How does acupuncture work?

The human body is all about homeostasis. We like to be balanced, and when something is out of balance within the body it can show up in different ways, including fatigue, stress, various illnesses/disorders, etc. Acupuncture can work to bring balance back to the body by stimulating the nervous system in such a way that chemicals are released from different areas of the body, like the brain, spinal cord, and muscles, which can correct pain and work on other chemicals within the body that can, in turn, "influence" the body's own internal regulating system". Think of a garden, it needs water to grow, to be healthy, produce, and to live. The watering hose represents the meridians or channels within the body, through which energy should freely flow. If the hose is working properly then it can nourish the garden and the garden will flourish. If there is a kink in the hose or some type of obstruction, the water will not be able to flow properly through and the garden will not receive necessary nourishment and thus will wither. The same is true for the meridians of the body in which energy flows. The energy is like the water from the hose, the hose represents the channels, and the garden represents the tissue, organs, etc. If you kink or obstruct the channel the body is effected and knocked off balance. Therefore, by using acupuncture, the needles work to stimulate the channels in order to help the energy flowing through the way it is suppose to. The acupuncture needles provide the stimulation necessary to un-kink the obstruction that is keeping the body from maintaining homeostasis.

How many treatments will it take?

This is a difficult question to answer, because every patient is different and is treated as an individual. The amount of treatments recommended for one person may or may not be appropriate for the next. It depends on what is being treated and how well the person is responding. The more chronic the condition is, the more treatments they will likely need.

Anything I should or should not do before or after treatment?

You should not eat a large meal right before or right after a treatment, exercise excessively, or consume alcohol within 6 hours before and/or after treatment. In addition, you should rest, and write down how they felt after the treatment.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Many people, even those who are scared of needles, report that acupuncture does not hurt. However, everyone is different, with different tolerances for pain and sensations. The sensation or pain that is felt may feel like a little pinch. It may feel numb, tingly, and/or electrical. It is good to feel a little something when the needles are put in and when they are stimulated. Keep in mind, if it is too painful or feels like a shock that will not go away, the needle is removed. Some points are more sensitive or tender on some than on others, and there are some points that are on sensitive areas of the body, so they tend to be a bit more uncomfortable. I would have to say from my own experience, that it does not hurt, but it does feel weird and sometimes a bit uncomfortable. Some people feel claustrophobic because they are unable to move around. Overall, the benefit far outweighs the slight pain or discomfort one may feel, and it is likely that the longer the needles are in the less they will notice any pain.

What does it feel like?

It may feel weird at first. The feeling is like a sensation of tingling or numbness. One may also feel a sense of heaviness in the body, especially in the area of the needle, and it may feel somewhat sore during the treatment, and sometimes even after the needles are removed.

What can it treat?

Acupuncture can treat a wide variety of disorders and problems. It can be used for endocrine disorders, fatigue, mental disorders (ex. Bipolar, ADD, anxiety, depression, addictions), arthritis, GI issues, such as constipation and diarrhea, dizziness, cold/flu, PMS, low back pain, smoking cessation, sore throat, infertility, migraine, OA, RA, carpel tunnel syndrome, nausea, morning sickness, hiccups, fibromyalgia, IBS, eye issues, gingivitis, and even wrinkles…the list goes on. Pain tends to be the first thing many think of when thinking of conditions that acupuncture can treat.

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