What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture has been practiced for over 3,000 years. It is a complete healing system used to prevent & treat disease and improve overall health & well being. Acupuncture is employed by inserting very thin, solid pre sterilized needles to specific body points to produce a therapeutic effect.
How does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture focuses to restore the nourishing, balancing and defensive functions of Qi. Qi is the life force (energy) of the human body which is vital to maintain normal function and optimal health. Think of your body as a garden and a water hose as your circulatory and nervous system. If there is "kink" in the water hose, the life giving nutrients that the hose supplies the garden will be decreased and the plants will subsequently suffer. By removing the "kink" to the "water hose", the "garden" will hydrate and flourish. Therefore, by removing what is interfering with our body's ability to heal, we allow for more complete recovery and better health. A Chinese Medicine saying that summarizes this concept is as follows, "Where there is free flow, there is no pain; where this is no free flow, there is pain." Through the application of minute needles on specific points (acupoints) along the body’s “meridians or channels”, acupuncture achieves this freeing and nourishing of flowing Qi of the human body.
Based upon Chinese Medicine differential diagnosis and assessment, acupuncture helps to balance the body’s functions, these ajdustment includes methods of “sedating’, “tonifying” or “nourishing” in specific organ(s) in respect to the levels of Yin, Yang, Qi and Blood. Acupuncture also pursues its effects of eliminating the body’s internal pathogens commonly described as “wind”, “Cold”, “Heat” and “Dampness”. With an entire comprehensive consideration, acupuncture treatment provides a wide-range of powerful and natural solutions to achieving the purposes of relieving symptoms, eliminating causes and improving health.
"There is sufficient evidence of acupuncture's value
to expand its use into conventional medicine.
– National Institute of Health, 1997 Consensus on Acupuncture
What is Modern Research on Acupuncture?
Modern medical science has conducted thorough research into the understanding of how acupuncture works. These studies have provided the acupuncture field sufficient evidence for its therapeutic efficiency. Current theories on the mechanism of acupuncture including, but not limited to:
Gate Control Theory: Acupuncture activates nerve receptors to inhibit the transmission of pain signals to the brain in the spinal cord. This action will help to renormalize pain perception.
Neurotransmitter/endogenous opioid neuropeptide Theory: Acupuncture affects the brain by inducing the secretion of beta-endorphins, enkephalins and other opiod-like substances. These neuro-chemicals regulate pain in the body to allow for better healing.
Autonomic Nervous System Theory: Acupuncture stimulates nerves that influence our bodys organ’s physiological functions.
Blood Chemistry Theory: Acupuncture affects the blood lipid concentration. This suggests that acupuncture can help regulate peripheral blood flow to function optimally.
How safe is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture has a proven track record of being incredibly safe and effective for many different illnesses. The 1997 National Institute of Health Consensus Conference on Acupuncture stated, “The data in support of acupuncture is as strong as those for many accepted Western medical therapies. One of the advantages of acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the same conditions.”
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
This is one of the most common fears of first time acupuncture recipients. Acupuncture utilizes hair-thin small needles, patients may sense either a slightly heavy, dull or tingling around the needle for a very short period of time.
How many acupuncture treatments will it take?
The expected amount of time is different from person to person. Each individual is evaluated and a treatment plan will be recommended depending on their presenting symptoms and the history and severity of their conditions. Some people may only need a very small number of treatments because the extent of their dysfunction is minimal and they have only had the problem for a very short period of time. On the other hand, someone who has had an extensive condition for a number of years may require more treatments to dramatically improve their state of well being.
What conditions can be successfully treated with Acupuncture?
While Acupuncture is mainly known for its ability to reduce pain, it has much broader applications. The National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recognize acupuncture as an effective therapy for:
Addiction, Anxiety, Arthritis, Bronchitis, Carpal tunnel syndrome, Chronic fatigue, Colitis, Common cold, Constipation, Dental pain, Depression, Dizziness, Dysentery, Emotional problems, Eye problems, Facial palsy, Fatigue, Fertility Issues, Fibromyalgia, Headache, Hiccough, Incontinence, Indigestion, Irritable bowel syndrome, Low back pain, Menopausal Syndrome, Menstural irregularity, Migraine, Morning sickness, Nausea, Osteoarthritis, Pain, PMS, Reproductive problems, Rhinitis, Sciatica, Shoulder pain, Sinus allergies, Insomnia, Smoking, Sore throat, Stress, Tennis elbow, Tonsilitis, Tooth pain, TMJ, and Urinary tract infections.