Acupuncture is a healing therapy that evolved over 3000 years ago in Asia. It is based on the concept that there are channels, or meridians, distributed throughout the body, that facilitate the transportation of energy and blood.
Acupuncture can influence and correct this flow by harnessing the electrical potential of energy through the insertion of small, hair-sized needles in locations along these meridians. A growing number of Americans have found and continue to find relief from a wide variety of pain or health conditions, even though the scientific mechanism for acupuncture still remains elusive to the Western medical community.
There are over 500 acupuncture points on the body, of which about 200 are commonly used. Stimulation of specific points has an effect on the function of associated organs, meridians, or areas of the body. Acupuncture needles are sterile, single use, and are about the thickness of a hair. During each treatment, an average of about 20 needles are inserted. Patients generally feel very relaxed and often fall asleep.
Treatments used can include acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, moxa (a Chinese herb) and massage styles including cupping and Gua Sha. Your practitioner may use a combination of any of these therapies, depending on your state of health.
Cupping is an ancient technique used to draw toxins and pathogens out of the muscle layer. Glass or plastic cups are placed over the indicated area and suction is applied to raise the skin slightly into the cup. This draws pathogens to the skin surface and allows the body to release them.
Gua Sha is a deep Chinese massage technique using an instrument, which also draws pathogens and toxins to the surface, in a similar fashion to cupping. Gua Sha dislodges these pathogens by scraping the skin surface until the pathogens release. The experience of receiving Gua Sha is like having deep massage on areas of tight muscle, but is longer lasting in its effectiveness.