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How Acupuncture Can Relieve Pain and Improve Sleep, Digestion and Emotional Well-being

The needles are inserted into specific places on the body, which practitioners call acupuncture points. During the session, you'll usually be asked to sit or lie down.

You may also be asked to remove some clothes so the practitioner can access certain parts of your body. The needles used are very fine and are usually a few centimetres long. The needles may be inserted just under the skin, or deeper so they reach muscle.

Once the needles are in place, they may be left in position for a length of time lasting from a few minutes up to around 30 minutes. If you do, let your practitioner know straight away. You can find an accredited register of acupuncture practitioners on the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care website.

Acupuncture Imaging: Perceiving the Energy Pathways of the Body

When it's done by a qualified practitioner, acupuncture is generally very safe. Rarely, some people experience mild, short-term side effects such as:. Acupuncture is also not usually advised if you have a metal allergy or an infection in the area where needles may be inserted. It's generally safe to have acupuncture when you're pregnant. However, let your acupuncture practitioner know if you're pregnant because certain acupuncture points cannot be used safely during pregnancy.

Read more about the safety of complementary therapies in pregnancy. There are also five elements in the body that relate to a system of correspondence to the organs, developed by the Chinese over the last years. These, too, are balanced through working the proper points along the meridians.

About Acupuncture - Center for Integrative Medicine

Palpation of the muscles and abdomen are sometimes also used to determine proper treatment. An acupuncture treatment is highly individualized for the patient. Most of the theories on how acupuncture works are based on various studies from around the world. They have shown that acupuncture can:.


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Acupuncture is a superb preventative therapy, as it can correct energetic and musculo-skeletal imbalances before they manifest as physical dysfunction and pain. It prods the endocrine, nervous, immune and other systems into efficient functioning. The body can then heal itself. Japanese Acupuncture including Kiiko Matsumoto style : Characterized by its energetic subtlety, thinner and fewer needles are used in Japanese Acupuncture than other styles.

Very small needles are inserted very shallowly into the skin; sometimes treatment only involves brushing the skin. The patient hardly feels any sensation during a Japanese acupuncture treatment, as this method utilizes the least amount of acupuncture-point stimulation to produce the greatest amount of change.

Additional information

Abdominal palpation is the key diagnostic method used in Japanese acupuncture treatment. In China, TCM is used equally along side western medicine in private clinics as well as hospital settings.

click The TCM acupuncture approach focuses on unblocking meridian flow, balancing yin and yang and adjusting the Zang-Fu organ systems of the body. Pulse and tongue inspection are the characteristic diagnostic techniques used in this style. Western Acupuncture : This form of acupuncture includes bio-medical acupuncture, trigger-point therapy and other techniques to restore optimal health of the patient.