About Lifepath Acupuncture
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What is TCM Acupuncture?
Frequently Asked Questions About Acupuncture
Q) What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a means of adjusting the body’s life energy (chi or qi) through the insertion of fine needles into carefully selected acupuncture points along the meridians of the body. The needles, which have a rounded end rather than a sharp cutting one, are inserted into the points and are then manipulated with a gentle pumping action, by twirling or leaving in place for a few minutes.
These motions stimulate the flow of energy and remove blockages so that the qi can be dispersed and regulated. When the qi is flowing properly throughout the body, the balance is restored and improved health results.
Q) How does it work?
Although many theories have been presented, there is still no easy answer as to exactly how acupuncture works. The “Gate Control” theory suggests that pain impulses are blocked from reaching the spinal cord or brain at various “gates” to these areas. Since a majority of acupuncture points are either located near or connected to neural structures, this suggests that acupuncture stimulates the nervous system to “shut the gate” to the sensation of pain.
Other theories suggest that acupuncture stimulates the body to produce narcotic-like substances such as endorphins and opioids which, when released into the body, relieve pain. One thing is certain, although we may not know precisely how it works; studies have shown that it does work for a large majority of people and conditions.
Q) Does it hurt?
The sensation of receiving an acupuncture treatment can rarely be described as painful. Now that is not to say that it is devoid of sensation. But, generally, the feeling is more of a tingling. Acupuncture needles have a doweled end and therefore do not cut the skin as regular injection needles do. Following treatment, it is common for the patient to feel a tremendous sense of relaxation, and/or exhilaration.
Q) Is it safe?
This is a very common question among those who have never experienced an acupuncture treatment. The answer relies on the skill of the practitioner. If he or she is unsure of what they are doing, it is certainly possible to inflict injury with an acupuncture needle.
However, when practiced by a licensed, trained acupuncturist, acupuncture is extremely safe, and there is no danger whatsoever. The importance of seeking an appropriately trained practitioner cannot be overstated.
Q) Are the needles sterile & clean?
Before undergoing any acupuncture treatment, ask the practitioner about their sterilization procedures. All registered acupuncturists are required by law to sterilize needles. It is in their interest, as much as in the patient’s, to use extreme caution.
For this reason, some practitioners use disposable needles which can be discarded following the treatment of each patient. In cases where disposable needles are not used, the practitioner will have a sterilizer (called an autoclave) in the clinic or may use hospital sterilization services.
Q) What conditions does acupuncture treat?
The World Health Organization (WHO) lists approximately four dozen different conditions that can legitimately be treated by acupuncture.
The most common uses for acupuncture in the West include Pain Management, Asthma, Sinusitis, Drug Abuse, Alcoholism, Smoking cessation, Strokes, Gastrointestinal Disorders, Weight Loss, Gynaecological and Obstetric Problems, Fertility and Sexual Dysfunction Problems.
Q) How many treatments will I need?
The total number of treatments required to effect change in a condition varies dependent upon the disease, and it’s severity, the duration of the illness, the frequency of the treatments and the patient themselves.
Consultation with an experienced practitioner on you and your condition will offer the best guide for the length of treatment. However, as a rough guideline, the maximum benefit is usually obtained after approximately six treatments at weekly intervals.
Three more treatments at three-month intervals followed by one or two occasional treatments may be recommended to prevent recurrence.
What Are The Benefits of Acupuncture?
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