Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical technique that is used to diagnose and treat illness as well as prevent disease and improve well-being. Acupuncture originated in China more than 5,000 years ago. It is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points. Needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either decrease 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.
How does acupuncture work?
In traditional Chinese medical theory，acupuncture frees up chi (energy) by inserting needles at particular points on the body to balance the opposing forces of yin and yang. Chi is believed to flow through the body along 14 main pathways called meridians. When yin and yang are in harmony, chi flows freely within the body and a person is healthy. When a person is sick or injured, there is an obstruction of chi along one of the meridians. The effectiveness of acupuncture is well documented and extends far beyond the conception that it is only effective for pain management.
The classical Chinese explanation is that channels of energy run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up the flow. Acupuncture is a method used to remove these “dams.” The modern explanation is proposed that acupuncture produces its effects through regulating the nervous system, thus aiding the activity of pain-killing biochemicals such as endorphins and immune system cells at specific sites in the body.
What are the needles like? Do they hurt?
People experience acupuncture needling differently. Most patients feel only minimal pain as the needles are inserted; some feel no pain at all. Once the needles are in place, there is no pain felt. Acupuncture needles are very thin and solid and are made from stainless steel. The point is smooth (not hollow with cutting edges like a hypodermic needle) and insertion through the skin is not as painful as injections or blood sampling. The risk of bruising and skin irritation is less than when using a hollow needle. The doctors at Chiromedics Health Centre™ follow clean needle technique and use disposable needles, therefore there is little to no risk of infection from the treatments.