Acupuncture: What is It and What Can You Expect?


Meridian System
Pathways of Qi Flow

Acupuncture has been used for over 2500 years. According to Chinese medicine, the energy called Qi (pronounced chee) flows through 12 meridians of the body. When Qi flows uninterrupted, a person is healthy. When Qi is blocked, it can lead to illness and pain.

Using ultra-thin, stainless steel, sterilized needles inserted just beneath the skin to stimulate the meridian system, the channels are unblocked, restoring balance and the healthy flow of Qi. Acupuncture focuses on the whole person, rather than a single isolated disease, and strives to create an optimum state of health.

Western medicine has found that acupuncture activates the central nerve system in the brain, stimulating endorphins and creating an analgesic effect. It also stimulates the body's immune system, advancing self-healing (see diagram below).

Acupuncture FAQs

What can I expect on my first visit?

The first visit will be an hour and a half. After Joyce gathers a history of your conditions and pains - from general complaints and sleeping patterns to mental health - she will assess your pulse on both wrists, observe your complexion and look at your tongue.

She will then ask you to lay down. After the needles have been placed (between 3 to 15), she will lead you in a guided meditation to relax for 20-40 minutes.

Other therapies might be used, too, including cupping, electro-acupuncture and herbal therapy.

She may ask you to return in a few days. Most patients start to see improvements by the second visit. Some chronic issues may take longer than three sessions.

Does it hurt?

You might feel two sensations, the needle entering the skin which may feel like nothing at all or something akin to an insect bite. Then a second sensation is the arrival of energy to the needle site which can feel warm or tingling. Each person may feel something different.

What will I feel during the meditation part?

Many people feel a heaviness and a deep sense of relaxation.

Is it dangerous?

Acupuncture is a very low-risk treatment. It is often helpful for those who do not respond well to Western medicine.

How many sessions will I need?

It depends. The average is between 3-10 sessions to see benefits and improvements.

How will I feel afterward?

Many attest to feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and more relaxed. Not only do people experience a relief to aches and pains, but they also feel a sense of rejuvenation in their spirit and general mental well-being.