Using Traditional Chinese Medicine, a practitioner’s primary task is to explain how san diego acupuncture works and the rationale behind particular point selections. There is considerable evidence to suggest that acupuncture points are important in special areas of the body, particularly in pain. Research in the 1970s has shown clearly that over 70% of trigger or “ouch” points occurring in painful diseases were already defined as acupuncture points by the Chinese. Furthermore, many forms of therapy, particularly for disease of the muscles, bones and joints, rely on the fact that stimulating or needling these trigger points can relieve pain. We also know that acupuncture points have special electrical properties, in that they have a lower electrical resistance than the surrounding skin. However, no scientific evidence has yet been provided to prove the existence of the channels.
Acupuncture is used in the West primarily for painful conditions and the majority of research into the mechanism of acupuncture has been orientated towards this area. Developed by Melzack and Wall in 1965, the gate control theory, states that the input of pain via small nerve fibers can be inhibited within the spinal cord by the stimulation of large nerve fibers. Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate large diameter nerve fibers, thereby “closing the gate” to pain and blocking pain perception.
The discovery of endorphins and encephalin which happens to be the body’s own opiates has strengthened the position of acupuncture as a treatment for pain. A number of studies about acupuncture show that acupuncture can cause the release of these naturally occurring opiates into various areas of the central and peripheral nervous system. While there is good evidence for the mechanisms underlying the effect of acupuncture in both acute and chronic pain, there are to date no theories which explain how acupuncture might work in non-painful conditions such as asthma.
What does san diego acupuncture treatment involve?
Before anyone can actually receive treatment, the acupuncturist will want to take a history in order to make a clear diagnosis of your condition; this may involve a traditional Chinese history as well as a Western diagnosis depending on the skills and techniques of your acupuncturist.
Acupuncture treatment is a relatively painless procedure, in skilled hands. You may notice a temporary worsening of your condition, but this usually indicates that an effective response will occur later in the treatment. Treatment usually works in stages, in that the first one or two treatments may produce no effect or perhaps only a transitory effect. A course of six to eight sessions is usually required for effective symptom relief. When such relief has been obtained, it often lasts for three to nine months when one or two further treatments will “top-up” the therapeutic benefit.
When the acupuncture needles are actually inserted, they are usually left in place for between 15 and 30 minutes and often the acupuncturist will try and manipulate the needles so that you will feel a dull bursting or numb sensation around their site of insertion. This sensation is called “de qi” or “obtaining energy” and traditionally it is suggested that “de qi” may be an important part of the treatment process. Sometimes your acupuncturist may use other methods of stimulating the acupuncture point, for instance moxibustion, which is the burning of the herb Artemesia vulgaris just above the surface of the skin or on the end of a needle, or placing a cup over the acupuncture point.