Acupuncture is a system of healing that originated in China thousands of years ago and is based on laws of nature and life energy known as qi, pronounced chee. The idea is that energy flows through human beings much like rivers and streams flow along the surface of the earth. Health is the result of free-flowing qi; conversely, illness is the result of qi that’s out of balance because of blockages. Through the use of very fine needles inserted into specific anatomical sites, acupuncture assists nature in unblocking the flow of qi and restoring overall balance.
The World Health Organization and the National Institute of Health recognizes acupuncture’s effectiveness for over 40 common disorders, such as muscular disorders, bladder and genital disorders, gynecological disorders, and psycho-emotional disorders. Neurological disorders as well as headaches and many more conditions have been treated successfully with acupuncture’s various techniques. For a more complete list please visit this excellent local practice’s web site, Artmesia.
What to Expect
You can expect to be referred or treated for your pain condition with acupuncture if requested or if indicated. Most insurances do not provide coverage for acupuncture therapy and the patient should expect to have to provide a means for payment. The provider will do a history, exam as indicated and give you a care plan prior to any needle placement or therapy. It may take several sessions to get the results expected. Note that there are many therapeutic interventions with this type of alternative medicine and needles are not the only means to achieving a good outcome. These can include acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion as well as the use of supplements and herbal formulas.
Outcomes with alternative and Chinese medical therapy are well documented throughout history. Like any form of therapy the outcome is individual and based on the experience on the patient and the use of the provider’s experience. It has been successful in many pain conditions and should be used as an adjunctive means to help with maintenance of an overall healthy lifestyle and pain management program.