Acupuncture – How it Works
What is acupuncture, how does it work and is it something good for me?
These are questions many people have. And in this day and age, as we are becoming smarter consumers of health care, it is something that is important to know and be informed about.
Acupuncture – Ancient Medicine for Modern Times
Acupuncture is Good for Your Health
You may have seen acupuncture on Oprah, on the Discovery Channel, in a movie, or perhaps you know someone who has received acupuncture, or even better yet, maybe you have had acupuncture yourself.
Regardless, acupuncture can be a very valuable modality to help you become healthy or healthier. It has been around thousands of years, which is a
testament of and by itself-if it was something that didn’t work, it wouldn’t have lasted this long.
Acupuncture is the placement of hair-thin needles in various acupuncture points in the body. These acupuncture points are on meridians, which are pathways of energy. The ancient Chinese developed the meridian system, and they mapped them on the body in a grid-type way.
If you look at the accompanying image, you will see what the meridians look like on a person. It almost looks like a road map. And in a way it is-they are the road maps for the way energy runs through the body.
There are 12 major meridians that run equally on both sides of the body, and they are related to organs in the body. There are 2 additional major meridians that run in the centerline of the body-one runs up the center of the front body, and one runs up the center of the back body.
Qi, or chi (pronounced chee), runs through these meridians. Qi is defined as energy, or vital energy. And so, when the acupuncture needle goes into the meridian, it is attempting to influence the qi.
The Chinese believed that illness was caused when the qi flow through the body was interrupted and not flowing well, either because the qi was weak and deficient, or because the qi was excessive and stagnating in the meridians.
The acupuncturist makes the determination of where the qi is off, and then inserts needles in various acupuncture points in the body to help the qi to become stronger, or to flow better, or both.
Usually, a person is laying on a table when they receive acupuncture, and once the acupuncturist has them acupunctured up (how’s that for a technical term?), the acupuncturist leaves the room and the person continues to lay on the table for anywhere from 20 – 45 minutes, give or take.
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Not only does an acupuncturist want to determine where the qi is off, they want to determine why the qi is off. In other words, they want to understand what factors are causing a person to become out of balance and ill. An acupuncturist will want to know more about you, in order to understand better the factors that may be play a role.
When you see an acupuncturist, you should plan on going anywhere from 4 – 10 times. Some people respond slowly, some more quickly, but you want to give your body ample opportunity to respond.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is good health. It is a process and sometimes takes time. And by going for a course of visits, the acupuncturist will get to know you better and better, and will be able to make suggestions that can be beneficial for your health.