About Acupuncture

What is Acupuncture?Chinese Energy Meridians

A drugless, healing modality that can re-balance your body, bolster your immune system and provide relief from pain and many illnesses.

The body possesses an innate ability to heal itself, but often the stress of everyday living without proper revitalization wears down its defenses and causes an imbalance, or disruption of energy flow, often referred to in Eastern practices as “Qi.” The body then needs some encouragement to restore balance and vitality. The ancient medical systems, including acupuncture and herbal therapy, are designed to determine where the imbalances lie and which method(s) are best to restore patterns of disharmony to optimal health.

Acupuncture follows the ancient Chinese axiom “no pain, no blockage, no blockage, no pain.” Treatment regulates the flow of Qi and blood, tonifying where there is deficiency, draining where there is excess and promoting free flow where there is stagnation. This is accomplished by identifying the meridians, or channels, that run through the body affecting the various organs. There are six “yin” and six “yang” channels in the body that distribute Qi throughout the body, and five yin organs and five yang organs that can be brought into balance by needling points along the meridians where qi and blood flow. There are also five elements in the body that relate to a system of correspondence to the organs, developed by the Chinese over the last 4000 years. These, too, are balanced through working the proper points along the meridians. An acupuncturist determines which points to treat through observation and questioning the patient about his/her health and history. Palpation of the muscles and abdomen are sometimes also used to determine proper treatment. An acupuncture treatment is highly individualized for the patient.

How Acupuncture Works

Most of the theories on how acupuncture works are based on various studies from around the world. They have shown that acupuncture can:

  • Stimulate the release of pain-relieving endorphins
  • Transmit nerve impulses to the brain
  • Influence the autonomic nervous system
  • Stimulate circulation
  • Influence the electrical currents of the body
  • Relax muscle spasm to decompress irritated (pinched) nerves

Acupuncture is a superb preventative therapy, as it can correct energetic and musculo-skeletal imbalances before they manifest as physical dysfunction and pain. It prods the endocrine, nervous, immune and other systems into efficient functioning. The body can then heal itself.

For a list of dysfunctions that Oriental Medicine can help please see “Conditions Treated.”

Types of Acupuncture

Following are the types of acupuncture you can experience at Healthy Living Acupuncture NJ:

Japanese Acupuncture

Dr. Tan’s Balance Method
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Western Acupuncture
Die Da (Oriental Traumatology)

Japanese Acupuncture (including Kiiko Matsumoto style): Characterized by its energetic subtlety, thinner and fewer needles are used in Japanese Acupuncture than other styles. Very small needles are inserted very shallowly into the skin; sometimes treatment only involves brushing the skin. The patient hardly feels any sensation during a Japanese acupuncture treatment, as this method utilizes the least amount of acupuncture-point stimulation to produce the greatest amount of change. Abdominal palpation is the key diagnostic method used in Japanese acupuncture treatment.

Traditional Chinese Medicine: A standardized form of Oriental Medicine, which today is considered a complementary medical system and is taught/practiced worldwide. In China, TCM is used equally along side western medicine in private clinics as well as hospital settings. The TCM acupuncture approach focuses on unblocking meridian flow, balancing yin and yang and adjusting the Zang-Fu (organ systems) of the body. There are definitive protocols in TCM acupuncture, utilizing specific meridians to address the patient’s condition. Pulse and tongue inspection are the characteristic diagnostic techniques used in this style.

Western Acupuncture: This form of acupuncture includes bio-medical acupuncture, trigger-point therapy and other techniques to restore optimal health of the patient. Direct needling is used to release trigger-points and their characteristic patterns of referred pain. Western acupuncture is based on human anatomy, not the oriental meridian system. It rebalances the musculo-skeletal system by relaxing spasms and toning lax musculature. It also influences the nervous system and immune system to stimulate tissue healing. This style shares many theories in common with modern osteopathic medicine, including somato-visceral treatment theory. The differentiating diagnostic feature used is musculo-skeletal system palpation.

Die Da (Oriental Traumatology): This ancient form of Chinese Sports Medicine is derived from martial arts practices and is ideal for treating injuries and trauma, as well as for increasing athletic potential. This system encompasses not only specialized forms of acupuncture, but it also utilizes tui na massage, Chinese bone setting (Zheng Gu), Oriental rehabilitation exercise and external herbal treatment. Die Da is used to treat the professional athlete, college athlete and the weekend warrior alike.