Acupuncture is the use of fine needles alone or in conjunction with heat or electricity, which are inserted into designated points of the body. Acupuncture encourages the body to restore the normal flow of "Qi" and return healthy function. Pathways, also known as meridians, have been identified through which Qi flows. These meridians traverse the body from head to toe, and points along these meridians have become recognized for their ability to balance specific functions throughout the body. During treatment, points are stimulated to gently redirect the body's Qi to correct imbalance. Natural aging, overuse, stress, and trauma are the main reasons the normal flow of Qi is altered, leading to decreased performance, pain, and dysfunction.
Research has shown the following changes occur in the body in response to acupuncture treatment:
• The release of endorphins, which is the body's natural painkillers, is one of the effects of treatment. This explains acupuncture's profound effect of relieving pain. • A steep increase in the production of white blood cells, which is one of the markers for measuring the health of the body's immune system. • Changes in many other chemicals such as increases in neurotransmitters and hormonal activity have also been noted.
These changes may help to explain how acupuncture enhances the body's ability to correct many kinds of imbalance.
Does acupuncture hurt? What is it like?
When visiting an acupuncturist, the practitioner will first conduct a thorough interview to help diagnose the imbalance and determine your underlying constitution as well as the nature of your current concern. In the U.S., licensed acupuncturists typically receive a minimum of three years' training.Dr. Pong received five years' TCM training and has great skill in providing a comfortable treatment. Because the needles are literally hair thin, treatment is rarely painful, with occasional momentary sharp sensation or dull ache, far less intense than a western injection. Note that only single-use sterile packaged needles are used in this clinic. When there is discomfort, Dr. Pong can quickly make adjustments to ensure your comfort. After insertion, a variety of sensations including warmth and tingling near the area or in other parts of the body are common. After placement, the needles are sometimes moved gently or stimulated with electricity or heat. The practitioner may stay in the room or leave you alone to quietly rest while the treatment takes effect. Most patients find treatment deeply relaxing and many develop positive associations with these "friendly needles".