Acupuncture is based on the teachings of Traditional Chinese Medicine which focus on 12 main meridians and 8 extra meridians running throughout the body in a circuit which correlate with an organ system. These meridians house the energy flow of the body. When there is an obstruction to this flow it causes disharmony within the body which can lead to a variety of symptoms such as pain, headaches, fatigue, insomnia and stress. The insertion of acupuncture needles into specific acupuncture points on the meridians increase blood flow to that area to stimulate a healing response. Some people will not feel the needle insertion, while others may feel a slight prick or muscle tightening around the needle. There are multiple factors involved in how acupuncture might feel, tight muscles, anxiety and sensitivity to touch can increase the sensation while being needled.
While the needles are retained a person may feel a dull ache or feel heaviness of the limbs and body, these are normal sensations that show the body is responding. The placement of the needles encourages the body to focus on the areas that need assistance in order to be balanced. It takes 30 minutes for a complete circuit of energy to flow through the meridians in the body. During this time the only job of the patient is to relax and breathe. The more peaceful and meditative a person can be the more likely they are to feel the effects of acupuncture as the body is able to heal in a non-stress state.
Side effects from acupuncture are minimal and may include slight bruising from acupuncture as the body is covered in many capillaries, care is taken by the acupuncturist to avoid veins or arteries but capillaries cannot be seen. Muscles or a specific acupuncture point may be tender following treatment due to the stimulation of blood flow, and if needed, stimulating white blood cells, and a healing response. This is considered a good reaction to acupuncture, and will get less with each treatment. The tenderness shouldn’t last more than 24 hours.
Your body is wise and acupuncture stimulates your body to do whatever it needs to heal. For some people this can trigger an emotional release, old or new. Allow yourself to feel whatever you need to feel. If this lasts for more than one day it is recommended to work on your emotional health in other ways than acupuncture alone. If you find that acupuncture is triggering something every time, let your acupuncturist know as there are special acupuncture treatments that can help you move forward.
Dr. Risk and Dr. Kohlman are registered Acupuncturists that create a treatment plan for each individual that is be based on clinical findings and patient needs. In order to treat the whole body BioMeridian assessment, Chinese herbs, supplements, Autonomic Response Testing (ART), and Family Constellations may be used in addition to acupuncture to bring balance and harmony to the patient .