The Origin of Acupuncture
Many thousands of years ago in China ancient people would pray when they suffered from disease. At this same time of prayer they would also press certain areas of the body with pieces of sharp stone. Unexpectedly when the same areas where stimulated with a sharp piece of stone the disorder would be relieved. After a long accumulation of such information the therapeutic method of acupressure and the use of Bian Stones finally came into practice.
Acupuncture has been a very important part of Chinese medicine which has been practiced for at least 3000 years. According to findings from ancient records and ancient unearthed artefacts acupuncture may have been practiced even before the creation of Chinese characters.
“I want to treat disease without using toxic drugs and not using bian stones*, I apply fine needles to remove obstruction and regulate the circulation of blood and Qi”
Miraculous Pivot (2nd century BC)
*Bian Stone – thick needles used prior to the creation of filiform needles
How Does Acupuncture Work?
The aim of acupuncture treatments is to prevent or treat disease by puncturing specific points on the body with small needles to specific depths treating the cause of a disease. The desired selection of points will be specifically picked after an in depth diagnosis and examination are completed by a knowledgeable acupuncturist. Only after a comprehensive diagnosis and understanding of your individual disorder are achieved, can specific points be chosen. A successful acupuncturist will choose points not by your symptoms but by understanding your disease. The aim of Traditional Chinese Medicine is to determine and treat the underlying cause of disease through a number of different patterns. The patterns in TCM don't correspond to any specific Western disease but rather represent body's state at a specific time, exhibited through different symptoms. That's why different conditions can be caused by the same pattern as well as different patterns can exhibit the same symptoms. Acupuncture will balance the body by eliminating excess and tonifying deficiencies.
When explaining the fundamentals of how acupuncture works, it is like any other science , it gets more complicated and detailed once you start getting into the if’s and buts of it. In Chinese medicine, pain and disease is the result of a disharmony between various organ systems and acupuncture is one of the main ways to regain the body’s natural balance. In the West, pain relief is one of the most common and widely known application of acupuncture. The cause of pain in Chinese medicine is due to poor circulation of Qi or blood and phlegm accumulation which stagnates and creates a blockage in a specific area. This stagnant energy will cause different types of pain depending on what other pathogens or conditions are present. Acupuncture is able to help the body restore proper circulation in the specific area eliminating pain and restoring smooth circulation to balance the body.
What Disorders Can Acupuncture Treat?
Acupuncture is not limited to pain relief! Acupuncturists have been treating thousands of disorders which acupuncture can either help or cure! Many people have found acupuncture to be beneficial in treatment of such disorders as: infertility, impotence, gastritis, constipation, diarrhea, endometriosis, menopause, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, uterine bleeding, leucorrhea, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), prolonged labour, vertigo, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, paralysis, depression, attention deficit disorder (ADD), Bi-polar, insomnia, palpitations, common cold, flu, jaundice, urinary disorders, oedema, herpes zoster, …
What Should I expect on My First Acupuncture Treatment?
Sterilized acupuncture needles will be inserted through out your body to a depth of ¼ - 1 inch in depth depending on the area of the body. The depth that each needle will be inserted also depends on ones age, body size and constitution. As each needle is inserted by your acupuncturist, you will experience certain feelings, such as, heaviness, distention, tingling, cramping, or electric snsation which will be felt at the insertion point or moving up or down the meridian pathway. In China these types of feelings are known as “suan” or sensation as it is not a true type of pain.
Preparation for Each Acupuncture Treatment
A patient will experience less effective results if they come for treatment while hungry, after a large meal, excessively fatigued, emotionally upset (although acupuncture is able to calm people effectively) or intoxicated.
Cleanliness is also very important before each treatment to help prevent possible bacterial infections (infections are very rare due to acupuncture). You should wear loose, comfortable clothing which can be easily moved to reach area’s like shoulders, knees, thighs, …
The Frequency of my Acupuncture Treatments
Generally, acupuncture is administered 1-3 times per week for a duration of 1-3 months. However,the frequency of acupuncture treatments will greatly depend on many different factors, such as: the type of disorder treated, age of the patient, patient's body constitution, severity of the disorder and the nature of their illness. Acute problems can be successfully treated in a shorter period of time compared to the treatment time required for a chronic problem that someone has had for months or even years.
Some patients may experience dramatic results after their first acupuncture treatment with an immediate total or partial relieve of their ailments. At the same time, other patients might not experience any relief until later on into their treatments.
Are Acupuncture Needles Safe?
The acupuncture needles used at BodaHealth are factory sterilized and immediately disposed of after each use making the needling very safe. Every patient treated with acupuncture receives new needles and the needles are never re-used.
What are the Possible Problems with Acupuncture?
During an acupuncture treatment some people may feel lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea, cold sweat, shortness of breath (mainly occurring with patients experiencing a high level of anxiety with their first acupuncture treatment). If during your treatment you experience any of the symptoms listed above you should inform the acupuncturist right away so they can re-adjust or remove the needles.
After each treatment some of the punctured areas may bleed slightly or develop a small bruise. These are not harmful but please talk to your acupuncturist if you have any concerns.
Modern Western Medicine and Acupuncture
Modern Western medicine is unable to explain exactly the effectiveness and mechanism of acupuncture. However, just because modern medicine cannot explain the 'workings' of acupuncture it does not mean that acupuncture lacks in effectiveness and great results. It just means that more time needs to get by before Western medicine can come in terms with Traditional Chinese MEdicine and before the two can function side by side as two complementary rather than competitive systems.
Acupuncture claims are accepted from the WCB, ICBC, VAC and most insurance agencies in