What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that has been practiced for centuries. It's based on the theory that energy, called qi (say "chee"), flows through and around your body along pathways called meridians.
Acupuncturists believe that illness occurs when something blocks or unbalances your chi. Acupuncture is a way to unblock or influence chi and help it flow back into balance.
Acupuncture is done by putting very thin needles into your skin at certain points on your body. This is done to influence the energy flow. Sometimes heat, pressure, or mild electrical current is used along with needles.
Electrical acupuncture stimulation combines needles into selected motor points of overused muscles along with electrical stimulation. . Electrical stimulation involves superficial application of electrodes. The combination of depth and intensity and frequency of electricity applied can return a contracture to normal resting length. This is particularly useful for chronic overuse syndromes and enhanced recovery.
You may feel slight pressure when a needle goes in. Most people find that it doesn't hurt. The area may tingle, feel numb, itch, or be a little sore. Providers believe that this is a sign that the energy flow, or chi, has been accessed.
The term “acupuncture” describes a family of procedures involving the stimulation of anatomical points on the body using a variety of techniques. The acupuncture technique that has been most often studied scientifically involves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or by electrical stimulation.
Practiced in China and other Asian countries for thousands of years, acupuncture is one of the key components of traditional Chinese medicine. In TCM, the body is seen as a delicate balance of two opposing and inseparable forces: yin and yang. Health is achieved by maintaining the body in a “balanced state” of yin and yang. Illness and pain is due to an imbalance of yin and yang and a blockage in the free flow of qi. Qi can be unblocked by using acupuncture at certain points on the body.
Acupuncture is used to relieve pain and treat many health conditions. It may be used by itself or as part of a treatment program. Studies have shown positive results for the use of acupuncture to treat orthopedic pain, post surgical pain, nausea and vomiting related to pregnancy, and chemotherapy. Acupuncture is also very effective in the treatment of:
- Tennis elbow
- Myofascial pain
- Low back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Drug addiction
- Stroke rehabilitation
- Menstrual cramps