Acupuncture, which literally means “needle piercing”, is at the heart of Oriental Medicine. It involves the insertion of thin, fine needles into specific points (acupoints) on the body. The points used depend on your condition. The acupoints correspond to specific organs like the liver, the pancreas, the heart, etc. They are located along the meridians - energy pathways – in which qi, or chi - energy – flows.
I like to think of energy like electromagnetic blood and the meridians as the circulatory system of energy.
The greatest thing about Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is that it is a whole-body approach to medicine. Acupuncturists look at you as a whole being and not a symptom or an injury. They take the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual into context.
You may even be surprised that your acupuncturist will most likely UNDERSTAND you and not think you’re weird – or crazy – even though after you fill out the paperwork you may think you are.
More and more acupuncturists are dealing with patients who have Fibromyalgia. Studies have shown that acupuncture is very helpful in dealing with stress-related disorders, weight loss and addictions, depression, reproductive problems, fatigue and pain management.
The good news is that more and more insurance companies are also covering acupuncture benefits. Of course, they want the acupuncturist to be licensed and working under the supervision of a doctor or traditional medical facility. Common licenses for acupuncturists in the United States are:
Many acupuncturists will also provide you with Chinese Herbal Remedies as a supplement to your treatment. The treatment is usually given in the form of raw herbs that you must cook in a clay or earthenware pot– as metal can interact negatively (and perhaps add toxicity) to the mixture. Generally you double boil the herbs to make your tea. (That’s just boiling it twice and draining out the water each time.)
Chinese herbal tea made from this ‘prescription’ is often bitter and tastes very unpleasant. It is also very fast-acting for many people. You will notice a difference quite quickly. It may not initially be for the better if you’re cleaning out toxins. Side effects are often mild – like nausea, dizziness and/or headache. If they are too difficult to bear, your practitioner should be able to make your prescription weaker or add something to assist you.
Acupuncture is a cooperative process. It requires that you make a commitment to it and to eating better, drinking your water and taking care of yourself. Although it can be expensive, even with insurance, you may find a school of Oriental Medicine nearby that has a student clinic. Usually they are supervised by licensed acupuncturists as well – and they are very affordable. Hopefully, you will consider trying it if you can - and haven't already. It just may help you feel a world better.