What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the insertion of “thread-like” needles along energy pathways in the body. Treatments are relaxing, effective, and painless thanks to modern technology. This modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine dates back over 3000 years, and is the fastest growing alternative modality in North America.The traditional explanation for acupuncture’s effectiveness is that it modifies the flow of energy (known as qi) throughout the body. Research demonstrated that the effects of Acupuncture needling include influencing the activity of adenosine, an amino acid which becomes active in the skin after an injury to ease pain. This may explain in part why pain relief is often experienced as one of the benefits of Acupuncture. In fact, much research in the West has focused on this pain-relieving effect, rather than Acupuncture’s traditional role of balancing energy to address a wide range of disorders, and the more subtle mechanisms that may be responsible for its overall benefits to health.
There are many myths and misconceptions about Acupuncture, especially surrounding what it actually is and how it can help you.
Contrary to popular Western belief, Acupuncture is not just a system for inserting very fine needles into specific body locations to alleviate pain. So, what is Acupuncture, then? Acupuncture is a complete medical protocol focused on correcting imbalances of energy in the body. From its inception in China more than 2,500 years ago, acupuncture has been used traditionally to prevent, diagnose and treat disease, as well as to improve general health.
Acupuncture is a simple, safe and effective health care technique that helps promote the body’s ability to heal itself.
Acupuncture was popularized in the States during the early 70’s after President Nixon opened relations with China. At the time, a New York Times reporter, James Reston, had an appendectomy in a Chinese hospital using acupuncture as a means to decrease his post-surgical pain. However it has been used in Europe since the 1800s, brought to France from Vietnam.
What Is Acupuncture Used For?
Because the goal of acupuncture is to promote and restore the balance of energy, which flows throughout the body, the benefits of acupuncture can extend to a wide variety of conditions, from emotional disorders (anxiety, depression) to digestive complaints (nausea, vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome). It can be beneficial for pain syndromes due to an injury or associated with chronic degenerative diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. It can also be helpful in treating neurological problems like migraines or Parkinson’s disease, or as a rehabilitation strategy for individuals who suffered a stroke. Respiratory conditions, including sinusitis and asthma have been relieved with acupuncture, as have many gynecologic disorders and infertility. Acupuncture has also proved beneficial for reducing fatigue and addictions, and for promoting overall well-being.