Changing Patterns, Enhancing Health, Creating Vibrant Life

Why Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine May Be the Right Choice for You: Benefits, Risks, and What to Expect

Introduction to Acupuncture

close up of hand placing an acupuncture needle into a leg

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Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine originated in China thousands of years ago. The World Health Organization has officially recognized acupuncture as suitable for the treatment of hundreds of common clinical disorders. It is also used for preventive care and health maintenance helping to shift the body from fight or flight to rest and digest.

Chinese Medicine theory explains that human beings have a natural flow of energy through the body and that pain and disease are caused by an imbalance, deficiency, or blockage of this energy. Qi (pronounced chee) is the Chinese word for this vital energy that nourishes and activates our mind, body, and spirit.


What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a complex system of diagnosis that views the person as a whole. Acupuncture is practiced based on discerning the “pattern of disharmony” and treating accordingly. Modern acupuncturist utilizes other modalities such as herbal medicine, Moxibustion, physical exercise, nutrition, meditation, breathing exercise and more. The response solicited by the acupuncture point treatment is focused on balancing the body’s systems which will in turn aid the body in functioning properly.


How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture is a therapy that uses tiny, thread-like needles that gently slide in between the cells of body tissue at specific points on the body along meridians (energy channels of the body). When acupuncture needles are used in tense muscles, it causes those muscles to relax and release. The insertion of these tiny needles, even at extremely shallow depths into the skin, causing a nervous system response that helps to shift the body from “fight or flight” into “rest digest.” As long as the energy flows freely through these pathways, health is maintained. When the flow of energy is disturbed for any reason, there is disruption in health, resulting in pain or illness. By stimulating appropriate acupuncture points along these meridians, the energy is regulated, and health is restored.


What Should You Expect During Treatment?

After a consultation with the acupuncturist, the individual is made comfortable on the table. Usually clothes can be kept on with pant legs or sleeves rolled up. The tiny needles (which are significantly smaller than hypodermic needles) are placed. A patient may feel a sensation upon insertion and pressure or a “dull” reaction when the needle reaches the correct depth of the point. Once all the needles are placed, you will have a short time alone to meditate or nap. Most patients find the treatment very relaxing, and are surprised to find how comfortable they are during an acupuncture treatment, and how easily and painlessly the needles are inserted.


Is Acupuncture Safe?

Acupuncture is a very safe and low risk treatment. Our practitioners utilize sterile, single use needles. Our practitioners are also licensed by the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice.


How Many Treatments Are Necessary?

We pride ourselves on supporting our clients based on their unique situation and we know that no two conditions or people respond exactly the same to treatments. The number of treatments and span of time depends on the condition, the severity and how long you have been experiencing the issue. For example, a recent muscle strain may take far fewer treatments than a longstanding issue of arthritis (weeks vs months). The physical and emotional state of the patient is important, as well as self care and lifestyle.


Chinese Herbology

Chinese herbology is a system of herbal treatment; it is not applied in the way that most herbs and medicines are used in our Western world. For example, all medicines (including herbal medicines) under western schools of thought are used because they are known to produce certain effects. Chinese Herbal Medicine was developed as an integral part of Chinese Medicine. It is used to re-harmonize imbalances in the body.

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