Saturday, August 07, 2010

Acupuncture


Every Monday, I spend my lunch break at Omidi Acupuncture getting pierced with tiny needles that literally bring me to a state of bliss. You have to try it to believe it, but acupuncture makes me simultaneously relaxed and high on life.

The best part is – unlike massage where you feel relaxed only while getting the work performed, the positive effects of acupuncture stay with you all day. My energy feels revitalized, balanced, and peaceful for hours after a treatment.

As an athlete, I often have at least one (if not more) body part that is aching from overuse. Acupuncture has helped to relieve pain in my hamstrings, lower back, and rotator cuff with no side effects. I have also gotten treatments during periods of high anxiety and stress with positive results. Best of all – acupuncture is covered by most health insurance providers, so typically the only cost incurred is that of a patient’s co-pay.

I asked my acupuncturist and friend, Moji Omidi, to provide me with a few details to share about the history of her healing profession. Here is what I learned:

Acupuncture is the oldest continually practiced medicine in the world. It has been employed as a healthcare modality for almost 3,000 years! Currently, around ¼ of the world’s population makes use of the practice.

Acupuncture works by re-establishing the yin/yang balance of the body, and the balance between qi (pronounced “chee”), blood and body fluids. Qi, or vital energy, circulates through specific pathways called meridians. There are 14 main meridian pathways in the body, and each is connected to specific organs and glands.

When a person’s Qi flows freely, they enjoy physical, mental, and emotional well-being. An obstruction of Qi anywhere in the body is like a dam, backing up the flow in one area and restricting it in others.

Things that can affect a person’s Qi include: physical and emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise, overexertion, seasonal changes and diet. When the disruption of Qi is prolonged or excessive, then illness, pain or disease can set in.

During a treatment, an acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints on the body. Typically, needles are inserted at depths ranging from 1/8” to 1 ½”.

When the needles are inserted, a person may feel a vague numbness, tingling or dull ache. Sometimes people experience a sensation of energy spreading and moving around the needle. After the treatment, a feeling of being energized or a deep sense of relaxation is typical.


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