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
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
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
The World Health Organization offers a list of
conditions that may benefit from Acupuncture:
Muscle pain and weakness
Neurogenic bladder dysfunction
Blood pressure regulation
Immune system tonification