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What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a modality used in Traditional Chinese Medicine which dates back to over 2,000 years. This process involves inserting very small needles, about the size of a human hair, into the skin or into the muscle underneath. The premise of the practice is that it works on meridians within the body which carry Qi ( sounds like Chee). There really are no words which sum up Qi in the English language, but it is often referred to as energy since this is something that most everyone can relate to. In Chinese, the character for Qi is comprised of fire on the bottom, and nothingness above. Aside from Qi, acupuncture also works at dispelling heat, external pathogens, stimulating blood flow, removing damp heat, phlegm, and other pathogenic factors as described from the perspective and philosophy of Chinese Medicine.
What Does Acupuncture Feels Like?
Most people are surprised at how little they feel the needles being inserted into their body. The needles are very small, although, they do range in size. The theory here is that larger needles invoke a stronger response. People of the Chinese culture typically prefer the larger needles than those of the American culture. The main thing to remember is that pain is subjective and differs with each person experiencing the experience. In actuality though, it is not the actual stick that most people feel, it is the sensation of Qi being summoned and moved by the acupuncture needle. This can sometimes be felt as a “zinger”, or electric shock like sensation. Now, this isn’t a shock like one would think of by being electrocuted, but a buzzing sensation. Overall, this procedure is tolerated very well and people are pleasantly surprised.
What Problems Respond To Acupuncture?
There are many problems that respond well to acupuncture. It is mostly known for relieving pain as this is what it is predominantly marketed for. This is probably due to it being popularized by President Nixon who heard of a man’s story who had his appendix taken out and was treated acupuncture rather than pain medications typically given in the West. He was so impressed that he set up a program here in the USA in which traditional Chinese doctors came and taught their medicine. The reality is that acupuncture works to restore imbalances within the body which produce many symptoms which in the West are grouped together and then labeled as a disease. In terms of Western diagnoses, acupuncture improves patients who are diagnosed with arthritis, auto immune problems, sore throats, insomnia, fever, dysentery, constipation, incontinence, infertility, and countless others.
How Much Does It Cost and How May Treatments Would I need?
Every physician has their own charges for services rendered, but typically it cost around 60 dollars. It could be more for the initial office visit as this is a more detailed and time consuming visit. The number of visits varies depending on the problem. A problem could be fixed after just one visit, or it may take 12, or even more. Again, each patient is unique individual reacting differently to the same treatment for the same problem, or may require a different treatment for the same problem. This is the “art of medicine”. There is no one treatment for all problems.
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