What is acupuncture? How does it work?

There is a 2 way communication between the skin and all organs, glands, and tissue of the body.  By stimulating specific points on or just under the skin qi (chi) is affected and conditions of the above structures can be stopped and reversed bring the patient back to health. Acupuncture can treat the body, mind, and spirit affecting physiological function, pain, and mood.

What is chi or qi?

Pronounced “ chee”- It is a bipolar electromagnetic energetical power flow that runs throughout the body via meridians and heals the body.

What is a meridian?

A meridian is a channel of energy flow. There are many meridians but the principle meridians are 12 that circle the body like longitude and latitude lines circle the earth and are guidelines or maps to find areas of treatment much like longitude and latitude degrees can tell you where you are on the earth. Qi runs throughout these 12 meridians and circle the body during each 24 hour period. Many acupuncture practitioners believe that meridian imbalance is what initially causes disease and illness and most believe at a minimum it plays a huge part.

What are the main 12 meridians?

In the order of Midday-Midnight Law ( the 24 hour cycle) the meridians are:

1.    Lung

2.    Large Intestine

3.    Stomach

4.    Spleen

5.    Heart

6.    Small intestine

7.    Bladder

8.    Kidney

9.    Pericardium

10.  Triple Warmer

11.  Gall Bladder

12.  Liver

What can affect a meridian and the energy flow of qi?

Stress, injections, hot or cold air, damp, weather changes, drugs, alcohol, smoking, excess or deficiency, trauma, nutrition, inadequate rest etc. Anything that affects health can affect the flow of qi along the meridian and can affect any anatomical structure or physiological function of body that is found along the meridian.  Physiological and mental stress is huge cause of meridian imbalance.

What does acupuncture treat?

 

This is a common question and in The Acupuncture Comprehensive Prescription Index there are over 2000 conditions listed. It may be easier to think of what does it not treat!

Do you have to have needles inserted for acupuncture treatment and do the needles hurt?

There are many ways to perform acupuncture. You do not have to have needles although it is the most common. Acupuncture can be performed with electrical stimulation using microcurrent, pressure by fingers (often called acupressure), a Teshein tool may be used, cold laser and others. Dr. Rasmussen performs acupuncture with needles, microcurrent, and Teshein.

The majority of time when needles are placed the patient does not even feel the needle being inserted. Occasionally there is some discomfort. If the patient is dehydrated there tends to be more discomfort. So if you are going to have acupuncture done. Drink lots of water for 2-3 days prior!

 

How do you know where to put the needles or other types of stimulation?

On the 12 main meridians alone there are 309 points on the skin about the side of a pin head that are called acupuncture points. These points are the areas where stimulation occurs to reduce pain and or restore function.  There are extra meridians that 100’s more points to treat as well. Many of the points that are the most effective are found at and below the elbow and the knees.  Often an acupuncture point far away from the area of symptoms is used the most effectively.   There are auricular points, Master Tung’s points, “8 Extraordinary Vessels” and more. Learning all of the points and what they treat takes years of study and experience.