture techniques that practitioners still use today. The practice of acupuncture has evolved and changed in the last 2500 years – many new techniques have been developed, and continue to be developed today.
Yes. Only sterile disposable needles are used. Because of the training an Acupuncturist receives, acupuncture is very safe. If a comprehensively trained acupuncturist performs the treatment, your safety is assured.
“Although tens of millions of acupuncture needles are used annually in the United States, only about 50 cases of complications resulting from acupuncture have been reported in the medical literature over the past 20 years.” – Birch, et. al., “Clinical Research on Acupuncture”, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2004
Acupuncture needles are very thin. Most people do not find the insertion of such hair fine needles to be painful. Acupuncture needles are thin hair-like, unlike injection needles, which are thicker, hollow and have cutting edges. This is why acupuncture feels nothing like getting a shot or having blood drawn.
Acupuncture can relieve the symptoms of your health issue, strengthen your body’s resistance to disease, and restore balance and normal function to your system. There are also many beneficial side effects to acupuncture. Patients report that most of the time they:
Feel better (76%)
Miss fewer work days (71%)
Get along better with others (69%)
Have less pain (64%)
Have more energy (58%)
Are more focused (58%)
Can work better (64%)
The Traditional Chinese Medicine explanation of how acupuncture works is that channels, or meridians, of energy run in regular patterns throughout the body and over its surface. These energy channels flow through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues and organs. An obstruction in the movement of the energy is like a dam that can cause obstruction in the flow of blood, bodily fluids and metabolic waste, thereby creating imbalances in the body.
Needling the acupuncture points can influence the meridian by unblocking the obstructions and re-establishing a healthy flow through the meridians. Since the meridians link with the organs, a treatment can therefore, also help to improve the function of the internal organs. The improved energy flow and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities and in promoting physical and emotional well being.
Western science has also suggested several theories for how Acupuncture works, including (1) conduction of electromagnetic signals, (2) activation of opioid systems, and (3) changes in brain chemistry, sensation, and involuntary bodily functions. (NCCAM Research Study, 2002.)
Yes. A New Zealand government study found that adjustments are “remarkably safe.” Chiropractic care enjoys an excellent track record. A thorough exam can identify the rare person from whom chiropractic care might be unsuited.
No. Only the spinal joints that are “locked up” receive adjustments. The occasional spinal joints that move too much, are passed over so weakened muscles and ligaments can stabilize and heal.
The number of adjustments varies with each patient and their individual health goals. Many patients sense some progress within a week or two of frequent visits. Visits are less often as your spine stabilizes. In difficult cases, complete healing can take months or even years.
Even today’s “natural” childbirth methods can affect an infant’s spine. Colic, unusual crying, poor appetite or erratic sleeping habits can be signs of spinal distress. Adjustments are gentle. Knowing exactly where to adjust, no more pressure than you’d use to test the ripeness of a tomato is involved.
No. Some people can make their joints “pop” but that’s not an adjustment! Adjustments are specific and take years to master. Even your chiropractor must consult a colleague to benefit from chiropractic care.
Most patients report a sense of well-being or a feeling of calmness. Since repeated adjustments are necessary, if adjustments didn’t feel good, patients wouldn’t return to finish their care. Chiropractors are experts at making adjustments feel good.
Of course. When developing a care plan, your chiropractor considers the unique circumstances of each patient. There are many ways to adjust the spine. The method selected will be the best suited to your age, size and spinal problem.
No. Back pain is not normal. It’s your body signaling to you that something is not right. Regular adjustments to the spine release the built-up pressure that often causes muscle tension and irritation in the back and neck.