Acupuncture originated in China over 5000 years ago as an intrinsic part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The traditional Chinese believe that Qi (the energy of life) flows along meridians in our bodies, just as blood flows along blood vessels. In turn, these meridians or pathways are linked to specific internal organs and organ systems. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the uninterrupted, balanced flow of this energy keeps us alive and healthy. Similarly, if this life energy is impeded in any part of the body, disease (or dis-ease) results.
Acupuncture treatment involves the use of needles, which are inserted into specific sites along the meridians of the body to help correct or rebalance the flow of energy, consequently relieving pain and/or restoring health. Contemporary medical acupuncture is complementary to modern medical practice, rather than an alternative form of treatment. Acupuncture is integrated into conventional medical practice as a therapeutic modality used to encourage natural healing, reduce and/or relieve pain, and to improve function of affected areas of the body.
Contemporary medical acupuncture consists of stimulation of the peripheral nervous system with acupuncture needles for the therapeutic purpose of treating musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. Acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of very fine needles through the skin and tissues at varying depths on specific points on the body, specifically penetrating the underlying structures such as muscles, nerves, ligaments, etc. The insertion of needles stimulates the body to produce endorphins, natural pain relieving chemicals in the body; there is no injection of any substance into the body.
What to do before an acupuncture treatment
Have a light meal. If this is not possible, drink some juice.
Do not consume alcohol for 4 hours prior to the treatment.
If possible, do not take any pain killers or tranquilizers for 4 hours prior to the treatment.
Do take your usual medication.
What to do after an acupuncture treatment
Avoid strenuous activity for 2 days after treatment, even if you are now pain-free.
Rest for a few hours when you go home.
Drink lots of water and avoid alcohol.
Delay taking any pain killers or tranquilizers for 1 hour after treatment.
Be aware that occasionally, the symptoms may become worse before there is relief.