Acupuncture is a system of alternative medicine using insertion and stimulation of small needles along the energetic pathways – meridians. These contain and carry Qi, to all parts of the body, from the most superficial (skin, hair, nails) to the deepest (organs, bones, blood).
In a way, Acupuncture and meridians work similarly to a water irrigation system. Where there is a lack, several needles in strategic selection of points, like valves, open up and release the flow into the deficient areas, gently rebalancing the disharmony and removing pathogens.
Acupuncture in health and illness
If a person keeps a healthy physical and mental lifestyle, it is easier to prevent serious illnesses and reach longevity in good health. In good health, acupuncture can assist with prevention of diseases before they occur. This is because acupuncture works on a verge between energetical and physical medicine, and is able to treat many conditions effectively in this state.
Once the disease progressed into the physical state and manifests with symptoms, it may take several treatments to shift it. However, the more acute the condition is, the easier it is removed.
Some chronic conditions may require several treatments for a shift in symptoms.
Acupuncture and its health effects are still being investigated by conventional science, and so far have been proved to make a significant difference to the following conditions: lower back pain, headache, toothache, postoperative pain, gastrointestinal disorders, peptic ulcer, epigastric pain, nausea and vomiting, amenorrhea (absence of menstrual periods), PMT, morning sickness in pregnancy, breech presentation correction (turning the foetus around in uterus), labour induction, post-stroke rehabilitation, high or low blood pressure, depression, insomnia, leucopoenia (bleeding disorder), and more.
Patient’s response to acupuncture is individual, whether it comes to point or meridian sensation, energy sensation, or a reaction to the treatment. Even though acupuncture is generally a painless method, with some conditions, increased sensitivity or in certain body locations, acupuncture can cause a little pain, which quickly wears off. Appearance of blood or bruising after a puncture is unlikely, but can appear.
During the treatment, other therapies might also be used, to make a necessary change in the patient’s Qi flow:
A non-invasive method, often used when treating sensitive patients and children. This involves pressure by a finger or a probe on an acupuncture point for a period of time. Hypoallergenic acupressure stickers or ‘seeds’ might be used to prolong the effect of the treatment, and can stay fixed on the skin for up to 10 days, after this time they naturally fall off.
Moxibustion often accompanies acupuncture, but can also be used on its own for its tonifying, warming effects. The term covers various ways of burning Moxa (processed mugwort) to create and transport heat inside the body. Most patients find the smell of moxa smoke pleasant, and all patients enjoy its relaxing, warming effect. Moxibustion can be done directly (leaving small marks where the heat was transferred) or indirectly (placed on the needle or a slice of ginger, pile of salt or in a moxa box).
Cupping is a technique of creating vacuum inside a glass cup, which has a strong sucking effect when placed on the skin. This is often used to relieve tension in muscles, increase blood flow and to open the pores (i.e. to increase sweating). Cupping can leave harmless, painless bruise-like circles on the surface of the skin. The more vigorous the cupping, the darker circles might appear.