Acupuncture is an ancient form of healing dating back thousands of years. Back then, the Chinese identified that channels of energy run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These channels or pathways are referred to as meridians and they form a separate system in the body distinct from the nervous system, circulatory system or any other physical system we know of in Western medicine.
According to Chinese medical theory, there is an unceasing flow of life energy, or Qi (pronounced "Chee") within these meridians and when this energy flow is smooth and in balance, a person is healthy. If the balance gets disturbed or the energy gets stuck, one will be in pain or feel ill.
These energy meridians are often compared to rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the organs and tissues. The energy (or "Qi") flowing in these meridians can be accessed through specific spots in the pathway called acupuncture points. It is here that the energy flow can be stimulated or regulated to restore balance.
Acupuncture, then, is the insertion of ultra fine needles into these points on the body. This is similar to opening and closing switches in the body to alter the flow, frequency and volume of energies to alleviate pain or promote healing in some organ system.
I began getting acupuncture for migraines several years ago when they were so long and difficult I simply couldn't function. To say the least, Julie is a "Godsend". I no longer suffer from the migraines, and the headaches I occasionally get are nothing in comparison. She has also helped me with foot cramping and has been able to recommend herbs to help with other ailments too. She truly knows what she is doing and I appreciate all she has done for me.~ KS
How Does Acupuncture Work?
In Western medicine terms it has been discovered that the needling of the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release endorphins which are the body's own powerful pain reducers. But it also causes the release of other chemicals and hormones in the body, which improve energy levels, restore biochemical balance and stimulate the body's natural healing potential. All of this promotes physical and emotional well being.
What Happens During Treatment?
A treatment begins with a thorough assessment of past and present health conditions to see how they may all be related within the context of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Overall constitutional strengths and weaknesses are considered and even the most minor complaints are noted as they form clues to identifying the pattern of imbalance which exists. Examination of the tongue and evaluation of the 18 pulse points (nine on each wrist) are critically important elements in identifying the ROOT CAUSE of the problem. The goal is to determine the diagnosis from all this information and treat this root cause rather than simply attempt to achieve temporary symptomatic relief. It is the diagnosis that determines the selection of acupuncture points as well as the selection of specific herbs which correct the imbalance and stimulate the body to begin the healing process. All treatments are personalized to each particular illness, even taking into account emotional factors which may be contributing to the condition. Emphasis is placed on self care, with dietary recommendations, exercises or stress management suggestions if appropriate. In this way, Chinese Medicine treats the WHOLE person, the entire imbalance occurring in the system which may be causing a variety of symptoms throughout the body.
I began working with Julie nearly 10 years ago to help with my allergies. Once she helped me get that under control I started working on other issues including low energy and menopausal symptoms, with great results. ~ CKS
What Does Acupuncture Feel Like?
During the acupuncture treatment, most patients experience a deep state of relaxation as energy is redirected in the body and healing begins to take place. That is why some people describe feeling somewhat euphoric for a short time after their treatment. Needles are normally left in place for 20 minutes while the patient rests in a reclined position. Every effort is made to ensure comfort during this time. Needles may be removed at the end of that time, and other points may be selected and needled for an additional 15-20 minutes. An average treatment will usually be 45 minutes to an hour.