Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), one of the oldest continuous systems of medicine dating back 4,000 years. It is the most commonly used system of healing in the world.
TCM is based on the belief that what happens to one part of the body affects every other part of the body. Similarly, organs and organ systems are viewed as interconnected structures that work together to keep the body functioning.
One of the TCM concepts is qi (pronounced “chi”), which is considered a vital force or energy. Qi flows through the body via channels, or pathways, called meridians. Imbalances in the flow of qi cause illness; correction of this flow restores the body to balance.
Acupuncture restores the balance, thus allowing for the normal flow of qi throughout the body and restoring health to the mind and body.
What to expect
The first visit to an acupuncturist usually begins with the doctor taking a detailed history. After review, the doctor will begin diagnosing your ailment. Palpation (to explore by touch) of various acupuncture points on the body, a meridian scan may be performed by the doctor to individually test and quantify the amount of energy or qi in each meridian. A printout of the test will be give to you so that you will further understand you body’s energy.
Using all of the information, the doctor will then determine the cause of your symptoms. Needles will be inserted into specific acupuncture points on the body. The doctor may use electrical stimulation to enhance acupuncture’s therapeutic effects.
The number of treatment sessions depends on the seriousness of your condition. A typical course of acupuncture treatment is 12 sessions, although significant improvements can occur after just a couple visits. Your first visit may take 45 minutes, with subsequent visits lasting about 20 minutes.