Acupuncture: What is it?
Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting very thin needles through a person's skin at specific points on the body with the aim of balancing their energy. This can help boost wellbeing and may cure some illnesses.
How does Acupuncture work?
Traditional Chinese medicine explains that health is the result of a harmonious balance of the complementary extremes of "yin" and "yang" of the life force known as "qi," pronounced "chi." Illness is said to be the consequence of an imbalance of the forces. Qi is said to flow through meridians, or pathways, in the human body. These meridiens and energy flows are accessible through 350 acupuncture points in the body. Inserting needles into these points with appropriate combinations is said to bring the energy flow back into proper balance.
The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body's own internal regulating system. The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body's natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.
Scope of Medical Acupuncture
Promotion of health and well-being, prevention of illness, treatment of various medical conditions like
- Digestive disorders: gastritis and hyperacidity, spastic colon, constipation, diarrhea.
- Respiratory disorders: sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, recurrent chest infections.
- Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, facial tics, neck pain, rib neuritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, various forms of tendinitis, low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis.
- Urinary, menstrual, and reproductive problems.
- Weight Control, Skin Rejuvenation
- And much more
Any side effects?
Usually not. As energy is redirected in the body, internal chemicals and hormones are stimulated and healing begins to takeplace. Occasionally the original symptoms worsen for a few days, or other general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns, or emotional state may be triggered. These should not cause concern, as they are simply indications that the acupuncture is starting to work.
Does it hurt?
People experience acupuncture needling differently. Most patients feel only minimal pain as the needles are inserted; some feel no pain at all. Once the needles are in place, there is no pain felt. Acupuncture needles are very thin and solid and are made from stainless steel. The point is smooth (not hollow with cuttingedges like a hypodermic needle) and insertion through the skin is not as painful as injections or blood sampling. The risk of bruising and skin irritation is less than when using a hollow needle.
Does Acupuncture work?
Yes. In the past 2,000 years, more people have been successfully treated with acupuncture than with all other health modalities combined. Today acupuncture is practiced widely in Asia, in Latin America, and in Europe. It is now being used more and more in United States by patients and physicians.