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What is Acupuncture?

History and Progression

Acupuncture is an ancient and unique Chinese medicine that has helped balance the mind and body of billions of people over thousands of years. Acupuncture works by providing equilibrium to the body’s systems and energy, with focus on prevention and healing, making it a particularly effective and holistic means of achieving health. Many people around the globe find acupuncture to be integral to their sense of wellness and overall health. In fact, more people each year are seeking acupuncture treatments! In a 2007 survey, 3.2 million Americans had undergone acupuncture in the past year—up from 2.1 million in 2001, according to the government’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a proven, safe, effective, and ancient form of healing that began in China 3,500 years ago and is now used by over 2 billion people including 12 million Americans. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine strengthen the body’s natural defense mechanisms to protect against disease, enhance energy, and maintain a prolonged state of vibrant health. Acupuncture, with the use of herbal prescriptions often used in tandem, is effective treatment for a wide variety of conditions and can help regulate spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical balance.

Philosophy of Acupuncture:

Acupuncture is based on an utterly holistic concept of the human body. The body does not carry out physiological symptoms separately, but as an integrated whole. The goal of treatment is to rebalance the energetic systems, optimizing a person’s function on all levels.

Another key characteristic of acupuncture is an intention to correct the root of a given physical or physiological problem rather than merely reducing or controlling symptoms. Acupuncturists hope to treat imbalances before they become disease.

These two concepts together are the philosophy behind Traditional Chinese Medicine. The power of Chinese medicine lies in these philosophies, applied to the practice of acupuncture.

Practice of Acupuncture:

Acupuncture is about enabling the body’s energy to flow freely. The body has blood that flows through the circulatory system and nerve messages that flow through the nervous system. Life energy flows through a system of 14 channels called meridians that were mapped out 3,500 years ago. Today meridians can be measured scientifically by reading their electrical resistance. When this energy is blocked, health problems arise.

Acupuncturists are trained to find and correct energy blocks in the body. Clearing these blockages enables tissues and organs to heal. If you have ever tried watering a garden with a hose that has a kink in it, you know that the water doesn’t flow, and unless you correct the blockage, the water will not flow to nourish your garden. Acupuncturists remove kinks in the flow of energy and cultivate health by treating some combination of the 365 points on the human body, along the 14 major meridians.

The scope of Traditional Chinese Medicine as recognized by the state of Oregon includes acupuncture, moxibustion, tui-na (traditional medical massage), Chinese cupping, electro-acupuncture, herbal therapy, massage therapy, nutritional consultation, and infrared heat therapy also known as laser therapy. Acupuncture, herbs, and these other treatments are employed in attempt to restore ill patients to a state of biological energy balance.

Experience of Acupuncture:

First-time patients are typically surprised to discover how enjoyable acupuncture is. The practitioner begins with a thorough interview about all aspects of your health. After a diagnosis, you’ll be made comfortable on a table in a heated room. Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin, sterile, single-use disposable needles in the skin. These needles are the primary method in which energy is unblocked throughout the body. After the needles are in place you will be given time to rest, usually 20 to 45 minutes. During this time many patients experience a floating or heavy sensation, but typically feel comfortable, relaxed and sometimes fall asleep. After your treatment, you will very likely feel a sense of well being and relaxation.

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