Acupuncture is a complete medical protocol focused on correcting imbalances of energy in the body. From its inception in China more than 2,500 years ago, acupuncture has been used traditionally to prevent, diagnose and treat disease, as well as to improve general health.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. A key component of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain.
Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force – known as qi or chi (CHEE) – believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. TCM is based upon the principle of that energy flows throughout the body, and that health issues can arise when this flow is imbalanced. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance. Acupuncture provides stimulation and balancing of this energy.
In contrast, many Western practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. Some believe that this stimulation boosts your body's natural painkillers and increases blood flow.
Acupuncture and TCM can be effective for acute or chronic musculoskeletal issues, neuralgias, digestive disorders, gynecological complaints, fertility, depression, anxiety and stress.
By inserting a hair thin, sterile, disposable needle, these points along the meridian are stimulated, restoring the natural balance of energy. By having the natural balance restored, this initiates the body to repair itself and maintain health.
Modern science proposes that the needles stimulate the nervous system to release bio chemicals, such as endorphins, immune system cells, and neurotransmitters. In addition to relieving pain, these chemicals can influence the internal regulation of the body and effect involuntary bodily functions such as blood flow, immune reactions, body temperature and digestion.
What is Acupuncture used for?
Acupuncture is used mainly to relieve discomfort associated with a variety of diseases and conditions, including:
- Chemotherapy-induced and postoperative nausea and vomiting
- Dental pain
- Headaches, including tension and migraine headaches
- Labor pain
- Low back pain
- Neck pain
- Menstrual cramps
Throughout its long history, acupuncture has established a solid reputation as a system of health that works. Most conditions can be corrected or improved without any side effects commonly caused by chemical drugs. As a comprehensive system of preventive health care, many people also rely on acupuncture for health maintenance.
The risks of acupuncture are low if you have a competent, certified acupuncture practitioner.