A Brief History of Acupuncture

acupuncture Unravel therapeuticsIn the old days of acupuncture, there were a variety of items used to stimulate the points of the body. It is the historian’s belief that wooden skewers, bamboo slivers, and even sharpened bones were used before the Chinese crafted steel needles. The earliest records of acupuncture history  were recorded during the Stone Age.  Stones were used to stimulate pressure points to treat pain, or if sharpened, used to release fluids in abscesses and infections. During the Iron and Bronze Ages, needles were made of popular metals such as bronze, gold, silver, iron or copper. In todays acupuncture treatments, whisper thin stainless steel needles  are used that come sterilized, prepackaged and in a choice of diameters, disposable after one use. The stainless steel needle became the most popular due to its strength, flexibility, and the ability to manipulate the size of the needle gauge.

Throughout the centuries while acupuncture needles have evolved  taking advantage of more modern manufacturing methods,  the treatments have kept the same focus, to  balance the imbalances throughout the body and keep the vital energy known as “Qi,” (pronounced “chee”) flowing through our meridian systems.

With the encouragement of our acupuncture clients and staff, I decided to try acupuncture in an attempt to treat my imbalances caused from the extreme physical activity of roller derby. My experience with Nejat, Unravel’s acupuncturist, was quite pleasant and I left the appointment extremely relaxed and looking forward to my next session.  As someone who has a fear of needles, the acupuncture needles are essentially painless. To be honest, the most painful part of acupuncture is really just the anxiety and anticipation one can experience leading up to the appointment itself.

At my first appointment I had the opportunity to ask Nejat a few questions prior to my treatment.

Megan: Does Acupuncture hurt?

Nejat: The sensation induced by needles during an acupuncture treatment generally does not qualify as pain. Most of the patients describe their experience with the acupuncture needles as an “odd sensation”. Falling asleep during an acupuncture treatment is very common. The needles we use for the treatments are almost as thin as hair and do not cause the disomfort a “syringe” needle would. Occasionally there may be more discomfort if a needle comes across a blood vessel or nerve ending, but in these situations, we adjust the needles to make the patient feel as comfortable as possible.  Acupuncture is a gentle, relaxing experience.

Megan: How is it beneficial to your health? What is its focus?

Nejat: Acupuncture benefits the patient through the healing ability of his/her own body. According to Chinese medical theory,  disease originates from energetic imbalances created by internal (emotional, psychosomatic) and/or external (pollution, organic or inorganic toxic material, extreme climate etc.) factors. Although the body itself has enormous healing  powers, constant exposure to these pathological factors eliminates this ability, and creates the perennial imbalance which will manifest as a collection of signs and symptoms defined by certain conditions in conventional medicine. Acupuncture will eliminate these signs and symptoms by restoring the energetic balance. When the energetic balance is restored the body returns to its healthy state by eliminating the pathological factors on its own. For example, it is scientifically proven that acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins, enkephalin and other neurotransmitters to eliminate pain and speed up the healing process of a trauma. In order to do this,  Acupuncturists treat the entire body as one because the body functions as a whole,  not in parts.  Restoring the balance is only possible by treating the body as one and this approach helps to heal not only the existing condition, but eliminate possible future ailments by restoring and strengthening the constitution.

Megan:  What types of conditions do you commonly treat?

Nejat: My specialties include pain management and integrative cancer care,  however,  I also treat a variety of conditions beside acute/chronic pain,  (trauma, sciatica, arthritis, migraine, fibromyalgia etc.) and side effects of chemo-radiation therapy. These include but are not limited to digestive disorders, insomnia, stress induced muscular-mental tensions, menopause, infertility, anxiety, depression (always as an adjunct therapy especially in severe cases), chronic fatigue syndrome, allergies, auto-immune disorders (such as multiple sclerosis)  and stroke.

Megan: How will this help me with my condition?

Nejat: Acupuncture treatments will help the body eliminate the existing signs and symptoms, increase the vitality and create a relaxation with a sense of well-being. When received on a regular basis it may also eliminate possible future health problems by strengthening the constitution, regulating the immune system, eliminating the negative effects of daily stress and  helping to remove many environmental toxins.

 Megan Pachecano

Rat City Roller Girl,  A.K.A.   D’evil’D Meggs