What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of Chinese Medicine that is more than 2,500 years old. It includes the practice of needling certain anatomical points in the body to relieve specific symptoms associated with many diseases. An acupuncturist also assesses the whole person, including an individual’s lifestyle, diet and approach to health, understanding that the body, mind, and spirit are inseparable. If the underlying cause is not addressed, more serious problems may occur. This therapy works with the natural, vital, inherent energy in all living things to promote the body's ability to heal itself. Working in concert with the practices of healthy living, acupuncture can be a cornerstone of the treatment, and prevention of illness.
Chinese medicine embraces the belief that a type of life force, or energy, known as qi flows through energy pathways in the body. Each pathway (or meridian) corresponds to one organ, or a group of organs, that govern particular bodily functions. Achieving the proper flow of qi is thought to create health and wellness. This is achieved by an acupuncturist inserting needles at points along the meridians. These acupuncture points are places where the energy pathway is close to the surface of the skin.
Instead of needles, other forms of stimulation like heat, pressure, electromagnetic energy impulses or suction are sometimes used.
Acupuncture and the National Institutes of Health:
Clinical studies presented by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment for nausea caused by surgical anesthesia and cancer chemotherapy, as well as for dental pain after surgery.
The NIH also has found that acupuncture is useful by itself, or in combination with conventional therapies, to treat addiction, headaches, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma, and to assist in stroke rehabilitation.
The World Health Organization offers a list of conditions that may benefit from Acupuncture:
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