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What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a modality of Oriental medicine that originated in China more than 3,500 years ago. It involves the use of fine, filament -like needles, which are inserted into the skin at specific points. There are over 360 of these acupuncture points on the surface of the skin, which must be located precisely by the practitioner. Acupuncture works by influencing the flow of energy in the body, or chi. The needles are manipulated by the acupuncturist, who uses them to move, strengthen, or sedate the chi in the meridians.

Chi is the electro-magnetic force which animates all living things. There are 12 main meridians, or pathways, through which this energy flows. These meridians correspond to the major internal organs of the body. In order for proper health to exist, the energy in these meridians needs to be balanced. Stagnant chi is a condition where there is a blockage in the flow, which usually results in pain or psychological problems. Deficient chi refers to a condition where there isnít enough "juice" to use as fuel for the organ to perform its job. Symptoms of this might be low energy, low appetite, or suceptabilty to illness.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Although the patient may feel the initial insertion, acupuncture is not often painful. The most common sensations experienced by patients are heaviness, tingling, or heat.

What does acupuncture treat?

Acupuncture has been recognized by the World Health Organization as being useful in the treatment of a wide variety or conditions. Acupuncture in general is calming, balancing, and helps a great deal with stress. From a Western perspective, it stimulates the release of serotonin and endorphins. These neurotransmitters are responsible for emotional and mental health, and healthy sleep patterns. Endorphins are analgesic and produce a general feeling of well-being.

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