Acupuncture is a complete and holistic non-invasive medical system used to diagnose and help millions of people get well and stay healthy. Acupuncturists place fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints on the body. This activates the Qi (pronounced “chee”) and promotes natural healing by enhancing recuperative power, immunity, and physical and emotional health. It can also improve overall function and wellbeing. It is a safe, painless and effective way to treat a variety of medical problems as well as a great way to stay well and age gracefully.
At the core of this ancient medicine is the philosophy that Qi, or vital energy, flows throughout the body. Qi helps to animate the body and protect it from illness, pain and disease. A person’s health is influenced by the quality, quantity, and balance of Qi. When Qi flows freely throughout the body, one enjoys good physical, mental and emotional well being.
Qi circulates through specific pathways called meridians. There are 14 main meridian pathways and each one is connected to specific organs and glands. Meridian pathways are like rivers. Where the river flows, it transports life-giving water that nourishes the land, plants and people. In the same way, meridian pathways transport life-giving Qi to nourish and energize every cell, organ, gland, tissue and muscle.
In addition to using needles, other modalities are performed depending on what your acupuncturist thinks is best for your healing.
Cupping is a therapy designed to stimulate the flow of blood and Qi within the superficial muscle layers.It is used for many ailments including sore muscles, tension, neck pain and the common cold. In this therapy, your acupuncturist will place small glass or plastic “cups” over specific areas of your body. A vacuum is then created under the cup by using heat or suction. They may be moved over an affected area of left in place. You may leave the office with slight redness that will quickly dissipate.
Tui Na translates as “push grasp”. It is a massage technique that moves Qi in various parts of the body. It is used to relieve muscle pain, tension, and inflammation and to heal injuries.
Gua Sha is another technique used to release muscle tension, tightness and constriction. A specialized tool is used to gently scrape or rub the skin over a problem area. Gua Sha feels a bit like deep massage. This too may leave some slight redness that will quickly dissipate.
Moxibustion is a treatment that uses an herb called mugwort. It may be burned on the handle of the needle or above the skin, on salt or a slice of ginger. This is used to “warm” acupuncture points or areas in order to quicken the healing process.
Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy with virtually no side effects. There is a little risk of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used once and then discarded.
Acupuncture is also a safe option for children. In some instances, children actually respond more quickly than adults. If your child has an aversion to needles, your acupuncturist may massage the acupuncture points. This is called acupressure.
The needles are approximately the size of a cat’s whisker. The sensation caused by an acupuncture needle varies. You may experience a brief pinching sensation, vague numbness, heaviness, tingling, or dull ache where the acupuncture needle has been inserted. Also, you may feel a sensation or energy spreading or moving around the needle. All of these reactions are good and a sign that the treatment is working. After treatment, you may feel energized or may experience a deep sense of relaxation and well-being.
Treatment frequency depends on a variety of factors: your constitution, the severity and duration of the problem and the quality and quantity of your Qi. Some people experience immediate relief; others may take weeks or longer to achieve lasting results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones. Plan on a minimum of a month to see significant changes. An acupuncturist may suggest one or two treatments per week, or monthly visits for health maintenance and seasonal “tune ups”.
At The Still Point we will provide for you a proper receipt that can be used for reimbursement from your insurance company if acupuncture is covered under your policy. We accept FSA cards and are an approved provider.
We look forward to seeing you for treatment and supporting your in your healing process. Make an appointment today!