Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine that promotes a natural healing response for balancing the body. Acupuncture is performed by inserting thin, sterilized and disposable needles into specific acupoints and meridians. Acupressure stimulates the acupoints with pressure or massage techniques.
Both acupuncture and acupressure stimulate the nervous system and strengthen normal body functions and rhythms. Other techniques can also be used on the meridians and acupoints including moxibustion, which is warming the points, and cupping, which is using suction cups in fleshy areas of the body. These techniques are used to increase energy flow or to move energy and relieve stagnation and pain in the body.
The selection of the acupoints is based on the presentation of symptoms and health patterns, such as sleep, diet, energy levels, and areas of pain. Acupuncture needles are not the same as those used for giving shots. Rather, they are thin and solid and are disposed after each use.
The World Health Organization recognizes that acupuncture is effective for over 43 conditions ranging from digestive complaints, reproductive health, pain management, stress and overall well being. Most people should expect to receive 3-12 treatments for common ailments with longer standing chronic problems taking longer to treat.
The first treatment will include an extensive health history and follow-up appointments take less time, usually about 30-45 minutes. Some people experience “side benefits” of acupuncture when they notice that overall they may be feeling better, sometimes even before the main treatment goal is achieved. Occasionally a person might feel a bit worse right after a treatment before they feel better. This sometimes happens after the first treatment.
The effects of acupressure are similar to acupuncture and it is a good choice for those who are needle sensitive. There are some conditions that are best treated with acupuncture and this can be discussed with your practitioner. Susannah provides a free initial consultation either in person or on the phone to answer your questions and help you decide if acupuncture is right for you.