What is Acupuncture?

acupuncture2Acupuncture is one of the main tenets of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and has been used to treat a wide range of diseases and ailments for thousands of years.

Acupuncturists insert needles that are as thin as a hair into acupuncture points all over a patient’s body.  These points run through a series of pathways called meridians that branch from the bottom of the feet to the top of the head.  During a typical treatment, an acupuncturist may insert needles in the back, chest, legs, arms, face, and ears.

There are fourteen meridians in the body, each one correlating to a specific organ system.  In Chinese medicine, organ systems are associated with specific emotions and physiological locations throughout the body.  For example, a patient could have issues with liver function.  In a treatment, I would choose points that fall along the liver meridian.  Many of these points would be located far away from the liver.  If the patient also complains of being very sad, I would treat points that run through the lung meridian because the lungs correlate to the emotion of sadness.

In a treatment, I will evaluate the needs of the patient through discussion about current and historical health, observing the patient’s pulses, examining the coat and color of the tongue, and checking for structural imbalances or contractions along the spine and hips.  From this assessment, we can co-create a plan that will restore the body’s balance and vitality.  Acupuncture can also be used to maintain one’s health and harmony.

How does acupuncture work?

When the hair-thin needles are inserted into the cells at the acupuncture point, they stimulate nerve endings that trigger blood flow, white blood cell activity and release of contraction in a particular area of the body or organ system.  Acupuncture also affects the autonomic nervous system and promotes the release of pain-relieving chemicals, such as endorphins.

At Rising Sun Acupuncture, I use Seitai Shinpo which focuses additionally on the structural distortions of the hips and spine.  A Seitai treatment uses a combination of acupuncture, moxibustion and So Tai Ho to release areas of contraction along the spine that often cause pain and cause ailments to far-reaching parts of the body.  Healthy structural alignment correlates to overall health.