History of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is rooted in the Taoist tradition which goes back over 8000 years. The people of this time period observed the flow of energy within the body and also externally in the environment. They were keen to understand people's relationship to nature and the universe. Fu Hsi, a sage who lived in the Yellow River area of China formulated the first two symbols, a broken line and unbroken line. These symbols represented the two major forces in the universe - creation and reception - and how their interaction forms life. This duality was named yin-yang and they represent the backbone of Chinese Medicine theory and application. The most significant milestone in the history of Acupuncture occurred around 305-204 B.C. The Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperors Classic of Internal Medicine) was compiled and is considered the foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Acupuncture is one component of Chinese Medicine based on the philosophy that there is life energy flowing through the body which is called Qi, and qi can be influenced and balanced by stimulating specific points on the body. These points are located along channels of energy known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to TCM theory, illness arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced or is blocked.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve body functions. This is done by inserting needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points to open up the flow of qi.
How does Acupuncture Work?
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. The needles open up blockages, much like opening a damn, to encourage the proper flow of Qi and blood.
From a scientific perspective, inserting needles at these points stimulates various sensory receptors that, in turn, stimulate nerves that transmit impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary system in the brain. The hypothalamus-pituitary glands are responsible for releasing neurotransmitters and endorphins to control bodily functions. This is why acupuncture works well for pain, arthritis but also for infertility and depression, to name just a few conditions.
How many treatments will you need?
The number of treatments and the frequency of the treatments will vary depending on the physical, mental and emotional state of the patient and also on how long the person has had the condition and how advanced it is. The more chronic the condition, the more treatments are likely to be required. So treatment protocols will vary from person to person.
What should you expect at your treatment
- an overview of your health from a western and eastern medicine perspective
- discussion of your concerns, diagnosis and prognosis
- treatment may include any of the following - regular acupuncture, auricular acupuncture (on the ears), esoteric acupuncture, trigger point therapy, cupping, electrostimulation, massage. Aside from trigger point therapy, the other methods are not invasive and discomfort is typically mild or not at all.
- typically the side effects from acupuncture may rarely include minor bleeding/bruising, light headedness/dizziness, but more often people will experience less anxiety and stress and a feeling of calmness after a treatment.