What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of healthcare that originated in China thousands of years ago. It involves placing very thin needles at specific points on the body with the intention of smoothing the flow of energy, eliminating toxins and stagnant body fluids, and restoring the whole person to balance. The practice of acupuncture is often complimented by several other techniques as described below.
Acupuncture needles are single-use, disposable, and about the thickness of a human hair. Insertion is relatively painless, and many patients fall asleep during their treatments. Increased blood flow, release of endogenous opioids, and neurotransmitters, and nervous system regulation, are some of the well-known mechanisms responsible for the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments.
Electroacupuncture is achieved by attaching electrodes and running microcurrent to the needles. Some believe this action mimics what are known to acupuncturists as "needling techniques". By adding electric current to the needles using specific frequency and intensity, we can influence the state of a person's biochemistry, which is why electroacupuncture is often used in acupuncture anesthesia.
Moxibustion involves burning dried Artemisia Vulgaris Latifolia, also known as mugwort, close to the skin or on top of acupuncture needles. The heat generated by the burning mugwort can help to stimulate circulation and promote healing. Moxa is often used to treat fatigue and pain. Heat from the burning mugwort can help warm the body and improve the flow of Qi, which is believed to be the life force energy that circulates through the body.
Cupping therapy is a technique that involves the use of glass or plastic cups to create suction on the skin. The cups are placed on the skin and the air vacuumed out, with the use of a flame or suction gun, which creates a vacuum that draws the skin and underlying tissues into the cup.
In "dry" cupping, the cups are either move around or left in place for about 20 minutes. "Wet" cupping involves making small incisions in the skin before placing the cups, which allows the therapist to draw out small amounts of blood. Both dry and wet cupping help to stimulate the release of toxins from underlying tissues, blood flow, and promote healing in the area. Cupping and Gua Sha are often used to treat a variety of conditions, including chronic pain, muscle tension, and respiratory problems.
Gua Sha involves the use of a blunt tool, such as a jade stone or a spoon, using gentle but firm pressure. This process is repeated several times in the same area, creating redness or bruising on the skin. The term "Gua" means to scrape or rub, and "Sha" refers to the red or purple marks that may appear on the skin after the treatment.
The aim of Gua Sha is to release muscle tension and promote circulation in the body. By stimulating the skin and releasing stagnant body fluids from underlying tissues, Gua Sha can help to increase blood flow, oxygenation, and nutrient supply to the area, while also promoting lymphatic drainage and the elimination of toxins.
While cupping and gua sha are generally considered safe, both may cause temporary redness, bruising, or soreness in the treated area. It is important to seek treatment from a licensed and experienced practitioner who can properly assess your condition and determine whether cupping therapy is appropriate for you.
Infrared Heat Therapy
Infrared TDP heat lamps are a type of therapeutic lamp that is often used in acupuncture treatment. These lamps emit far infrared waves, which are a type of energy that can penetrate deeply into the body and promote healing and relaxation.
During an acupuncture treatment, the practitioner may use an infrared TDP heat lamp to provide additional warmth and relaxation to the treated area. The lamp is typically placed a few inches away from the skin and directed towards the acupuncture points or areas of the body that require additional heat and stimulation.
The heat from the lamp can help to improve circulation and stimulate the flow of Qi. It can also help to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and promote relaxation in the muscles and tissues.