When you hear the word acupuncture, what is the first thing that comes to mind? If you say needles, then you are among the majority. The needles are the reason most people are reluctant to try acupuncture in Fremont. This is totally understandable. For me, one of my obstacles in studying acupuncture was my personal dislike of needles. From kid to adulthood, I had a fear of getting my blood drawn. My palms get sweaty whenever this epic moment comes. My insides get queasy and I start to take really deep breaths while telling myself “everything will be ok”. Fortunately, I have learned that the needles used in acupuncture are nowhere near the size of syringe needles. An acupuncture needle is almost the size of a stand of hair. To make up the shaft size of a syringe needle it would actually require a minimum of four acupuncture needles together. An acupuncture needle is a tool used not to pull blood out of the body but to help move your energy.
People who come for treatment on a regular basis, have come to understand this and have found they sometimes feel the discomfort as the needle is being inserted into their skin. They say the sensation feels like a quick pinch when they do feel it. They also say that the benefits they are gaining from acupuncture, greatly counterbalance the quick pinch and make another appointment.
Now that we have cleared that up, we could talk about more about how acupuncture can help you. As a human being, you are a ball of energy. Within your body, there are smaller circuits of energy that comprise the body moving and interacting. These meridians or energy circuits, make up a complex system that travels from the organs down to your arms and legs, across your face and skull up your torso and down your buttocks and back. They are basically everywhere. Along the meridians, we call specific points ‘acupuncture points’ or just acupoints. Your body may be prompted to eliminate stagnation by placing into a certain point a small pin allowing the energy of your body to decide what it needs, build energy of the meridian, and eliminate stagnation along the meridians. If your energy accumulates in one area or gets stuck in one area Your spirit, mind, or body may call out with anger, sadness, weight gain pain, tightness, inability to focus, weight gain, sadness, anger, etc.
Practitioners not only treat symptoms they also treat the underlying cause of the symptoms as well. They can do this due to an understanding of energy and because of the medicine’s nature. When the skin is pricked with a pin, it not just touches his body but also his spirit and mind.
The practitioner inserts the pin and you do the work. He does not make your body do what it does not want to. Based on the symptoms you are experiencing, he is offering your body a suggestion. Acupuncture touches you in a deep yet gentle and lasting way.
We will use a certain point – the Zusanli or St 36 point to elucidate more. This acupoint located along the Stomach energy channel, known in English as “Leg Three Miles”, is not just used for constipation, indigestion, nausea, and vomiting, but also for someone who is having a hard time nourishing himself. They may help and take care of others consistently while not doing the same for themselves. A blockage along the meridian may be present if the meridian is too weak to move the energy or if there is stagnation. They may be stuck in life in other ways both physically & mentally which can manifest as cloudy thinking or extra weight. The Zusanli acupoint is “an amazing enriching and strengthening point for the Spirit, Body, and Mind.” When you are strong and grounded, you are able to properly derive nourishment and come back smoothly to yourself. You can eat and process foods in a healthy way when your stomach is strong. You may also be able take in information and process it with clarity. You may have one or more of these issues and let your body decide what it needs. The zusanli is an extremely potent acupoint that can be stimulated with either moxibustion or a pin.
An herbal heat therapy that is combined with acupuncture therapies, moxibustion is used to warm a meridian or an acupuncture point. It is greatly nourishing and helps build energy. Moxa refers to the actual herb used – mugwort, and the therapy. When dried, Mugwort, a common weed, is rolled into a cigar or small cones. This “cigar,” when lit, is placed above the skin along certain meridians to add and build warmth. Practitioners also use it to warm areas of the body, like the soles of the feet to warm the entire body after coming in from playing in the snow or the lower back for back pain associated with cold. Moxibustion is an ideal form of treatment for cold seasons. These days, moxa can come in pre-made cones and other shapes such as those that can sit on the needle or your skin. To help lessen the amount of smoke in the treatment room, there is even a “smokeless” type of moxa.
To help improve people’s health, practitioners may use moxa, acupuncture, and sometimes herbs. Lifestyle choices play an important role in health and therefore may be discussed between the practitioner and client after treatment sessions.