Acupuncture FAQ


Acupuncture is a complete system of medicine based on principles which have been used in the Orient for the past 4,000 years. It works with the natural energies inherent within all living things, to promote the body’s ability to heal itself.


Science can trace the development of a baby from the union of sperm and egg, but it cannot explain exactly how the miracle of life begins. Science can study what happens when bones mend or wounds heal, but cannot explain why this happens. Acupuncture works with the life force behind these processes.

This life force(called – Ki or Chi) is the vital energy which created the body originally and continues to keep it alive and functioning properly. As such, it has the perfect knowledge to repair it, should any damage or disease occur. Disease manifests and is not cured when this life force becomes weakened to such an extent that it can no longer heal. This shows as an imbalance in the energy currents (called meridians), the pathways through which the Ki passes. The ancient masters traced these pathways and located points along them at which life energy communicates with the surface of the body. Modern science has been able to measure the electrical charges at these points, thus corroborating the locations of the life energy channels mapped by the ancients. These are the points which are used for traditional acupuncture, moxibustion and hand treatment.

The ancients also developed a system for determining the quality and mobility of life energy in each person. This system, which involves palpation of the six pulses on each wrist, is still used today in Oriental medical diagnosis. By means of the pulse diagnosis, the practitioner knows which channels of life energy are weak/depleted or overstrong/excessive and can also monitor the effects of treatment.


Any health problem, disease or illness may be treated by acupuncture. In some cases where life energy has deteriorated too far to effect a cure, the disease can still be arrested and pain alleviated so the patient can lead a reasonably normal life.

Although there are techniques in Oriental medicine for healing all conditions, there are some problems which can be dealt with more quickly by Western medicine. In such cases your acupuncturist will recommend you contact a physician. Although some conditions can be alleviated very rapidly by acupuncture, many conditions have taken years to establish and can only be relieved with steady, slow progress. As in any form of healing, the patient must be fully determined to get well and change the habits or attitudes which have been undermining his or her health. Oriental Medicine is an educational process in which the patient becomes more sensitive to his or her body an more aware of what to do to maintain physical and mental well-being (i.e.- diet, exercise, rest, etc.).


Some of the most dramatic news about acupuncture in the West has publicized it’s ability to relieve chronic and acute pain. Although it is indeed effective in such situations, acupuncture and Oriental medicine are more than painkilling techniques. Although the nervous system relays pain signals due to physical trauma, pain is often a signal from the body that energy is not flowing smoothly due to stress, improper diet, emotional strain, etc. When the current of life energy is balanced through acupuncture, the nerves, muscles, bones, blood vessels and organs are revitalized and the condition which created the pain sensation is relieved.


Acupuncture needles are very fine and flexible, about the diameter of a thick hair. Insertion by a skilled practitioner usually will be completely painless. In most cases needles are inserted just below the surface of the skin. There are certain. techniques used in Oriental Medicine which can be painful/achy because it is painful to mobilize energy which has been stagnating. But acupuncture bears no resemblance t to the feeling of getting an injection, as the main source of pain from injections is the hollow needle and the medication being forced into the tissues by pressure. Acupuncture needles are used to attract or disperse energy along the meridians, not to inject.


The duration of a disease, the amount of deterioration, and the constitution of each patient must be taken into account when determining the number of treatments necessary. Most chronic conditions require a minimum of ten acupuncture treatments to alleviate symptoms and balance the energy so that symptoms are not likely to recur.

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