Q: What is acupuncture?
A: Acupuncture is one of five branches of Traditional Medicine. The other branches include nutritional guidance, Tui na ( a form of Chinese Medical Massage), exercise ( Qi Gong and Tai Ji), herbal therapy.
Acupuncture is the manipulation of the body’s energy through the insertion of fine needles at specified points on the body with the goal of helping the body to heal and strengthen. This energy is referred to as Qi (pronounced Chee). When illness occurs it is an external manifestation of weak or disordered Qi. Acupuncture helps to re-order and strengthen the Qi and thereby eliminate the underlying condition and the symptoms.
Q: How does Acupuncture work?
A: Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles at specific points on the body. The selection of the points depends on the particular condition of the patient and the diagnosis given by the practitioner.
Traditionally, it works through the manipulation of Qi to effect a particular result. Illness is thought to be the result of a disorder of essential body substances of Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang. To much or too little of these substances will result in an imbalance in the function of the body’s systems and over time those imbalances will manifest in a collection of symptoms associated with a particular illness.
These substances travel through the body in channels or meridians. Each of us has twelve primary channels and eight extraordinary channels. They deliver the essential substances throughout the body to nourish organs, systems and body surfaces. Each of the body’s organs, channels and systems is connected through the channel system. If there is an imbalance in one, it effecst another associated organ or system.
More modern explanations of how acupuncture works focus on the effect of acupuncture on the hormones. Studies show that acupuncture increases the level of certain hormones in the body. For instance acupuncture increases the levels of endorphins in our body’s. Endorphins are hormone which effect brain centers that have an effect on our emotional wellbeing — they improve our sense of wellbeing. This explains why so many people report an improved sense of wellbeing following an acupuncture treatment.
Regardless of the theory subscribed to, there is no question that acupuncture works on many and varied conditions.
Q: What conditions does Acupuncture treat?
A: The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued its findings regarding acupuncture in a publication titled, “Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials.”
It states, Generally speaking, acupuncture treatment is safe if performed properly by a well trained practitioner. Unlike many drugs, it is non-toxic, and adverse reactions are minimal . . . acupuncture is comparable with morphine preparations in its effectiveness against chronic pain, but without the adverse effects of morphine, such as dependency. It notes there are numerous conditions for which acupuncture has been shown to be effective.
Those conditions include:
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
Restricted joint motion
Low Back Pain
Osteoarthritis of the knee
Radicular pain syndromes
Biliary and Renal Colic
Reduction in Duration of Labor
Regulation of Blood Pressure
Stimulation of Immune System
Sequeale of Stroke
Acute and Chronic Gastritis
Nausea and Vomiting
Chemotherapy induced Leukopenia
Regulates hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis
Induction of Labor
Coronary Artery Disease
Q: Does it hurt?
A: Acupuncture needles are not much thicker than a hair and their insertion is practically painless. You may not even know that the needles have been inserted. Some sensations that you may feel include: tingling, warmth, heaviness or a feeling of energy moving up and down the affected energetic pathway. Most people find Acupuncture extremely relaxing and many people fall asleep during treatment.