Acupuncture points are spots of lowered electrical resistance on the pathways of the acupuncture meridians. This is the energy circuitry of the body. Single-use, sterilized, stainless steel needles are gently inserted into specific acupuncture points to achieve homeostatic balance within the body. The needles are very fine and most people do not even notice the insertion, however occasionally it can produce a quick pinching sensation as it enters the skin. Sometimes the patient will experience the sensation of the "energy arriving at the point". This is normal and can be felt as radiating warmth, tingling or heaviness. The needles are left in between 20 to 45 minutes depending on what is being treated. Acupuncture is very calming and relaxing. You may even nap.
During an acupuncture treatment, significant, measurable physiological changes occur in the patient. These changes include a shifting of the relative involvement of the sympathetic and para-sympathetic nervous systems, which allow for greater and more rapid healing. There is a slowing of brain wave patterns and activity to those indicating states of deep relaxation and awareness. PET scan technology indicates changes in brain chemistry and the activation or de-activation of particular areas of the brain. These changes are consistent with the physiological changes noted in heightened relaxation, awareness and healing.
Moxibustion (moxa), is a heat therapy technique used to warm the acupuncture points by burning the dried leaves of the mugwort plant. It warms and eases the pain of arthritis and menstrual cramps. It is also useful for overall health by promoting good circulation.
The technique of cupping creates a vacuum that suctions glass cups to the skin and muscles of the back. The cups are left in place, or moved with oil creating a sort of sliding massage. It is useful for painful and sore muslces, as it helps to invigorate the blood and remove toxins and lactic acid build up. It is also very effective for helping the body to fight off the common cold and flu.