Acupuncture is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine which originated around 3,000 years ago. It gradually made its way out of China and across Asia, eventually reaching the rest of the world in the last century.
Acupuncture aims to both maintain health and treat disease. It is carried out by placing fine needles at specific points on the body called acupuncture points. These needles are as thin as a hair, sterile and disposed of after a single use. Once the needles are in place people experience a range of different sensations. These vary between a warm, tingling sensation and a light, dull ache. Most people find it an extremely relaxing experience.
Acupuncture is completely natural and does not involve any drugs or medication. It works by stimulating the body to heal itself, using its own resources.
When acupuncture needles are inserted into the skin, the nervous system registers it as a micro-injury. This triggers the brain to release chemicals called endorphins. Although these are produced naturally by the body, they work in a similar way to opiate medication. They have the effect of relieving pain and produce a feeling of calm and well-being.
At your scheduled appointment time an acupuncturist will escort you to a treatment table and ask you to take off any jewelry. They will also ask you to take off your socks and shoes and to lie down on a massage table. There will be a basket at the table to keep your valuables safe and in your immediate vicinity at all times.
Your acupuncturist will review your condition with you and ask some pointed questions. There will be white noise machines and soft music playing in the background for privacy. We also will ask everyone to speak in muted voices so as not to disturb the other people getting treatment at that time. All told, you will spend about 10 - 15 minutes speaking with your provider, maybe longer on a first visit.