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What About Those Needles?

There is more to acupuncture than needles, but, yes, we do use them ... and sometimes quite a few of them.

I was giving a talk to the Womens Fellowship group at my mothers church in Scarborough years ago when I was just starting my practice. At the end of the talk I offered to tap a needle into those who were interested in experiencing the needling. One older woman watched intently as I put a single needle into her forearm. She looked closely at it and then turned to me and asked, "Is there medicine in that needle?"

My response to her was, no, the medicine is in you.

So what about those needles? They don't put anything into our body or take anything out. They are not thick and hollow like a hyperdermic needle. An acupuncture needle is about the width of three human hairs. Although they vary in length very few needles longer than a few centimeters are ever used.

The original "needles" were thought to be made from stone that was probably more effective in bruising than in puncturing. These pointed rocks were called bian, meaning "using stone to treat disease". Archeologists have found sharpened bones and bamboo that are guessed to be early needles used to access the Qi (pronounced, "Chee") by those early healers. Gold needles were found in a tomb dated to be 2000 B.C. in the Hebei province of China. Today acupuncture needles are classified as sterile surgical instruments. Each needle is used only once and deposited into a medical biohazard container immediately after being withdrawn.

Tapping into the Qi that flows through meridians, much like rivers, of the human body is what the needles are all about. By accessing this energy system with the acupuncture needle we are able to "adjust" the flow; to move the Qi if it is stuck, to help the body build more Qi if it is deficient, or lacking. The needles are used to address any energetic imbalances in the meridian system so that there is a better flow of this vital energy. The healthy body has a harmony of the meridians with properly balanced Qi. We all have the ability to achieve this.

Over the fifteen years that I have practiced this medicine I have had people tell me that they were referred to me "awhile ago". When I asked why they had not called sooner, ultimately, it's been about those needles!

Yes, we just have to get beyond these cat whisker sized needles. For even more frequently I have had people say to me after their treatment, "Why did I wait so long? I feel so much better! "

And that's what these needles are all about!

What About Those Needles?