How does acupuncture work?
Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on an ancient philosophy that describes the universe, and the body, in terms of two opposing forces: yin and yang. When these forces are in balance, the body is healthy. Energy, called "qi" (pronounced "chee") flows along specific pathways, called meridians, throughout the body. This constant flow of energy keeps the yin and yang forces balanced. However, if the flow of energy gets blocked, like water getting stuck behind a dam, the disruption can lead to pain, lack of function, or illness. Acupuncture therapy can release blocked qi in the body and stimulate function, evoking the body’s natural healing response through various physiological systems. Modern research has demonstrated acupuncture’s effects on the nervous system, endocrine and immune systems, cardiovascular system, and digestive system. By stimulating the body’s various systems, acupuncture can help to resolve pain, and improve sleep, digestive function, and sense of well-being.
What happens during an acupuncture treatment?
First, your acupuncturist will ask about your health history. Then, he or she will examine your tongue’s shape, color, and coating, feel your pulse, and possibly perform some additional physical examinations depending on your individual health needs. Using these unique assessment tools, the acupuncturist will be able to recommend a proper treatment plan to address your particular condition. To begin the acupuncture treatment, you lay comfortably on a treatment table while precise acupoints are stimulated on various areas of your body. Most people feel no or minimal discomfort as the fine needles are gently placed. The needles are usually retained between five and 30 minutes. During and after treatments, people report that they feel very relaxed.
How many treatments will I need?
The frequency and number of treatments differ from person to person. Some people experience dramatic relief in the first treatment. For complex or long-standing chronic conditions, one to two treatments per week for several months may be recommended. For acute problems, usually fewer visits are required, usually eight to ten visits in total. An individualized treatment plan that includes the expected number of treatments will be discussed during your initial visit.
What conditions are commonly treated by acupuncture?
Hundreds of clinical studies on the benefits of acupuncture show that it successfully treats conditions ranging from musculoskeletal problems (back pain, neck pain, and others) to nausea, migraine headache, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and infertility.
From a Infertility patient:
From a Neck Stiffness patient:
To give Dr. Wang the thumbs up. Today, Dr. Wang cured my neck stiffness with only one acupuncture treatment. When I got up this morning, I felt my neck rigidity, so painful when I turn to either side or backward. I felt like I was a disabled. After Dr. Wang's acupuncture, the pain was reduced by 95-98%, and my neck was able to turn freely. So happy!
Additional Technics used in Traditional Chinese Medicine
Acupressure, Cupping, Gua-sha, Tui Na massage
Acupressure, moxa, cupping, gua-sha and Tui Na massage are additional technics used in Chinese medicine which could be used separately or combine with others i.e. with acupuncture.
Acupressure is based on the local pressuring of selected acupuncture points or along the meridians. There is a method lying between acupressure and massage called meridian-acupuncture massage (AMM) which is very effective.
Cupping is an old tradition (known and popular in various traditional medical systems, present also in western medicine). This method is extremely effective to warm up, to move stagnation and remove toxins. Cups in Chinese medicine are placed on acupuncture points (this can be done simultaneously with acupuncture), along the course of the meridians or one can use the so-called mobile cup. Cups could me made of glass, plastic (vacuum with plunger), silicone, rubber or bamboo.
Gua Sha is an old classic technique of Chinese medicine. It involves repeated rubbing of the oiled skin in the places where is a stagnation and pain. We do that as long as there will be ecchymosis, particularly in the pain area. As a consequence it will unblock energy and stimulate circulation.
Massage is extensive and old part of Chinese medicine. There is a several technics of massage in TCM, however the most know is Tui Na – therapeutic massage of the whole body, using meridians and acupuncture points. It could be used together with acupuncture, cupping or moxa which helps in effectiveness and speeds up process of healing.