What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the stimulation of essential information-relay centers in the body commonly called acupuncture "points", usually by insertion of tiny flexible needles but also by application of gentle electric current, warming moxa, infrared lamp, laser, massage, suction, or pressure. Stimulation of acupuncture points produces a healing, regulatory, or pain-relieving effect. It is an ancient art and science that began 1000s of years ago and has evolved, adapted and exponentially increased its uses and effectiveness over time: current advances in technology mean that it is an exciting time to be an acupuncture patient!
How does acupuncture work?
No one knows how the ancient Chinese discovered that inserting needles into a special place on your foot could make your headache go away. But today doctors do have a pretty good understanding of how acupuncture treatment affects the body physiologically, thanks to numerous animal studies, and tests like functional MRIs which show precisely which regions of the brain are activated by certain acupuncture points on the body.
Do I have to believe it will work?
No! Of course, a positive expectation increases the effect of any treatment, even surgery, however acupuncture (like surgery) also works on animals. Numerous laboratory studies bear this out. You can also ask one of the thousands of people who take their arthritic pets for acupuncture treatment each year! The physiological effects of acupuncture are real.
Does acupuncture hurt?
If you've never had acupuncture before, you may find it difficult to believe you could feel comfortable, relaxed, and relieved lying still for 30 minutes with little pins stuck in you! The acupuncturist(s) at New Channel Wellness are highly skilled and use special techniques to insert needles quickly and gently with minimal sensation. Often, you won't even know a needle is there. Other times, there may be a heavy, buzzy, magnetic or moving type sensation that you feel, but this sensation is usually just strange and not painful. From time to time, there may be a pin-prick sensation that lasts an instant. Most patients barely notice it. Our patients find treatment here deeply relaxing and look forward to their visits because of how awesome they feel!
Where do you put the needles?
Needles sometimes go in the painful area. Other times needles go in seemingly random spots that are in fact highly precise in their connection to the painful or diseased area. Acupuncturists have hundreds of these highly specific acupoints to choose from. About 50 of theses points are most effective and used more often than others. If you have had a lot of local treatment to the problem area whether by surgery, injection, massage, etc. your acupuncturist may choose to needle points well away from the painful area. New patients are continually amazed at how effective and comfortable this is!
What do the letters mean after your name?
What are meridians or channels?
"Meridian" is the original term used for certain pathways in the body when acupuncture was first introduced to the west. It implies an invisible line on a map to the Western mind. The term "channel", is preferred today as it more accurately describes the bio-electric pathways that actually exist between cells and more compex body stuctures. Acupuncture Channels appear in the most primitive stages of embryonic development, and develop more complex branches as the organs, bones, brain, and other structures fully develop. They generally begin on the hands, head, and feet and pass through one or more internal organs. Channels should not to be confused with nerves or bloodvessels, although the channels do tend to correspond with the pathways and branches of major nerves and blood vessels. Channels can be thought to lie in the fasciae or connective tissue around your muscles, tendons, and bones. This tissue is fluid filled and rich in collagen, which has special bio-electricity conductive properties under the right conditions, and can be stimulated to provoke a powerful healing and pain-relieving response.