Acupuncture is an ancient system of healing that views health as the balance
within an individual's healing energy, or ch'i. Acupuncturists help ch'i move
along pathways, known as meridians, that connect various organs and systems
within the body. The uninterrupted and balanced flow of energy along these
meridians contributes to one's overall health. However, blockages and imbalances
result in pain and illness. The acupuncturist uses specific acupuncture points
along the meridians to redirect and reposition the flow of energy in an effort
to return balance and health to the individual.
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In addition to taking the patient's pulse, the practitioner uses four basic techniques
for determining an individual's constitution and imbalances; asking, seeing,
hearing and feeling. These are used to evaluate and determine the personal
constitution of the individual as it is represented on one of the elements.
Asking: A full history of the patient is given by the patient: recent
or past stresses, previous illnesses or injuries and relationships within the
Listening to the patient's voice and how they express themselves:
speaking fluently or haltingly, with a stammer or fear.
Seeing the patient. The practitioner looks for various colors in the
patient's face, observes how the patient moves, stands, expressions on the face,
texture of the hair and condition of the skin and nails.
Feeling the patient. Pressing into the pressure points and abdomen of
the patient helps determine the patient's state. The most important diagnostic
procedure is the taking of the pulses. The practitioner takes twelve different
pulses, six on each wrist at two levels. It is possible, only form reading the
pulses, to tell almost everything about a patient's state of health.
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- The first treatment may take from two to four hours, including a
comprehensive medical history and a Chinese-style physical.
- The average length of time for an existing problem is ten treatments. The
frequency of those treatments depends on the patient and the severity of the
illness, how long the patient has had the condition or illness and how their
personal lifestyle can be adjusted.
- Following the initial treatments, maintenance therapy is recommended five
times per year.
- Very fine stainless steel needles of various sizes are used, and
disposable needles are available, if requested
- Moxa - dried leaves of the common mugwort plant - is sometimes used in
addition to or to replace the needle therapy for small children or those
with an aversion to needles. Small, rolled-up balls of moxa are placed on
the end of the acupuncture needles and lit, gently heating and increasing
the toning effect of the treatment. Small cones are placed directly on the
skin and removed before any discomfort is felt. Moxa sticks are also
- Many acupuncturists will offer a free consultation to determine if a
patient is a candidate for the procedure. This includes a brief medical
history and taking of the pulses.
- The ultimate goal of acupuncture is to assist the individual in
recognizing when their lifestyle is out of balance and make the appropriate
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- Bone, muscle and joint disorders: bursitis, tendonitis, arthritis, sports
injuries, back pain, sciatica
- Cardiovascular disorders: high or low blood pressure, angina, stroke
- Disorders of the head area: migraines, facial paralysis, headache,
trigeminal neuralgia, vertigo
- Gastrointestinal disorders: constipation, diarrhea, gastritis, duodenal
and gastric ulcers, vomiting
- Gynecological and Obstetrics problems: discomfort in pregnancy, morning
sickness, thrush candidiasis, moniliasis), menstrual pain
- Immune System Disorders: lupus, multiple sclerosis
- Mental/emotional Disorders: addictions, insomnia, hysteria, phobias
- Respiratory disorders: asthma, bronchitis, acute and chronic cough
- Sexual problems: frigidity, impotence, spermatorrhoea, sterility
- Skin disorders: eczema, psoriasis
- Stress-related illness: weight loss and gain, duodenal ulcer
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