Acupuncture originated in China over 3,000 years ago and uses the careful insertion of fine, sterile needles into specific points of the body that control the flow of “Qi” energy. Relatively painless, the experience often results in sensations of heaviness, tingling, or warmth in the area of insertion as the flow of Qi increases. Increased balance in Qi flow throughout the body can help relieve symptoms including pain, reproductive and aging challenges, mind-body imbalances and immune system disorders.
Acupuncture stimulates peripheral nerves in the skin, which relay messages to the brain, creating a cascade of physiological effects such as the blocking of pain receptors (the gate control theory of pain) and the increased release of neurotransmitters such as beta-endorphins, met-enkephalin and seratonin, all of which are effective in blocking pain. Recently, researchers at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey used functional MRI to prove that acupuncture decreased brain activity correlated with lowered pain perception in volunteers.
Your practitioner will begin the session by discussing your health concerns and health history, look at any of your relevant labs or imaging reports and perform any orthopedic testing needed. We will also examine your tongue and feel your radial wrist pulses. Examination of the tongue and pulse are among the principal diagnostic methods in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The color, shape and coating of the tongue provide information about the body that informs the diagnosis. Similarly, pulses relate to the internal organs and have several characteristics to evaluate your physical condition.
Once your practitioner makes a diagnosis, a treatment will be designed specifically to correct your pattern of imbalance. Acupuncture will be part of your ongoing treatment plan—including lifestyle changes, exercise, diet, and self-care—to help you stay healthy.