A Brief History and Philosophy of Acupuncture
Acupuncture, an alternative medicine that treats illnesses and symptoms by the insertion and manipulation of needles in the body, is know to date back almost ten thousand years.
One of the main philosophies of acupuncture is based in the duality of nature - everything has an equal opposite: man/woman, yin/yang, hot/cold, sun/moon, etc. This idea is the basis for the yin and yang which is further divided into five elements. These elements are metal, wood, fire, earth, and water and each represents different organs in the body.
Ancient Chinese acupuncturists noticed that there are certain external points on the body which become more sensitive during illness or organ malfunction. They formed patterns around these points and developed twelve regular meridians and eight extraordinary meridians; each meridian links to certain organs. Also propelling acupuncture is the belief of a constant flowing energy in the body known as the Qi (chi). When this flow of energy is disrupted or stagnates, it results in disharmony and distress.
The application of acupuncture uses very fine, sterile needles to restore balance and harmony to the body by adjusting the flow of energy through the meridian pathways. Deciding which meridians to use for treatment is determined by the practitioner through asking questions about symptoms, life style, sleep patterns, emotions, feelings, examining the tongue’s color, shape, size, and coating, as well as checking specific pulse areas on the wrist. By honestly answering your practitioner’s questions, you can help the accuracy of your diagnosis and greatly benefit from your treatment.
What to Expect After Treatment
There are many different benefits from undergoing acupuncture. Most patients note, that immediately after treatment, they feel calmer and more relaxed, have more energy, sleep better, and feel renewed ease of movement in joints that were once stiff and creaky. Acupuncture also helps adjust hormones to their proper levels which aids in the digestion and absorption of food, improved cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels, as well as increased libido, sex drive, and even sexual performance.
For acute pain, acupuncture can provide instantaneous relief. This would include pains such as migraines, ongoing back aches, frozen joints. You should be aware that treating long-term issues requires on-going sessions. It is likely that you will feel the initial effects listed above, but for proper healing, you can not stop treatments too soon. Often, the suggested length of treatment is 1 month for every year of the illness/condition. So, if you have had allergies all your life and you are 35 years old, you should be receiving regular treatments for 35 months.