Whereas Chiropractic evaluation and care is primarily concerned about correcting structural imbalances, Acupuncture is primarily concerned about locating and correcting energy imbalances. When these two healing modalities are combined, it can be very powerful, indeed.
Acupuncture works by reestablishing balance and harmony within the body.
This means balance between Yin and Yang, between the 12 Main Meridians and their corresponding organ relationships, the Eight Extra Vessels, and between chi, blood and body fluids.
Traditional Acupuncture is based on the flow of chi (or qi), which is essentially body energy. Chi flows through distinct channels, or Meridians, that cover the body, somewhat like nerves and blood vessels. When there is a blockage of the flow of chi it results in an excess of chi above the blockage and a deficiency of chi below the blockage, much like a dam on a river. By inserting fine needles in to “acupoints” (which are specific points along the Meridians which allow access to the energies of the Meridian), Acupuncture seeks to restore balance to the flow of chi and thereby to the body. In this way, Acupuncture restores the harmonious balance of the body and its parts. In Chinese, there is a saying: “If there is pain, there is no free flow. If there is free flow, there is no pain.” Acupuncture promotes the free, unhindered, flow of chi.
Traditional Acupuncture does not treat conditions, per se. Rather it looks for and treats energy imbalances which may create the conditions. Acupuncturists traditionally utilize three primary diagnostic tools: Pulse, Tongue, and Hara diagnosis.
You may think that the pulse at your wrist is either strong or weak, but to the Acupuncturist there are actually three separate pulse positions in each wrist. Each of these positions correspond to a pair of the 12 Main Meridians. And there are three different depths at each pulse position. So there are actually nine different pulses in each wrist!! Each of these can give the practitioner information about the energy flow and balance of the 12 Main Meridians.
Tongue diagnosis is carefully observing the color, texture, surface irregularities and steadiness of the tongue. This can give the practitioner valuable information about the energy status of the 12 Main Meridians and of the Eight Extra Vessels.
The last is Hara diagnosis. This is a careful observation and palpation of the body and, in particular, the abdomen. The practitioner is looking for areas of heat, cold, wind, rigidity and flaccidity to gain clues about the energy state of the body.
When all of this information is compiled the practitioner comes up with a treatment plan to restore balance and harmony to the body. Treatments usually consist of inserting fine needles in to specific acupoints, but may also consist of cupping, nutritional herbs or adding heat or electrical stimulation to the needles. If the needles hurt at all, it’s usually a little “pinch” that goes away within a few seconds. Most people experience profound relaxation during an Acupuncture treatment.
Acupuncture is a full and complete healing art in its own right, and can be used by itself or in conjunction with Chiropractic Care. Combining the energy-balancing effects of Acupuncture with the structural balancing effects of Chiropractic can be a very powerful healing combination!