What is Acupuncture?
The ancient Chinese believed in prevention rather than cure and used acupuncture regularly to keep people healthy.
This method of Chinese healing has been around for over 2000 years and although not fully understood by western doctors from the scientific point of view it is now being more widely accepted and used as a treatment for all sorts of medical conditions and ailments.
Doctors in the west who are trained and licensed to practice acupuncture are beginning to combine western medicine with acupuncture on patients who do not respond well to western medicine alone.
This form of treatment is also being used because acupuncture has proven to be safe with no side affects and is now under proper regulation.
Acupuncture is used to treat the whole person and not just the parts. Chinese believe that energy called Qi (pronounced Chee) flows in channels around the body.
These energy channels are called meridians and that sometimes these meridians become blocked or partially blocked preventing the body from functioning properly.
Think of it as a road system, if you will, all over the body. Now imagine this road system with cars travelling around it. These cars are the energy flowing around the body. Occasionally, when the body goes out of balance a traffic jam occurs and the system gets congested at different points.
To unblock these meridians they use long ultra-fine needles, which they stick into the body to a depth of approximately 1 cm (some can go much deeper if required) in different acupuncture points. These needles that go into the body stimulate that part of the body and restore the flow of Qi, so balance returns and healing can occur.
In South East Asia it is most likely that a traditional Chinese practitioner will treat you and this may be different to how you would expect to be treated in the west.
A typical acupuncture session with a traditional Chinese practitioner will go something like this:
The Chinese practitioner will carefully take your pulse in both your right and left arms and from this decide on what treatment is needed.
When they take your pulse they will be looking for different signs, which will indicate your state of health, for example, how strong or weak your pulse is and whether it has a regular or irregular rhythm.
From checking your pulse they will know where to stick the needles and how many to use.
You will be asked to remove some of your clothing depending on where the needles will be put and lie on a couch.
New needles, which are solid and made from stainless steel, will be taken from a sealed and sterilised pack of needles.
The Chinese practitioner will dab the area where the needle is to go with antiseptic and then put the needle in by hand (Western doctors may use a small contraption to stick the needles into your body).
You will feel a short stab as the needle goes in but no pain. After this heat may be applied to some of the needles so it can penetrate the body and stimulate the area around the needle.
If this happens heat will be applied with a hot lamp focused on the needle. After a short while you will feel heat in that area.
The needles will remain in your body for about 15-20 minutes. After this time the needles will be removed quickly using an antiseptic wipe.
Afterwards you may feel a little light-headed as your energy levels increase. Chinese herbal medicine may also be given as a prescription to aid the healing process.
Use acupuncture to promote your health and well being.