What is Acupuncture?
Dr. Maria Zanagara
So, just what is acupuncture?
Many people have heard of the acupuncturist’s use of very fine needles inserted into specific body locations for the treatment of pain. In fact, the majority of research on acupuncture in the West has focused on this use for the treatment. It can be beneficial for any of the pain syndromes resulting from an injury or associated with chronic degenerative diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. However, acupuncture is not just about alleviating pain. Rather, it is a complete and traditional medical protocol focused on correcting imbalances in the body, and it has been used in China for more than 2,500 years to prevent, diagnose and treat disease, as well as to improve general health.
The traditional explanation for how acupuncture works is that it modifies the flow of energy throughout the body, balancing it and thus correcting a wide range of disorders, from emotional disruptions such as anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress, to digestive complaints such as vomiting, constipation and even irritable bowel disease.
And the list goes on! It can also be helpful in treating neurological problems such as sinus headaches, migraines, and Parkinson’s. Scalp acupuncture is a great rehabilitation strategy for individuals who have suffered a stroke. Further, respiratory conditions, such as sinusitis and asthma have been relieved with acupuncture. It rather shines with gynecologic disorders and infertility, and can help reduce fatigue, treat fibromyalgia and addictions, soften dental pain, gentle chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting, and promote overall well being. Wow!!
What should you expect from an acupuncture visit?
Typically, the first visit involves a health history assessment. Questions you will be asked may seem strange, a little different from standard medical intake questions, but energy flow and whole-body interaction are the keys to diagnosing in Chinese medicine. Therefore, the practitioner may ask to examine your tongue, to feel your pulse to determine energy flow, or ask many questions that may seem to have nothing to do with the primary complaint.
After the initial consultation and assessment is over, a diagnosis is made which may also sound odd to you, so feel free to ask your practitioner what it all means. Then a treatment plan is devised, and treatment begun. Extremely fine needles are placed in very specific locations. Upon insertion, one may feel a momentary sharp or stinging sensation; however, many report they don’t even feel the majority of the insertions. The needles are left in place for fifteen to twenty minutes while you rest quietly in a calm room accompanied by soft music. Many people say they fall asleep during this time, as the treatments are very relaxing. At the end of the treatment time, the needles are removed and properly discarded. Your practitioner will inquire after your wellbeing, and you will be able to leave. The visit is normally 60 minutes long.
Acute symptoms may require anywhere only two to four treatments for relief, whereas chronic situation may require 12 or more treatments, usually over a course of eight to 10 weeks. For many people, also, a general sense of well-being that goes beyond symptom relief is experienced, and this support in general goes a long way to complimenting and reinforcing the changes in lifestyle and diet being made with the GenoType protocol assigned to each patient. The entire process works very synergistically