Acupuncture is a system of medicine developed in China over 2500 years ago. The practice of acupuncture stimulates your body’s own healing abilities by balancing your energy. This energy is called “qi” (pronounced chee). It flows along a network of pathways called meridians. There are specific points on the meridian where the qi accumulates, called acupoints. The acupoints are typically stimulated using fine acupuncture needles in specific combinations that are clinically proven effective. According to acupuncture theory, disease and pain are the result of an imbalance of energy in one or more of the meridians. The meridians are related to specific internal functions that are identified by anatomical units such as the kidney, heart, liver, lung and spleen. The organs in Chinese medicine represent complex functions rather than structures, and by regulating the flow of qi, acupuncture helps restore balance to the body. The philosophy of Chinese medicine is to help the human body reach a state of balance and equilibrium through this manipulation
When the body’s energy is balanced, its own healing potential is maximized. Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health as a useful adjunct treatment or an acceptable alternative treatment to be included in a comprehensive health management program. According to the NIH consensus statements, acupuncture is recognized as an effective treatment for adult post-operative, chemotherapy nausea and vomiting and post operative dental pain. Acupuncture is also an effective adjunct treatment for addiction, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, low back pain, carpel tunnel syndrome and asthma.
What you can expect: You will have very thin sterile disposable needles inserted into points on the appropriate meridians. Typically you will feel nothing or you may feel a slight pinch, followed by a warm, heavy sensation. The needles remain in the body for ten to thirty minutes. During the treatment most patients feel very relaxed and often fall asleep. Symptomatic relief may occur immediately or resolution of symptoms may take longer, depending on the severity and persistence of the condition. Acupuncture treatments affect the body differently than conventional Western treatments. The acupuncture treatments are building blocks, building upon the previous session, so a more balanced state gradually becomes the norm.
"What’s that smell?" Other traditional Chineses Medicine provided at VCM include:
Moxabustion : involves burning the leaves of the mugwort plant to help balance your qi
and stimulate healing. You may smell the herb in the halls of the VCM clinic from time to time.
Chinese Cupping: techniques use suction cups applied to an area of pain or injury to move stagnation to the surface of the skin and enhance healing. They may be placed in a stationary position over painful or tight muscles or your practitioner may slide the cups along a larger area using lotion or oil. You may have markings over the treated area. The more injury sustained to an area, the darker the marks may be and can be visible for 1-2 days, but on occasion up to 1 week. The treatment should be repeated once the marks disappear, until the area “cups clean” and no more markings appear.