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ACUPUNCTURE

Acupuncture is a holistic approach to health based on the concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which have been in existence for over 3000 years. Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles at specific points on the body. The insertion of these needles stimulates the body's natural healing processes to work optimally. Acupuncture can be used in the treatment of acute and chronic conditions and can also be used as a preventative measure by improving the overall functioning of the body's immune and organ systems.

How does it work?
Acupuncture is based on the theory that there are patterns of energy called 'chi' flowing through the body. Disease or pain result when this energy is disrupted, weakened or becomes stagnant. Acupuncture works to maintain the balance (known as homeostasis) by regulating the flow of Qi (pronounced 'chee') throughout the body. Qi has been loosely defined as 'energy' or a life force that flows through all living things. Qi flows throughout the body along interconnected pathways known as meridians. Thin needles are inserted into different points along these these meridians in order to stimulate the body's self healing abilities.

Does it hurt?
This varies from person to person. Some people fell only brief sting, others feel pain. There may be slight bruising after the needle is removed. Depending on your situation between ten and thirty needles may be used, and are usually left in the body for at least forty minutes, sometimes longer. Different points require the needles to be inserted at different depths.

How often will I need to go?
This depends on the condition being treated, but some conditions can be treated in one to four sessions. People with chronic conditions may require regular treatment. It is a good idea to get an estimate at the start of the treatment if possible.

Cautions
As with any acupuncture treatment, the patient must be comfortable, mentally and physically ready. Therefore, if you are apprehensive about having needles inserted, you are probably better off waiting until you are ready.

Summary
Chinese Oriental Medicine has been around for thousands of years, and has provided us with a unique and holistic approach to help prevent and treat disease. Western Science and Traditional Chinese Medicine ultimately rely on the body's natural healing ability to maintain health and protect against disease. Both have the same goal of helping a person stay healthy. Western Science tends to use drugs and surgery as needed. Acupuncturists tend to use gentle needling and moxibustion. A combination of both systems can create an ideal environment of health and healing.

Is Acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture has no side effects. Proper sterilised and disposable needles are used. Dr Chen and Dr Kwo are qualified acupuncturists (by the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa).
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