Acupuncture began in China more than 5 centuries ago and is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The basic concept behind acupuncture and other practices in TCM is that the body is made up of interconnected systems which must all be in harmony together to achieve good health and wellbeing. Acupuncture, in particular, seeks to restore the balance in the flow of energy known as "qi" or "chi" within the body. To do this, needles are inserted into specific points along the body’s energy lines called meridians.
Acupuncture In The Western World
Acupuncture is one of the most well-known practices of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the west. This is not surprising since more than a dozen conditions can be treated by acupuncture from the common cold to migraines, low back pain, menstrual cramps, sinusitis and arthritis. It can also help in weight loss, asthma and even infertility.
The thought of being pricked by needles may not be appealing. It seems painful but the truth is the client will feel just a slight prick upon insertion of the needle and should not feel any pain or discomfort once the needles are in. Typically, an acupuncture treatment session lasts 30 minutes but can also last more than an hour, depending on the severity of the condition.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, diagnosis includes observing the patient and finding out about his or her background. The senses of hearing, smell and touching are also involved. An acupuncture treatment begins with the acupuncturist interviewing the patient to learn not just about the particular health concern but also about his lifestyle, diet as well as his emotions, among other factors. The acupuncturist will also take note of the patient’s color and even the sound of his voice.
To check the health of the patient’s meridians or energy lines, the acupuncturist will feel the pulse points at the patient’s wrist, which is actually a basic technique in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Once the interview is done, the acupuncturist will give the diagnosis and start treatment. A typical acupuncture treatment can use up to 12 needles, however, it is not the number of needles used but how they are placed exactly into the acupuncture points that is believed to restore the balance of the body, the ultimate aim of traditional Chinese medicine.