Acupuncture - How It Works & What It Feels Like
Garden Acupuncture explains how acupuncture, a 5,000 year old medicine, is still relevant and effective for patients today. Developed over the course of millennia, acupuncture is part of a healing system known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Legend has it that in ancient times a warrior was struck with an arrow during battle, but instead of feeling pain, he felt relief — leading to the concept of healing through penetration or pressure on specific points. That may or may not be the case, but archeologists have uncovered fine stone needles in China dating back to the Neolithic Era — more than five thousand years ago — suggesting that acupuncture or acupressure was practiced.
How does acupuncture work? Acupuncture seeks to restore balance to the body, mind and spirit, which are integrated and interconnected. Each body part has not just physical, but also emotional and spiritual significance. For example, the kidneys are associated with will power, and the liver with hope or despair. By stimulating points on the body associated with those organs, practitioners seek to increase or decrease their functioning — whatever is needed to bring the whole body into harmony.
Is it effective? According to TCM, pain and illness are the result of an imbalance or blockage of energy (ch’i). Ch’i moves through meridians — pathways along the body that link different body parts. The result of blockage can be stagnation and buildup of ch’i in some areas, or deprivation of ch’i in others, causing symptoms of illness.
Researchers have used X-rays and CAT scans in an attempt to detect or prove the movement of ch’i along meridians, to no avail. They cannot use an MRI — magnetic resonance imaging — because current practitioners use metal needles, not stone. However, research has also shown that acupuncture can be remarkably effective at treating diverse afflictions, including chronic pain, insomnia, fibromyalgia, allergies, infertility, addiction and such joint problems as tennis elbow.
What does it feel like? Is acupuncture painful? Simply stated no. The practitioner inserts a very thin needle into a particular “point” on the body. You may feel a pinch when the skin is broken, but after that, the insertion should be painless. After inserting several points, depending on the condition, the practitioner will generally leave the needles in for 20 to 40 minutes, during which you may feel a tingling, spreading or warm sensation. Some practitioners may gently move the needles, or apply heat or a mild electric current, to further stimulate the flow of ch’i.
Garden Acupuncture is a family owned business located in the heart of Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY. They specialize in reproductive system health, natural fertility, pain, weight loss, allergies and many other health concerns.
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