Acupuncture is one of the therapies included in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is used extensively by one quarter of the world's population residing in Asia and it has been used for over 3000 years. Its popularity is now growing rapidly in the Western world. This ancient art of healing involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points of the body. Acupuncture, along with herbal treatments, nutrition, and excercise, works with the natural vital energies of the body to promote its ability to heal itself.
Acupuncture needles are very fine, sterile, disposable, and FDA approved. A licensed acupuncturist has had thorough training on the safe implementation of this treatment modality.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on an energetic model rather than the biochemical model of Western medicine. The ancient Chinese recognized the vital energy inherent in all living things. This energy is called Qi (pronounced chee). Over thousands of years of practice, physicians have discovered a system of cyclic energy flowing in the human body along specific pathways called meridians. Each meridian is associated with a particular physiological system and internal organ. When the Qi in the pathways becomes obstructed, deficient, excessive, or imbalanced, disease occurs. The meridians communicate with the surface of the body at specific locations called acupuncture points. Needles inserted in these points influence the Qi that flows to internal organs. Acupuncture can also affect specific areas of pain associated with injury or trauma. A needle inserted near the area of overstrained muscle or tendon will increase the flow of Qi to that area, which reduces pain and accelerates the healing process. Using a system of pulse and tongue diagnosis, along with findings from other signs and symptoms, the flow of the meridian system is determined. A treatment plan is then formulated to help the body to achieve a balanced state of health.
Acupuncture needles are very fine and flexible, about the size of a human hair. They bear no resemblance to the needles used when receiving an injection. In most cases, insertion by a skilled practicioner is performed with a minimum of discomfort. Most patients find the treatments very relaxing and many fall asleep during the treatment. Acupuncture may include a variety of non-needle techniques, such as heat treatment (called moxibustion), acupressure, and herbal applications.
The number of treatments will depend on the nature of the complaint, its severity, and how long it has been present. Many conditions may be alleviated rapidly. Other, more chronic conditions, will be relieved only with slow, steady progress. Through Traditional Chinese Medicine, a patient will become more aware of his or her own body, thus increasing its ability to maintain well-being. Chinese and Western medicine compliment each other and can be integrated to offer optimal health care. In cases where medical circumstances can be dealt with more effectively by Western medicine, your acupuncturist will recommend that you contact a physician.
Both the National Institutes for Health and The World Health Organization recognize Traditional Chinese Medicine's ability to treat over 43 commonly encountered clinical disorders.Among these are: