Balance Oriental Health Centre Tel: 0207 5892292

Acupuncture

Acupuncture

 

What happens during an acupuncture session?

Acupuncture therapy usually involves a series of daily, weekly or biweekly treatments in an out patient setting. It's common to have up to 13 treatments in total. Although each acupuncture practitioner has his or her own unique style, each visit typically includes an exam and an assessment of your current condition, the insertion of needles, and a discussion about self-care tips. An acupuncture visit generally lasts about 30 minutes.

Before the needles are placed, you'll lie down on a comfortable surface. Depending on where the needles are to go, you will lie facedown, faceup or on your side. Make sure that your acupuncturist uses single-use sterile packaged needles. You may feel a brief, sharp sensation when the needle is inserted, but generally the procedure isn't painful.

It's common, however, to feel a deep aching sensation when the needle reaches the correct depth. After placement, the needles are sometimes moved gently or stimulated with electricity or heat. As many as a dozen needles may need to be placed for each treatment. Once the needles are inserted, they're usually left in place for 5 to 20 minutes.

How does acupuncture work?

The traditional Chinese theory behind acupuncture as medical treatment is very different from that of Western medicine. In traditional Chinese medicine, health results form a harmonious balance between the complementary extremes (yin and yang) of the life force known as qi or chi.

Qi is believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. These meridians and the energy flow are accessible through more than 350 acupuncture points. Illness results from an imbalance of the forces. By inserting needles into these points in various combinations, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will rebalance.

In contrast, the Western explanation of acupuncture incorporates modern concepts of neuroscience. Many practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. This stimulation appears to boost the activity of your body's natural painkillers and increase blood flow.