For thousands of years, acupuncture has been used to treat many types of malady and complaint. It's effects are achieved by the insertion of very fine needles into one or more of the many pressure points on the human body. This action releases the flow of qi, or life-energy, along the dual meridians within. These meridians are the pathways in the body along which our energy travels. Commonly, today's demanding lifestyle leads to the blocking of these said paths. By unblocking these paths, acupuncture balances the flow of energy once more, and can help lead to a happier, healthier level of fitness.
Acupuncture is not painful, generally, so those with a fear of needles need have no worry. The feelings of relief and relaxation at the end of the session will more then make up for any pre-visit trepidation.
For your visit to the acupuncturist, we recommend wearing loose-fitting clothing. There are areas on the back and neck that are commonly used in acupuncture.
Acupuncture is commonly used to treat:
* Muscle pain
* Sleep problems
* Breathing problems
* Skin conditions
Acupunture can also serve to release endorphins, the body's own natural high, leaving you with an overall feeling of wellness and happiness. Particularly recommended as part of a larger detox programme. It can also help with those wishing to quit smoking.
The length of an acupuncture session can range anywhere between thirty minutes up to an hour, but these longer sessions are usually reserved for the primary assessment. Once the acupuncturist has settled on a diagnosis, later visits will normally last around half an hour.
Acupuncture is not just about needles, though. Moxa is a herbal concoction set to smoulder on the skin with the aim of warming the acupuncture point in order to revivify it. Cupping is used to similar effect, where special cups are placed on the skin and warmed in order to aid stimulation. This you may have noticed at the Beijing Olympics, during the swimming events - those octopus sucker-like marks were likely the result of a healthy cupping session. Rest assured, the marks usually fade fairly quickly. Not every practitioner of acupuncture will offer these alternatives, so enquire first.
There are a few precautions to bear in mind before you consider acupuncture. Firstly, make sure your acupunturist is properly qualified, for obvious reasons. Let them know if you have any medical conditions and what treatment you are already receiving. If you are pregnant, or consider you may be, let your acupuncturist know. Lastly, like any medical appointment, avoid alcohol and eat only lightly before your acupuncture session.