Acupuncture is an ancient healing method designed to stimulate the body's Qi (or energy). It's been around much longer than western medicine, and there's a reason why: It works. Our world has a balance -- hot vs cold, day vs night, interior vs exterior. Our body is the same way -- we call it Yin and Yang. Both are opposites but balanced so that our bodies can adjust and adapt to our environment. Yin refers to cold, fluids, nighttime, rest, and 'right'. Yang refers to heat, energy, daytime, activity, and 'left'. So if a person has less yin, he may feel more hot, or more thirsty. If a person has less yang, she may feel cold, or lethargic. Acupuncture helps to rebalance the Yin and Yang by stimulating certain points on our body using very fine, sterile needles.

The Meridians are the energy channels where the acupunture points are located. These meridians correspond to an internal organ, and there are 12 major meridians (in the order of Qi flow): Lung, Large Intestine, Stomach, Spleen, Heart, Small Intestine, Urinary Bladder, Kidney, Pericardium, San Jiao, Gall Bladder, Liver. The Yin Meridians are usually located on the front of the body, and the Yang Meridians are usually on the back of the body. There are several hundred points -- some have been found to be very powerful (i.e., ability to do many things). There's even a point that can turn a fetus during pregnancy!

Acupuncturist use several different systems to diagnose and treat.

During a consultation, Tongue Diagnosis and Pulse Diagnosis is used to ascertain the state of the individual. A normal tongue is pink in color and has a thin white coat. Different areas of the tongue correspond to different organs and body areas. Abnormalities that may be seen are a change in color of the tongue (e.g., reddish may indicate heat), a quivering tongue may indicate wind, a scalloped tongue (i.e., tooth marks along the edges) may indicate Qi deficiency, a thicker white coating may indicate dampess, and a thicker yellow coating may indicate damp heat. The pulse is taken at the radial artery by the wrist on the thumb side, using three fingers -- index, middle, and ring. The rate and quality of the pulse is determined to ascertain the state of the organs of the body. For example, a rapid pulse may indicate some type of heat, and faint or deep pulse may indicate a Qi or blood deficiency, and a wiry pulse may indicate a liver or gall bladder imbalance. Both the tongue and pulse are used to guage improvement during the course of treatment.

During acupuncture, additional stimulation may be performed to the needle located at an acupuncture point. Electrical stimulation involves sending electrical impulses into the needles to cause them to vibrate. Moxabustion is a technique that uses a burning herb to promote Qi flow and warmth. People who are too sensitive to needles may be treated with acupressure, a technique where the acupuncture point is stimulated by deeply pressing one's finger or by an instrument. Cupping, a technique where a vacuum is placed over an acupuncture point, can also be used. Cupping is very effective at removing stagnation. Auricular acupuncture may also be performed. Your entire body can be represented on the ear. Thus, the body can be treated by stimulating specific points on the ear.

Acupuncture can treat a wide range of ailments. Here is a small list:
  • Muscle and Joint Pain: Neck, Back, Shoulder, Knees, etc.
  • Digestive: Constipation, Diarrhea, Indigestion
  • Emotional: Anxiety, Stress, Depression, Insomnia
  • Others: Stop Smoking, Weight Control, Pregnancy, Relaxation
  • Neurological: Headache, Neuralgia
  • ENT: Tinnitus, Visual Difficulty, Hearing Difficulty
  • Respiratory: Asthma, Allergies, Common Cold

The young and old can benefit from acupuncture.

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