Do What? Put Needles in My Body?
By Pamela Shenk, CHt
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine defines Acupuncture as one of the oldest healing practices in the world. Acupuncture aims to restore and maintain health through the stimulation of specific points on the body with needles. In the United States, where practitioners incorporate healing traditions from China, Japan, Korea and other countries, acupuncture is considered part of (CAM), Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Acupuncture has been practiced in China and other Asian countries for thousands of years and is a key part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, (TCM).
Acupuncture is entirely drug free and works by restoring the body’s energetic balance. By stimulating energy points, with very fine needles, the body is brought back into balance. When healthy, the body’s energy flows smoothly. When the energy is blocked or disrupted, illness, fatigue, pain and even disease can result.
Acupuncture needles are metallic, solid and hair thin. People experience acupuncture differently, but most feel no or minimal discomforts as the needles are inserted. Some people feel energized by their treatment, while others feel relaxed. More times than not, you aren’t even aware the needles are there…unless you try to move your arm or leg and realize you can’t until the needles are removed. Many people fall asleep during their treatment.
Your acupuncture physician will most likely have a lengthy questionnaire that must be completed before your initial treatment. Then usually, you will have a consultation with him or her before you actually receive your ‘treatment’. One thing that I really enjoy about acupuncture is the belief in treating the whole body. They look at your whole body as a garden, so to speak, to see what is going on.
Some of the many uses for acupuncture are for back pain, arthritis, insomnia, depression, skin problems, digestive disorders, asthma, fatigue, stress, sports injuries and more.
Usually there are a series of sessions with your acupuncture physician, averaging 4 to 6. Although patients would love to be ‘fixed’ in one session, one must be realistic. Think of how many times your primary care physician may have changed your prescription to make sure you received exactly what you needed. Be patient, everything takes time.
When you’re dealing with your health and well-being, it is up to you to become pro-active. Check out your options, discuss them with your doctor and make the right choices for you.
If you are looking for a qualified acupuncture physician in your area, a great organization to call is (NCCAOM) National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at 904-598-1005, or www.nccaom.org.