Balanced Body Integrated Wellness
2569 W. Fullerton Ave.  Chicago, IL 60647   ph: 773-252-9740   fax: 773-252-9746 
what is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of healing. Developed in China over 2,000 years ago, it is one of the most important components of Chinese medicine. It promotes natural healing and improved physical and emotional well-being. Today acupuncture describes a family of procedures involving stimulation of anatomical points on the body by a variety of techniques.  The acupuncture technique that has been most studied scientifically involves inserting very fine, sterile, single use needles  needles into into the skin, at specific points on the body that are manipulated by the hands or electrical stimulation.  According to Oriental medical theory, the body has meridians or energetic pathways through which energy or “Qi” flows.  Excess, deficient, or obstructed Qi causes pain or dysfunction. Acupuncture balances and moves energy to effect change and allow the body to heal. Other adjunctive modalities may be incoporated into the acupuncture session include:Cupping, gua sha, tui nai, moxibustion, and e-stim.

A consultation involves an inquiry into all signs and symptoms, additional to the primary complaint, including preferences or aversions to cold and heat, concerns around night sweats or spontaneous sweating, problems with pain, appetite and digestion, levels of thirst, dietary preferences, toilet habits, sleep patterns and energy levels, menstrual issues for women, and exercise regimes. In addition, observation of the body in general and the tongue in particular as well as palpation of the pulses and certain meridians of the body are used to form a diagnosis of both the constitution and the current condition so that an appropriate course of treatment can be discussed and implemented. It is important to note that everyone responds differently to treatment and so it is often difficult to be specific about how many treatments are required. A good rule of thumb is that the more chronic a problem the longer the course of treatments, the more serious the condition the more frequent the course should be. Additionally, acupuncture is as much as system of prevention as cure and so regular treatments, be they monthly or seasonally, are sometimes recommended for maintenance of well being.

Long employed throughout many Asian countries it has gained worldwide acceptance and recognition as an effective medical treatment.  In the past two decades, acupuncture has grown in popularity in the United States. The report from a Consensus Development Conference on Acupuncture held at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1997 stated that acupuncture is being "widely" practiced--by thousands of physicians, dentists, acupuncturists, and other practitioners--for relief or prevention of pain and for various other health conditions. According to the 2002 National Health Interview Survey--the largest and most comprehensive survey of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use by American adults to date--an estimated 8.2 million U.S. adults had used acupuncture in the past, and an estimated 2.1 million U.S. adults had used acupuncture in the previous year.