Traditional Chinese Acupuncture
What Acupuncture Does
Acupuncture is an ancient system of medicine that aims at the creation and maintenance of health along with the treatment of pain and disease. It has been practiced in China for over 3,000 years. Chinese Medicine understands that any sickness or symptom is the result of some imbalance of energy in the body as a whole.
It takes energy to make things work. Machines run on electrical energy or petroleum fuel. Human beings run on human energy. Just as machines require readjusting or tuning, periodically the human body-mind-spirit needs this sort of help. It is more difficult for humans to get hold of “spare parts” – we have to work with what we have. Acupuncture is a means of readjusting or balancing the energy in us: we can improve the quality, redistribute the quantity, and free the energy to flow more smoothly.
Whether the problem a person has is a knee pain, a headache, indigestion, or severe depression, the Chinese understand that all these different signals the body-mind-spirit produces express the same thing: that within the person there is an imbalance of this vital energy.
Our life energy travels in fourteen primary “channels” or “meridians,” which are in correspondence with such organs as the kidney, liver, heart, stomach, lung, bladder, etc. Each channel has a “pulse” which informs us about what the state of the energy is within it, and thereby guides the action we will take. The pulses along with other diagnostic tools and information provided by the patient begin to tell us what is wrong and how to put it right. The acupuncture needles are inserted along points of these channels to re-establish the proper flow of energy, to summon it to the places that need it and push it from the places where it is congested and causing a blockage. The sensation when the needle is in the acupuncture point is the sensation of energy being pushed or pulled.
Acupuncture – Natural Healing Art
Traditional Chinese Acupuncture is a healing art, and like any form of healing, can do no more than nature will allow. Rather than rely on drugs, the object of natural healing is to encourage the body-mind-spirit toward health so it can produce whatever it needs itself. Acupuncture strives to correct the problem at its roots.
All the energy in a person is affected by acupuncture treatment; mental, emotional and physical changes may occur as a result. A person might have a burst of anger or weep at slight provocation, or feel particularly happy or sad; appetite and taste may change and so forth. Everyone is different – be aware of the changes you feel – whether slight or dramatic. Understand that these changes are a response of your body and mind to its energy being revitalized and tuned.
Maintenance of health and prevention of sickness were the goals of ancient Chinese Medicine. The five integral aspects of therapy were diet, herbs, exercise, massage and acupuncture. It makes more sense to focus on prevention of disease as well as its cure.
What To Expect
Everyone is different. Each person responds to acupuncture in their own unique way. Some people feel energized and revitalized mentally and physically; others feel barely any change at all. All these responses are equally normal. The energy in your system has been influenced; it may be a step toward the recovery of some greater harmony within your entire self.
Acupuncture is a means of helping a person to help themselves. The points chosen for your treatment are an aid for your body-mind-spirit to begin to overcome its problems on its own. Sometimes the first treatment will cause an improvement with your complaint, sometimes it will take longer for you to respond. Your body has become accustomed to its old habits, regardless of whether they are good or bad for you; so a struggle begins. Your body has opposing inclinations: one is to recover balance and thus become free of complaints; the other is to reproduce old habits and thereby reinforce your problems.
This is the struggle that begins – the form it takes is different for everyone. It is often a process of two steps forward and one step back – progress followed by some regression.
The severity and duration of the problem influences how long it will take for the old pattern to be “re-programmed.”
How You Help
Generally, it is better to avoid or cut down on smoking, drinking coffee or alcohol, taking drugs and medicine, eating sugar (substitute honey or other natural sweeteners), eating refined and tinned foods (substitute whole, unrefined, naturally grown grains, fruits and vegetables whenever possible).
It is best that on the day of treatment or examination you:
v Do not take any alcohol or caffeine.
v Do not eat a heavy meal either before or after treatment, though it’s not good to be overly hungry either.
v Arrive relaxed and avoid anything strenuous physically or emotionally following treatment.
It is also good to imagine yourself the way you would like to be and feel. Our own mental energy is a powerful force. Allow your thoughts and attitude to reinforce the help each treatment provides. Picture yourself in a healthy, freely-flowing, balanced state of being. Eat sensible foods, stay with the idea of moderation in all things, get appropriate exercise, and be kind to yourself mentally and physically.