According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) our health is dependent upon the body's motivating energy known as qi (pronounced "chee"). In a healthy body qi moves in a smooth and balanced way in relation to the body organs and fluids through a series of channels known as meridians beneath the skin. The flow of qi, blood and other fluids can be disturbed by emotional states such as anxiety, stress, anger, fear or grief, or even poor nutrition, weather conditions, hereditary factors, infections or injuries and trauma.
By inserting very fine, sterile single-use disposable needles into specific points known as acupoints, the acupuncturist seeks to re-establish the free flow of qi to restore balance and trigger the body's natural healing response. This means that acupuncture is helpful for the majority of both physical and emotional conditions.
Although a mild tingling sensation is sometimes experienced acupuncture is not usually described as painful, in fact it can be so relaxing a number of patients fall asleep during the treatment session!
For optimum results a short course of treatment is usually recommended.
Even though acupuncture can be used as a standalone therapy is it most commonly used alongside TCM (which means that needle-free alternatives are also available.)