Acupuncture is the gentle insertion of hairfine thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate the flow of one's Qi (pronounced chee) or natural healing energy. Sometimes rather than just inserting acupuncture needles, your doctor may choose to use fine acupuncture tacks to stimulate it over a long period of time or may use heat or mild electrical stimulation. The technique of heat is called moxibustion and the application of local electricity used is called electrostimulation. Acupuncture needles used in the United States are all sterile and generally disposable.
How safe is acupuncture?
Acupuncture and herbal treatments are drug free and they avoid many of the side effects and dependencies associated with medication. You should always inform your doctor of the medications you are currently taking and whether or not you are or could be pregnant, or if you have a cardiac pacemaker or cosmetic implants.
Acupuncture is often used along with other medical care to increase their benefits. It is used for pain control after other medical and dental procedures are performed. It is used for improving health generally as well as promoting healing and the lessening the side effects of many drugs including chemotherapy.
Are there any contraindications for acupuncture?
Yes, generally, it is not recommended to provide electro-acupuncture treatment to patients who have seizures and patients with cardiac pacemakers.
Does acupuncture hurt?
No, generally acupuncture treatment is painless. The acupuncture needles used are very thin.
Can acupuncture be effective when other things have failed?
Yes, each system of medicine has its own areas of efficiency and excellence. Acupuncture excels in those areas in which conventional medicine usually comes up short such as chronic diseases, pain control, stress reduction.
OTHER BENEFITS: Increase vitality and energy, Boost immune system, Weight control, Stop smoking, Deep relaxation
There are many more benefits to acupuncture than can easily be listed.
above list is based on the World Health Organiztion, United Nations
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture is a method of promoting natural healing and improving function within the body. It is done by inserting needles and applying heat and/or electricity at various precise acupuncture points. Chinese explain acupuncture as Qi or energy traveling through channels in the body surfaces. These channels called meridians are like rivers that run through the body and nourish the tissue. Any obstruction of movement of this energy is like a dam which backs up the flow in one part of the body and restricts the flow in other parts. An obstruction or blockage or deficiencies of energy (Qi), blood and moisture would lead to dysfunction and ultimately disease and death.
Meridians can be influenced by acupuncture needling, unblocking the obstruction of the dams within the meridian circulation releasing the regular flow of Qi, blood and fluid, moisture through these meridians. Acupuncture treatments can be helpful for internal organs, connective tissue and promoting digestion absorption and energy production.
Modern science explains the function of acupuncture in the following ways. Needling of acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release neuroproteins and neuroinformation packets in the muscles, spinal cord and brain particularly the release of endorphin, enkephalins and dynorphins have been identified in the mid-brain.
These chemicals modulate the perception of pain and the physiological function of the neural-endocrine-harmonal system. They trigger the release of the body's own internal influences on regulating and harmonizing health. Chinese medicine describes yin as negative and yang as positive.
The principle of Chinese medicine is balance and harmony between yin and yang. Yin and yang balance is the healthy state of the body, mind and spirit. In modern science, the cellular health is the movement of electrons. The electrons inside cells act according to their own regular patterns. These bioelectrons are constantly moving towards balance and harmony, postive and negative balance.
Energy flow in the meridians is the direct and indirect transportation of bioelectrons. Meridians are the pathways where bioelectrons move more frequently than any other part of the body. When positive and negative charges of the bioelectrical movement are not balanced, yin and yang are imbalanced. This is defined as dysfunction and disease. This beginning stage of pathology start with physiological abnormalities of electron motion.
Only radical change in the cellular structure and the cellular electrical magnetic forces is called, in Western medicine, a disease. All external factors such as mechanical, physical, chemical and biological as well as internal factors such as heredity, mentation, constitutional health force the bodies bioelectrical movement turn to imbalance which could lead to dysfunction and disease.
Bioelectric magnetic forces resume their normal and regular pattern with yin and yang balance. The more acupuncture treatment the patient has, the longer the normal movement pattern of bioelectrons until finally the electrons inside the cells cannot follow the abnormal pattern anymore. At this point, the condition in the patient can be deemed balanced and completely healthy.
What Can Acupuncture Help?
An acupuncturist may be consulted by people with specific symptoms or conditions, such as pain, anxiety, arthritis, eczema, sports injuries hayfever, asthma, migraine, high blood pressure, menstral disorders, intestinal problems or pregnancy management and delivery.
While extensive practice and research has shown that acupuncture is effective in helping people with such conditions as well as with many others, it does more that simply relieve symptoms. The aim of acupuncture is to treat the whole patient and to restore the balance between the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the individual.
In traditional acupuncture, since all illness is considered the result of an imbalance of energy, treatment can benefit almost any ill person as long as the degenerative process in the tissues of the body is not too extensive.
Many people also have acupuncture as a preventative treatment or because they feel unwell in themselves but are not 'ill' in the Western sense.