What is Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a five thousand year old medical tradition based on clinical observation and treatment. Diagnosis in Acupuncture is based on observation, interview, pulse and tongue diagnosis, and other diagnostic tools. Following an assessment, treatment may involve acupuncture, oriental bodywork, cupping, moxibustion, electrotherapy, bleeding, TDP heat lamp, or other traditional treatments. Acupuncture in itself involves the placement of sterile one time use disposable needles into specific points on the body.
Illness in Acupuncture is seen as an imbalance of Qi, the healing energy that flows within all of us. In India this energy is called Prana, Hippocrates called it the healing power of Nature, Paracelsus (a very famous doctor in the Middle Ages) called it Archaeus. In German exist two words for it: Ruach and Atman, both meaning something like “the breath of God”. I couldn’t find an old English word for it so far.
This healing energy flows in the body in specific pathways, called meridians. On these meridians are points, the so called acupuncture points. By putting a tiny, tiny needle into some of these points one can resolve blockages in the energy flow and balance the flow within the different pathways. Acupuncture points can not be seen but they can be measured. They have a very different electric resistance compared to the rest of the skin.
Acupuncture works with the whole person. Therefore, even if you just suffer from elbow pain, the acupuncturist will ask you questions about your whole body, and even about your emotional and mental wellbeing.
The Acupuncture Session
The acupuncture session starts with the practitioner examining your tongue, feeling your pulse, and asking you questions about your health and overall wellbeing. She may also feel for special points all over your body. For the treatment you will be invited to lie down on a massage table (you can also be treated sitting, if lying down is difficult for you). Usually, especially with wide summer clothes, undressing is not necessary.
Then the practitioner will insert sterile one-time use disposable needles at specific points in your body, mainly at your arms, hands, legs, and feet. Because the needles are so thin, this usually doesn’t hurt at all or only minimally. If a needle hurts, it gets readjusted till the pain disappears. After all the needles are inserted one feels very good, calm, and relaxed and is allowed to rest for 15 to 30 minutes. During this period the needles are slightly touched and turned to increase their efficacy. At the end the needles are removed. Sometimes soft Chinese massage is added for a brief period of time.
The first acupuncture session lasts about one and a half hours, further sessions about 45 minutes to an hour.
Needles are not necessary. It is just as well possible to work with hands, cupping, moxa, and the use of oils.
· Reduction of pain and stress
· A positive effect on many different health problems
· Prevention of illness
· Memory enhancement
· Seeing the undistorted reality
· More positive emotions: joy, love, happiness, centeredness
· Ultimate aim: belovedness – the feeling of being loved, the basis of all spiritual development
Acupuncture has no side effects if applied correctly and can be safely and effectively combined with western medicine.