Acupuncture may seem mysterious and risky to many people. Others may picture acupuncture as being performed by an ancient Chinese man in the back of a noodle shop, as seen in old movies. The reality is much different, and I’d like to take some of the mystery out of acupuncture by telling you some things that you might not have known. Hopefully you’ll be surprised either by how much you actually knew or how much you learned from my list. Here goes:
1. There are several different kinds of acupuncture. Besides Traditional Chinese Medicine (what I practice), there is Japanese style, auricular (ear) acupuncture, Korean Hand acupuncture, and Five-Phase acupuncture, to name a few.
2. Researchers are finding that acupuncture affects brain chemistry (in a good way), giving us some new clues as to how and why it works so well.
3. Acupuncture is thousands of years old. It began in China as a way of treating infections and fevers, and over the centuries it developed into a comprehensive system of internal medicine.
4. There are over 365 acupuncture points in the body. Each point has a name–some of my personal favorites are Armpit Abyss, Crouching Rabbit, and Celestial Tripod.
5. Acupuncture can treat a wide variety of conditions. Most people think that it’s only good for pain (which it is!), but it can also be effective for things like emotional conditions, insomnia, digestive problems, menstrual/menopause issues, and even for facial rejuvenation. (However, if you have a broken bone, appendicitis, or strep throat, go to your MD!)
6. Acupuncture is actually very relaxing. More than once I’ve found my clients snoring while the needles are doing their work!
7. The needles used in acupuncture are about the diameter of a hair, and are not hollow. No shots involved and fairly painless.
8. Acupuncture works by treating the underlying source of your condition–not just symptoms. For example, if you have insomnia, your acupuncturist would find out why and treat that, not just the sleeplessness.
9. Licensed Acupuncturists have the minimum of a Masters degree in Acupuncture or Oriental Medicine and about 3,000 hours of education and clinical training. They are also licensed by their State Board of Medical Practice.
10. No two acupuncture treatments are the same. Every person is unique, with different symptoms, health history, and lifestyle. Acupuncture treatments are customized for each individual’s needs.