Over 4,000 years ago, the Chinese conceptualized a Life Force, called Qi (chee), flowing through the body. Qi circulates through pathways similar to the way blood, nerves, and lymph travel through our bodies. Hundreds of points have been identified along these pathways that, when stimulated by needles, affect bodily processes. Our health depends on the harmonious flow of Qi, and when imbalance occurs, we experience pain, sickness and disease. Acupuncture helps to restore the body’s natural circulation of Qi – what a western physician might describe as improved immune, circulatory, neurological, and hormonal functioning.
Does it hurt?
When considering acupuncture, patients often say they are most apprehensive about feeling pain from the needles. They discover that treatment is virtually painless because acupuncture needles are extremely thin and flexible -- approximately 16 acupuncture needles together equal the thickness of a pin. Patients are also reassured to learn that acupuncture needles are FDA approved as medical devices and are individually wrapped, totally sterile, and disposed of after one use. After treatment, people often feel rejuvenated and relaxed, with an alleviation of their symptoms.
There are also many options for individuals who prefer not to be treated with needles. These techniques are especially useful when treating children and other highly sensitive people. (Click on the Children's Health tab for details.)
What can be treated?
The World Health Organization recognizes over 50 diseases that lend themselves to acupuncture treatment, including: