Acupuncture treats and prevents disease by manipulating the flow of Qi and blood through body channels, known as meridians. These meridians are likened to an invisible aqueduct system that transports life maintaining substances throughout the internal organs, skeletal system, and all other tissues. There are 12 main and 2 extra meridians that irrigate the human body, and along these pathways, close to the skin's surface, lay the acupoints which act as valves in the system. The acupoints are manipulated to open and clear blockages, or to close and prevent unnecessary draining of substances. In this way, balance is restored and maintained.
When there is a disharmony in the body, the acupoints along the meridian affected often become tender. There are tender spots that can't take any touch or stimulation, and here needles are inserted and manipulated to 'open' the valves and clear the blockages. There are also tender spots that can't get enough pressure or stimulation, and here needles are inserted and manipulated to 'close' the valve to prevent loss and reconnect the flow of Qi.
With balance restored, the body can use its own self-healing response and promote tissue repair and control pain naturally. The needle sensation varies with each individual, the most common being a "tingling" or "numbing" sensation. Acupuncture needles are pre-sterilized and disposable to avoid the risk of communicable disease.
Changes are felt from the first or second treatment, however, satisfying treatments are usually achieved in 7 – 10 treatments. Depending on the nature and history of the problem, this could be noticeably shorter or longer. In general, the shorter the problem history, the fewer treatments needed.
Preventative acupuncture takes its cues from subtle changes in the body as well as seasonal changes to maintain optimal health.
Acupuncture is very effective used preventatively as there are many subtle signs of an imbalance before a symptom appears. You may feel 'not quite right', you may find yourself unusually emotional, or you may have trouble getting to sleep. Excessive stress, minor aches and pain, or digestive disturbances are some other signals that something is unbalanced. These and other early clues are used to detect illness before it can manifest.
Acupuncture can be used to rebalance the body and therefore prevent illness. Once the body is in harmony, treatments at the seasonal changes can be used to maintain health and gather strength for the upcoming season.
Acupressure, an Oriental massage technique combining diagnosis and therapy, is essentially acupuncture without needles. Each application of acupressure provides clues, which enable the therapist to treat according to the body's condition. Therapists' hands and fingers are sensitized to detect changes in the skin, muscles and temperature of the body, and are then used to diagnose and establish a treatment plan.
Vertical pressure is applied with the thumb and palm to "acu" points on the body to relieve pain, stress, tension, fatigue and energetic imbalances that result in illness. Acupressure is effective and enjoyable for regular maintenance, preventative health, and for use in specific treatment plans.
There are several styles of acupressure therapies. Some use heavy pressure over each point, while others use a light pressure flowing over the meridians. Unlike many other massage styles, no oil is used, and pressure is applied through a large cotton sheet. Patients may wear loose cotton clothing, but for optimal results, only underclothing is best. Sessions are adjusted to each patient's condition to ensure the greatest efficacy and comfort.