Acupuncture is used worldwide both as a primary and complementary form of medicine. Traditional acupuncture treats the whole person, body and mind, and not just symptoms. It works by restoring the body’s natural healing ability.
Acupuncture is based on the belief that an energy, or 'life force', flows through the body in channels called meridians. This life force is known as Qi (pronounced 'chee'). Practitioners who adhere to traditional beliefs about acupuncture believe that when Qi cannot flow freely through the body, this can cause illness. They also believe that acupuncture can restore the flow of Qi, and so restore health.
In skilled hands, acupuncture treatment is a relatively painless procedure. Patients may notice a temporary worsening of the condition for which they are being treated, but this usually indicates that an effective response will occur later in the treatment. Treatment usually works in stages, in that the first one or two treatments may produce no effect or perhaps only a transitory effect.
A course of six to eight sessions is usually required for effective symptom relief.
When such relief has been obtained, it often lasts for three to nine months when one or two further treatments will "top-up" the therapeutic benefit.
Acupuncturists may use other methods of stimulating the acupuncture point, for instance moxibustion, which is the burning of the herb Artemisia vulgaris just above the surface of the skin or on the end of a needle, or placing a cup over the acupuncture point.
The most common conditions that may benefit from Acupuncture
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