- What is acupuncture
- How acupuncture works
- Benefits of Acupuncture
- Precautions with acupuncture
- Types of acupuncture
- Acupuncture points
Acupuncture is a system of healing that has been practiced for over 2,500 years. It involves the insertion of solid filiform acupuncture needles into the skin at specific points on the body to achieve a therapeutic effect. It is a gentle and effective treatment that focuses on helping the whole person, aiming to improve their overall health and wellbeing,
Acupuncture needles are solid, usually stainless steel (they may also be gold or silver), and measure from 13-70 mm, although longer reusable ones up to about 150 mm in length can be purchased. The needles are very fine, flexible and rounded but sharp at the tip. They are ‘atraumatic’, meaning that they do not have a cutting edge like a hypodermic needle, which slices through tissue. Their design allows acupuncture needles to slide smoothly through tissues and makes them unlikely to cause bleeding or damage to underlying structures.
The needles are left in place for 15-30 minutes, and the practitioner may manipulate the needles to strengthen or reduce the flow of Qi. Lifting, twisting, and rotating are some of the needling techniques a practitioner may use.
As well as inserting fine needles just under the skin, a practitioner may also use other techniques, such as cupping, in which small glass cups are used to massage the skin and massage. Most people find acupuncture relaxing and often feel very calm after a treatment.
Acupuncture is used to encourage natural healing, improve mood and energy, reduce or relieve pain and improve function of affected areas of the body. It is safe and effective and is often successfully used as an alternative to medications or even surgery. Relief is often obtained with acupuncture when traditional medical therapy has failed.