Acupuncture generally involves several weekly visits. Single-use disposable sterile needles are used. As each needle is inserted the patient should feel them, but initially without pain. Once inserted, the needles will remain there for about twenty minutes. Moxa: Moxabusion is the process whereby moxa - a dried herb, mugwort - is burned, either directly on the skin, or just above the skin, over specific acupuncture points relative to a condition. Moxa burns slowly and provides a pentrating heat that can enter the channels, or meridians to induce qi and blood flow. A common form of indirect moxabustion uses moxa sticks, which resemble large cigars or incense sticks. These are lit and held about an inch above the point or area to be treated. They are usually rotated or turned quickly toward, and then away from the skin. Care must be exercised to ensure that the burning moxa does not come in direct contact with the skin or burning and blistering will occur. Traditional Chinese medicine explains that health is the result of a harmonious balance of the complementary extremes of yin and yan of the life force known as gior chi. Qi is said to flow through meridians (pathways) in the human body. Through 350 acupuncture points in the body, these meridians and energy flows may be accessed. Illness is said to be the consequence of an imbalance of the forces. If needles are inserted into these points with appropriate combinations it is said that the energy flow can be brought back into proper balance.
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