In Traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture works to balance the body and mind while releasing natural pain fighting endorphins. Acupuncture works to restore the flow of Qi, which is vital to good health. Qi (also called Chi) is thought to move through the body along pathways called meridians, each of which is linked to a specific organ. If the flow of energy is balanced, the individual enjoys good health. If something interrupts the flow of energy, health problems, including pain can occur.
Acupuncture stimulates healing and improves the functioning of the immune system. It also increases the flow of oxygen to all tissues in the body. An increased flow of oxygen promotes healing and helps keep the body resistant to and free from disease. Much like physical therapies, acupuncture helps injuries heal and relieves muscle tension caused by them.
When most people think of acupuncture, they picture someone laying down with lots of thin needles sticking inside of them. Acupuncture involves an entire body experience. Needles are just one aspect of the experience and just part of the story. To support the acupuncture therapy, the practitioner will likely recommend taking herbs in the form of teas and capsules. A traditional acupuncturist should inspect the face and body, and check the condition of the tongue. The tongue is a roadmap to health. Different parts of the tongue are linked to different organs. Acupuncturists listen for wheezing and unusual breathing sounds. They sniff for peculiar odors and check the patient’s pulse for clues about the heart, flow of Qi and state of the organs. Relief may be experienced after only one treatment or after a series of treatments.