ABOUT ACUPUNCTURE

Contents

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and improve function. This is done by inserting sterilized, stainless-steel needles (that are as fine as a human hair) into specific points located near or on the surface of the skin which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to treat a wide variety of illnesses. It is a component of the health care system in China that can be traced back for at least 2,500 years. The general theory of acupuncture is based on the premise that there are patterns of energy flow (Qi) through the body that are essential for health. Disruptions of this flow are believed to be responsible for disease. Acupuncture may correct imbalances of flow at identifiable points close to the skin. There has been an explosion of interest in the United States and Europe in the application of the technique of acupuncture to Western medicine.

 Traditional Chinese Medicine views a person as an energy system in which body and mind are unified, each influencing and balancing the other. Unlike Western medicine which attempts to isolate and separate a disease from a person, Chinese Medicine emphasizes a holistic approach that treats the whole person.

 

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How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture grew out of ancient Chinese philosophy's dualistic cosmic theory of the Yin and the Yang. The forces of Yin and Yang act in the human body as they do throughout the natural universe as a whole.

An imbalance of Yin and Yang results in an obstruction of the vital life force, or Qi (pronounced Chee ), in the body. The fundamental energy of the Qi flows through 12 meridians, or pathways, each of which is in turn associated with a major visceral organ ( liver, kidney, heart, etc ) and with a functional body system. An obstruction of the Qi would lead to dysfunction, ultimately diseases and even death. Acupuncture is designed to unblock the obstruction so that the Qi will be enabled to flow freely and harmoniously, thus restoring the person to health.

Scientific research has demonstrated that acupuncture influences the central and peripheral nervous system, and the needle stimulation triggers the release of neurotransmitters and endorphins. These change our body's internal chemistry, relieve pain and promote healing. Among a host of factors, acupuncture affects sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in the blood, the functioning of the gastrointestinal system and circulation system, and the activity of the endocrine system.

As a system of diagnosis and treatment, acupuncture can influence three areas of health care:

  • promotion of health and well-being
  • prevention of illness
  • treatment of various medical conditions.

     

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      How do I feel during and after treatment?

      The needles used are extremely fine and a skilled acupuncturist will cause minimum of pain. Normally, the insertion of the needles is not felt as they enter the skin. When the needles reach the correct points, there may be a feeling of soreness, heaviness or numbness. Most patients feel very relaxing, some patients even sleep during treatment. Occasionally the original symptoms worsen temporarily. These symptoms are nothing to worry about since they are generally indications that your body is trying to achieve a proper balance.

       

        Is acupuncture safe?

        There are absolutely no harmful side effects from acupuncture treatment. All the needles we are using are disposable. They are used once and discarded in accordance with medical biohazard regulations and guidelines. The risk of bruising and skin irritation is much less than using a hypodermic needles.

         

          How many treatments will I need?

          The number of treatments required varies depending on the nature of the illness and the patient's general state of health. It is highly recommended to follow the treatment plan and complete the course of therapy to restore health.

           

            Can I be treated needleless?

            Needless treatments are available, such as auricular therapy, Chinese herbs, acupressure, moxibustion, TuiNa, cupping and magnetic.

             

              What preparation is suggested for the treatment?

              Please do not arrive rushed for your appointment. Rest and proper diet are important for desirable response to acupuncture stimulation.

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              Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved by WHO— through controlled trials—to be an effective treatment:

            •  Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
            • Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
            • Biliary colic
            • Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
            • Dysentery, acute bacillary
            • Dysmenorrhoea, primary
            • Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
            • Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
            • Headache
            • Hypertension, essential
            • Hypotension, primary
            • Induction of labour
            • Knee pain
            • Leukopenia
            • Low back pain
            • Malposition of fetus, correction of
            • Morning sickness
            • Nausea and vomiting
            • Neck pain
            • Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
            • Periarthritis of shoulder
            • Postoperative pain
            • Renal colic
            • Rheumatoid arthritis
            • Sciatica
            • Sprain
            • Stroke
            • Tennis elbow

               

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              NIH Panel Issues Consensus Statement on Acupuncture

              Acupuncture as a therapeutic intervention is widely practiced in the United States. While there have been many studies of its potential usefulness, many of these studies provide equivocal results because of design, sample size, and other factors. The issue is further complicated by inherent difficulties in the use of appropriate controls, such as placebos and sham acupuncture groups. However, promising results have emerged, for example, showing efficacy of acupuncture in adult postoperative and chemotherapy nausea and vomiting and in postoperative dental pain. There are other situations such as addiction, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma, in which acupuncture may be useful as an adjunct treatment or an acceptable alternative or be included in a comprehensive management program. Further research is likely to uncover additional areas where acupuncture interventions will be useful.

              Click here to see the full article.

              What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?

              Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine consists of 5,767 substances derived from plant, animal, and mineral sources. The use of these substances can be traced back to 1,000 BC. Over the past 3000 years, an incredibly rich and powerful system has medicine has been created. During this time, classical herbal formulas that are effective for many health concerns have been developed. The herbs are available in the form of herbal teas, liquid extracts, tablets, capsules, granules, lotions, creams, salves, or poultices.

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