What Is Acupuncture?

Over the past 30 years, acupuncture has grown from a little-known system of medicine to a modality that is used by millions worldwide to treat a wide range of conditions. It is a safe, natural, and effective form of healthcare in its own right and is often used in conjunction with standard Western medicine. In the state of Washington, acupuncture is covered by many health insurance policies.

Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The FDA rates acupuncture needles as safe and effective, and regulates them as medical devices.

Acupuncture was developed in ancient China over 3,000 years ago. It is part of a system called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which also includes nutrition, feng shui, qi gong, and herbal medicine.

The human body is seen as a miniature ecosystem, composed of pathways of energy or “meridians.” Good health is experienced when the energy in these pathways is in balance and flowing smoothly.  “Disease” arises when blockages occur in the pathways. The ancient Chinese made detailed observations of nature and human beings to discover how and why these blockages occur and used acupuncture as a means of treatment.

The fundamental principle behind the practice of acupuncture is to treat the “roots,” or cause of disease. When the root is treated, the “branches,” or symptoms, naturally improve. Thus, acupuncture works by supporting and strengthening the body’s natural ability to heal. Acupuncture is one of the original holistic medicines.  It addresses not only the physical aspects of health, but also, the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects, working on all levels simultaneously.

Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine, hair-like needles at particular “acupuncture points” to unblock energy and activate a return to health and balance.  Each person is seen as having a unique pattern of “imbalance.” Therefore, treatments are different for each individual even though, for example, they may both have headaches. 

There are 12 different meridians or pathways, one for each of the major organs: lung, heart, liver, spleen, etc. There are nearly 500 different acupuncture points located along the energy pathways. Point selection is based on which of the organ pathways are unhealthy. 
There are different styles of acupuncture.  Lynne most often uses gentle, light, superficial Japanese-style needling, using Japanese needles that are designed for pain-free insertion. She also uses the Richard Tan balance method, and is influenced by the work of Master Tung and Kiiko Matsumoto. She will also use the traditional Chinese style acupuncture when appropriate. Lynne views each treatment as a unique process and experience. 

Most people find acupuncture treatments enjoyable, relaxing, and painless.

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