Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese healing medicine that has been practiced for centuries. It is based on the theory that energy, called Qi (“chee”), flows through and around your body. When you have an injury, suffer from stress, or your health is compromised by disease or illness, the energy becomes obstructed, sluggish or overactive. When the energy is blocked or off balance acupuncture is a way to unblock the energy so that the body moves into balance. Adjustments will then be made to clear the obstruction using very fine, thin needles at key pressure points within your body.
Acupuncture is done by putting very thin needles into your skin at certain points on your body. This is done to influence the energy flow. Sometimes heat, pressure, or mild electrical current is used along with needles.
You may initially experience some sensation when the needles are placed into your skin, such as tingling, heat, pressure or nothing at all. Most people find acupuncture to be a pleasant experience and report feeling relaxed and refreshed following a treatment session.
Acupuncture supports your body’s ability to heal and is recommended for people with short and long-term illnesses as well as people who are managing chronic pain. Case-controlled clinical studies have shown that acupuncture has been an effective treatment for managing a wide range of chronic illnesses such as insomnia, rheumatoid arthritis and managing the side effects from chemotherapy. Below is a list of chronic illnesses that acupuncture has been shown to be effective in treating:
- Acute and chronic gastritis
- Adverse reactions to chemotherapy
- Dental pain / TMJ
- Facial pain
- Knee pain
- Back pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Neck pain
- Peptic ulcer
- Postoperative pain
- Renal colic
- Rheumatoid arthritis
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) is the accrediting body for acupuncturists. Additional designation of licensed acupuncturists (L.Ac.) is warranted by the state regulatory board. Hackensack Meridian Health requires both NCCAOM and L.Ac.