An important branch of Oriental Medicine, acupuncture has a very long history in Asia. Because it is safe and effective, acupuncture therapy is widely used today in several Asian countries s as part of conventional medical care. In the U.S. today, acupuncture is recognized as an effective complementary modality for all kinds of conditions, most notably, for pain and stress management.
Oriental Medicine is based on the Yin-Yang theory, emphasizing the importance of balance and harmony of life. In the human body, the life force (known as Qi) regulates the health and vitality of the person. When the Qi is flowing freely, there is good health. When the Qi is obstructed (physically or psychologically), there is pain, discomfort, and illness.
Acupuncture therapy is used to redirect the Qi flow so that the body can regain its optimum health and wellness. During therapy, the practitioner chooses the best course of treatment for each patient’s condition. She then places extremely thin, sterile acupuncture needles at specific points along the Qi pathways (called meridians). As a result, the Qi is stimulated, and the healing begins.
It is believed that acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system to release natural hormones and painkillers. It can also help boost the immune system.
Acupuncture simulates anatomical points of the skin along meridians of the body to restore proper balance for natural healing and wellness.
Acknowledging its effectiveness, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized several conditions that can be improved through acupuncture therapy. These include (but not limited to):
tempromandibular (TMJ) dysfunction
induction of labor
correction of malposition of fetus (breech presentation)
nausea and vomiting
low back pain
periarthritis of the shoulder
facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
adverse reactions to radiation or chemotherapy
allergic rhinitis, including hay fever
depressive neurosis and depression following stroke
acute bacillary dysentery
acute and chronic gastritis
In regard to acupumcture for pain relief, WebMD states the following. "With the safety of pain relievers being questioned and one (Vioxx) being pulled from the market in recent months, a new study gives arthritis sufferers more reason to try acupuncture. One advantage of this type of treatment, says the NIH, is that the rates of side effects are substantially lower than that of many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the same conditions."
Acupuncture is not a replacement therapy, but a wonderful complementary therapy to conventional western medicine. Most patients who seek acupuncture already have a western diagnosis and a treatment plan. Combining acupuncture therapy for acute or chronic conditions can help speed up recovery significantly, safely and naturally.