What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a form of treatment in Traditional Chinese Medicine (#TCM) that involves an acupuncturist, someone who goes through intense schooling and certification, inserting very thin needles through a person’s skin at specific points (350!) along the meridian lines on the body, to various depths. The goal is to balance the energy (the yin and yang, or qi – the life force). The left side of the body is the yin side and the right of the body is the yang side. Illness is in part, caused by imbalance in the yin and yang. All 350 points are not used during any single treatment.

Acupuncture helps overall wellbeing, mental clarity, aches and pains and helps cure illness like, high blood pressure, osteoarthrits, helping to reduce strokes, painful periods, nausea as a result of chemotherapy and headaches. There are a myriad of other things, but I’m limited in characters.

There is occasionally a dull achy feeling at the base of the needle in the body, though it’s not painful. It’s good pain, if that makes sense. This is generally a point of stagnation, where the qi is stuck and needs to move. These needles will stay in place anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. The acupuncturist will generally leave the treatment room at this point, allowing you to rest, and even sleep. I’ve been known to drool.

This is not a quick fix, it’s Chinese Medicine, not Chinese magic. It  will depend on the person and what is going on. Someone who has a chronic condition may need one to two treatments a week over several months. An acute problem normally improves after 8 to 12 sessions. For a kidney and spleen yin deficiency, I see an acupuncturist almost every week.


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