What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is among the oldest healing practices in the world. Acupuncture is based on the idea that health is determined by a balanced flow of Qi (chee) or energy. Qi is circulated through the body via energy pathways called meridians. Each of these meridians through which Qi flows is linked to an internal organ system. There are over 1,000 acupoints on the meridian system that can be stimulated to enhance the flow of Qi. Acupuncture addresses illness by finding and repairing low levels and blockages of Qi in the body.

As part of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture aims to restore and maintain health through stimulation of specific points on the body. Special needles are inserted into these acupoints, which are located just below the skin. These needles help correct the flow of energy.

What can acupuncture treat?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institute of Health, and clinical experience, acupuncture is useful for (but not limited to):

  • Acute and chronic pain (injuries, headaches, neck pain, back pain, sciatica, tendonitis, carpal tunnel, etc.)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Addiction disorders (smoking, alcohol, weight loss)
  • Supportive therapy

Is Acupuncture Painful?

Acupuncture rarely causes any pain. Acupuncture needles are very fine and flexible, about the diameter of a human hair. In most cases, insertion by a skilled practitioner is performed without discomfort. A patient may experience a sense of heaviness or electricity in the area of insertion. Most patients find the treatments relaxing and may fall asleep and some are energized.

Acupuncture for Pain:

According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, which included a comprehensive survey of complementary alternative medicine(CAM) use by Americans, 1.4 percent of respondents (an estimated 3.1 million Americans) said they had used acupuncture in the past year. A special analysis of acupuncture data from an earlier NHIS found that pain or musculoskeletal complaints accounted for 7 of the top 10 conditions for which people use acupuncture. Back pain was the most common, followed by joint pain, neck pain, severe headache/migraine, and recurring pain.