Acupuncture treatment is an ancient form of Chinese medicine, and one of the oldest types of treatment in existence today. It is also one of the most common.
This procedure is based on the promise that what occurs to one part of the human body directly affects the rest of the body. Similarly, organs are viewed as one working system which work together in order to maintain the functionality of the body overall.
One of the basic concepts associated with the treatment is “qi” (pronounced “chi”), which is considered a vital force or energy. Qi moves inside the body via pathways, or channels referred to as meridians. In fact, with this belief comes the idea that all illnesses are directly caused through in imbalance in the Qi flow; thus, practitioners work to correct this flow in order to restore the body to the perfect balance. Acupuncture is a treatment method used to correct the imbalances, and allow for a normal qi flow, I hopes of restoring health to both the body and mind.
What to Expect
During your initial visit, an acupuncturist typically begins by obtaining a thorough patient medical history. After careful review, the practitioner will begin diagnosing the ailment. This diagnosis includes palpation on points around the body, a tongue exam, pulse tracking, etc.
Using the information gathered, the cause of the symptoms is determined. Needles are inserted into specific points in the body that correlate to the treatment at hand. In some cases doctors have been known to use electrical stimulation to better enhance the effects of the treatment.
The overall number of appointments varies between patients, and will depend on the state of the illness. In general, most treatments last somewhere around 10 appointment, although many patients have seen vast improvements in only a few. The first appointment may take up to an hour and a half, while the other visits will typically take much less, as the physician becomes more familiar with the patient.
Does it Hurt?
Unlike hypodermic needles, these are solid and extremely thin. They are not made with the intent of bruising the skin. Needles are also placed at much more low levels than hypodermic types, typically no more than one half inch to an inch in depth. While each individual patient experiences the process differently, most tend to feel only a mild amount of discomfort if any. Some patients find the process exhilarating, and others more relaxing.
If you are interested in pursuing acupuncture treatments, the best way to find out more is by scheduling a consultation. In this fashion you will be able to determine whether the environment, physician, and treatment itself are something you feel comfortable with. Go prepared with a list of questions and discussion topics to better assist the physician in determine a method that will work best for your specific case.