Acupuncture is a technique developed in China 2,500 years ago and has seen many changes as the practices have been passed down through family and lineage. It is based on the idea that the flow of energy in the body favours particular directions and different movement patterns that bring about overall health and harmony.
You can imagine many rivers that move throughout the landscape of your body. All these rivers are connected and rely on one another to supply and move substance throughout the body in a symbiotic nature. They work together. What is contained inside of these rivers, called meridians, is a life force that is referred to as “qi.” The meridians are the pathways and the qi is the substance contained inside.
When we experience illness, discomfort, and pain; this is seen as a sign that the qi is not moving correctly. Qi can be blocked, or deficient, or it can be running in excess in a particular meridian. It can even move in the wrong direction. Blocked channels can express as pain, and keep one meridian from nourishing another. Deficient channels have a similar effect, but you also may feel lethargic and exhausted. Excessive channels may carry things recklessly through the body and lead to deficiency.
This is where acupuncture comes in. These tiny filiform needles are placed in particular points throughout the body. These points influence the qi to move, nourish, and release. It is a way of reminding the body of its own healing potential. You can think of it as placing flags throughout the body and saying, “hey, take a look over here!” Recent research suggests that the body’s communication systems are activated with the insertion of the needles to stimulate nerves, muscles, connective tissue, and the immune system.
Many people seek acupuncture for pain relief, but it can be used to treat so many other conditions. Acupuncture really shines in treating reproductive issues, migraines, insomnia, musculoskeletal conditions, as well as anxiety and depression.
This medicine seeks to harmonize the deeper currents in our body that help to sustain us. Acupuncture can be used to rebalance a range of conditions.
It is important to talk to your practitioner about your treatment plan. More acute phases of illness and discomfort may clear very quickly in only a few treatments. Some longer standing disharmonies may require more aggressive treatment such as 1-2 times aweek for a period of time before the qi can move freely. Each condition is unique, and the longer a patient has had a condition, the longer the treatment plan.
The insertion of needles in the body can seem like a strange way of seeking health at first glance , but acupuncture can be a deeply relaxing experience that causes very little discomfort, if any. If it is your first time, your acupuncturists can be really sensitive about choosing points that have less sensation and easing you into the process. Our patients look forward to their visits and the amazing results they see through treatment.
The most common side effect of acupuncture is bruising. In fact, some treatments like fire cupping create bruising in order to mount an immune response to a certain stagnant area of your body. The bruising will normally subside in 3-5 days.
Some points may release a small amount of blood and be a bit sore the next day. Many forms of orthopaedic needling done for musculoskeletal pain, can make your muscles feel quite sore the next day. This is all part of the healing process.
After receiving acupuncture, make sure to drink plenty of water. This will facilitate the movement of qi in the body and create a more lubricated pathway. Try to take it easy so you can allow the energy in your body to settle and flow with the energetic tune up you received. Your practitioner will give you guidelines that are unique to you after you finish so you can be sure you’re helping the treatment along after you leave the clinic.