Traditional Chinese Medicine dates back to 600 A.D. and includes the practice of Acupuncture. Acupuncture is accepted by the National Institute of Health for a wide variety of medical conditions, including neuromusculoskeletal problems, internal medicine, and mental health conditions. Acupuncture balances the nervous system and increases circulation making it easier for the body to heal itself without the use of medication.
Acupuncture is the most common modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, in which very thin, sterilized needles are inserted into the body at specific points along the body’s channels or meridians. The meridians are pathways that run throughout the body consisting of nerves, blood vessels, and fascial lines. Each meridian has many acupuncture points along its pathway, that coincide with major nerve centers. Acupuncture works by stimulating the nerves of specific points using the needles, causing them to release feel-good chemicals known as endorphins.
People in pain often have low levels of endorphins and a release of those endorphins can suppress the sensation of pain. The points are also located near trigger points, spots on the body where pain radiates away from the center when pressed. Acupuncture may ease the stress on trigger points thereby lessening pain in that area.
The first visit is an hour long and like an interview, involves the patient answering questions pertaining to their individual body. This is an extremely important part of the Acupuncture treatment because everybody is different, and therefore every complaint should be treated as such. The interview process is a way for the practitioner to see a detailed picture of what is going on internally, so the treatment can be tailored to the patients’ needs.
The needles used in acupuncture are extremely thin, however, everyone experiences different sensations. Some may feel a little prick of the needle and others may feel nothing at all. Usually, patients are left feeling relaxed and rejuvenated after the treatment.
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