Bellingham acupuncture is a technique in which very thin needles of varying lengths are inserted through the skin to treat a variety of conditions. There are a number of different acupuncture techniques, including some that use sound waves, tiny electrical charges, and some that may or not use actual needles.

Although available evidence does not suggest acupuncture is effective as a treatment for cancer, clinical studies have found it may help treat nausea caused by chemotherapy and surgical anesthesia (the drugs used to make you sleep and not feel pain during surgery). It may also help relieve pain after dental surgery. The technique has been tested on people who are trying to stop addictive behaviors, such as smoking or alcoholism, but reports are mixed. It may be useful for treating headaches, helping in rehabilitation from strokes, and treating a number of musculoskeletal conditions.

In China, acupuncture is used as an anesthetic during surgery and is believed to have the power to cure diseases and relieve symptoms of illness. The theories and teachings of traditional Chinese medicine explain that acupoints lie along invisible meridians. There are said to be 12 major meridians in the human body. These are thought to be channels for the flow of vital energy or life force called qi (also spelled ch’i or ki, and pronounced “chee” or “kee”) that is present in all living things. Meridians also represent an internal system of communication between specific organs or networks of organs. According to traditional Chinese medicine theory, illness may occur when the energy flow along one or more meridians is blocked or out of balance. The goal of acupuncture is to restore health and balance to the energy flow. Supporters claim that acupuncture can be used to treat physical illness, addiction, and mental illness.

Some practitioners in the West reject the traditional philosophies of Chinese medicine, believing that any relief given by acupuncture or acupressure is caused by other factors, such as the stimulation of endorphin production in the body. Endorphins are natural substances made by the body which help relieve pain.

In traditional acupuncture (sometimes called acupuncture therapy), needles are inserted at specific locations called acupoints in order to restore balance and healthy energy flow to the body. Needles are put just deep enough into the skin to keep them from falling out and are usually left in place for a few minutes. Skilled acupuncturists cause virtually no pain. The acupuncturist may twirl the needles or apply heat or a weak electrical current to enhance the effects of the therapy.

Sonopuncture is similar to acupuncture, but needles are not used. Instead, an ultrasound device that transmits sound waves is applied to the body’s acupoints. Sonopuncture is sometimes combined with tuning forks and other vibration devices. Proponents claim this approach is useful to treat many of the same disorders as acupuncture.

Electroacupuncture is considered an enhanced version of traditional acupuncture. It uses tiny electrical charges, with or without needles, to stimulate the same acupoints that are used in traditional acupuncture. Electroacupuncture devices are sometimes promoted for diagnosis or testing.

In acupressure, a popular variation of acupuncture, therapists press on acupoints with their fingers instead of using needles. This technique is used by itself or as part of an entire system of manual healing, such as in shiatsu .In other variations of acupuncture, heat, friction, suction, magnets, or laser beams are directed to acupoints. Acupuncture is sometimes used along with less well-known traditional healing techniques, such as moxibustion. Acupuncture may sometimes be referred to as Zhenjiu, which is the standard Mandarin word for needle.