What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture photo for Individual Page on AcupunctureAcupuncture helps balance the flow of energy in the body.

This is done by working with the meridian systems of the body and specific acupuncture points on those meridians.  Meridians are energy channels through which energy flows and if the energy flow is balanced, one should be healthy.

There are many different ways to balance the flow of energy which include needles, lasers, herbs, electrical stimulation, and massage.


What is a Meridian?

A meridian is a tube-like channel of electromagnetic energy that flows through the body.  These meridians are named after major organs in the body (large
intestine, liver, heart, kidney, spleen, etc.) and begin or end on either the fingertips or toe tips and the face or chest.

As energy (chi) flows through the meridians, it flows from one meridian to another until eventually it makes a complete circuit throughout the entire body. As long as this energy is freely flowing and is balanced, an individual should be healthy. However, if something happens in the body that causes a meridian to be “turned up” too high, “turned down” too low, or imbalanced from the right to the left, the individual’s health can be adversely affected.

A skilled acupuncturist will evaluate the meridian systems, determine which meridians are out of balance and stimulate certain points – “acupoints” – to bring the meridians into balance.

What is an Acupoint?

Acupoints are specific points on the meridians that are more active and affect the energy in the meridian when they are stimulated. For example, some acupoints increase the energy in a meridian while others decrease it. Some decrease inflammation in certain organs and tissues and others draw energy into those organs and tissues to promote healing. All that is needed is adequate stimulation to the proper acupoints.

Are Needles Always Used?

There are many forms of stimulation for acupoints.  Needles do not have to be used. Some of these forms of stimulation include laser light, electrical impulses, firm rubbing or pressure, tapping the point, or taping an object to the point such as a small metal ball.

The needles used in acupuncture are very small compared to needles used for getting shots or drawing blood.  6-10 acupuncture needles will fit inside a standard hypodermic needle used for drawing blood.  They are very thin and, depending on the style of acupuncture used, can be inserted a couple of millimeters or a full inch into the acupoint.  Many people do not feel the needles when they are inserted. Those that do feel any discomfort equate it with that of a small pinch.

What Conditions Can Acupuncture Help Relieve?

In China, acupuncture is used on nearly every patient seeking health or wellness care, and for every condition.  There are numerous acupoint formulas for each condition. The main question to address with acupuncture is, “Is my problem being caused by an energetic and/or meridian imbalance?” If so, acupuncture can have tremendous results. If not, acupuncture can still help relieve symptoms, however, if the underlying cause of the problem is not addressed, the results achieved with acupuncture will be limited. The underlying cause of the problem, such as dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, structural or emotional imbalances, toxin accumulation in the body, etc., should be addressed in conjunction with acupuncture. Then it becomes a more powerful healing therapy.

There are many different types of acupuncture. At The Institute we are trained in multiple types to address the varied needs of our patients.

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