What is acupuncture?

Medicine book from Qing Dynasty

Medicine book from Qing Dynasty

Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese medicine that originated over 2,000 years ago. Both Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine are based on the belief that living beings have a vital energy called “Qi” that circulates throughout the body along 14 meridians. Each meridian corresponds to a major organ; for example, you have a lung meridian, a large intestine meridian, a kidney meridian, a bladder meridian, etc. These meridians are marked by a series of specific points that are stimulated by acupuncture. 

A diagnosis of which meridian to treat is decided upon after an intake is conducted with the patient. During the intake the patient is asked by the acupuncturist about lifestyle habits relating to diet, sleep, appetite, stress levels, and other questions relating to their physical and emotional health. A pulse reading is then done to ascertain the state of a person’s vital energy as it relates to all 14 meridian systems.

After the patient’s intake is finished and a diagnosis has been made, the patient lies down on a comfortable table in a stress free setting with music and soothing lighting. The acupuncturist then inserts thin, single-use needles in various places on the body depending on the ailment. Most people describe a relaxing sensation with virtually no pain. The needles are thin as a hair and some people say they feel nothing when they go in, or less than a mosquito bite. Treatment length varies from forty minutes to one hour depending on the what's being treated. Patients describe a very relaxed state after the treatment is done.