The basic technique consists of introducing very fine needles on specific points of the body in order to direct vital energy to maintain or restore balance.
These points are located on bilateral paths, called meridians, and correspond to the energy channels that run through the body.
The selection and method of stimulation of these points are determined by the acupuncturist and based on the energy diagnosis. All the points chosen, as well as their combinations, have an effect on a specific organ, region or function of the body and therefore act on a variety of symptoms and/or on the initial cause of the imbalance.
The insertion of the acupuncture needles gives a sensation similar to a mosquito bite; it lasts only a fraction of a second and leaves no marks. Once the needles are in place, the patient usually feels a sense of well-being and relaxation.
With a few exceptions, most acupuncture points can be stimulated on the surface and therefore do not require deep insertion.
In addition, each point has precise indications as to the depth and angle of needle insertion.
For thousands of years, these criteria have been passed on to acupuncturists so that they can practice their art safely and effectively.
The number of treatments depends on the severity of the disease, its evolution, its age and especially the vitality of the patient.
In acute cases, close sessions are necessary.
In chronic cases, treatments are more spaced out and are given until the disease improves or stabilizes.
The acupuncturist will be able to specify it better at the time of the first consultation.
An acupuncture treatment may also include other methods such as:
Moxibustion, which consists of heating the needle or the acupuncture point at a determined distance with an herb called "mugwort
Ba Guan Zi, which are suction cups that are attached to an acupuncture point or that are slid along a meridian
the Pi Fu Zhen, also called plum blossom, which resembles a light hammer with a long handle, the head of which is fitted with seven needle points, with which one lightly strikes the surface of the skin.
As well as more contemporary methods such as:
the use of electrical stimulation of the needles to complement acupuncture treatment.
the use of laser to replace needles.
It is complex to state formal contraindications to the application of acupuncture, since the main effect of this therapy is to allow the body to regain its balance and restore the body dysfunction that had caused the disease.
Its action is therefore aimed at regulating, harmonizing and rebalancing the body's energy rather than just fighting the disease.
However, for safety reasons, the World Health Organization (WHO) published in 2001 "Guidelines for basic training and safety in the practice of acupuncture". This document outlines conditions or ailments that are contraindicated or require precautions.
However, an experienced acupuncturist may intervene, with discretion, despite the contraindications involved.
For example, despite the contraindications concerning pregnancy, and given the developments and research results, experienced acupuncturists in many countries follow up on pregnancies until delivery.
Any acupuncture treatment must be done with great care. The use of certain acupuncture points and stimulation methods can cause uterine contractions. Therefore, it is important to inform your acupuncturist if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant so that the treatment can be adapted to this reality.
MEDICAL AND SURGICAL EMERGENCIES
Acupuncture can be used as a complementary measure, in conjunction with other treatments, to relieve pain or other symptoms, the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and thus improve quality of life.
Measures taken in 2003 by the Ordre des acupuncteurs du Québec make it almost impossible for an acupuncture needle to transmit a disease.
In fact, the Order now requires all acupuncturists practicing in Quebec to use single-use sterile needles.