In this 200th anniversary year of the birth of Henry David Thoreau, each of us can increase our health and well-being by applying his guidance to our regular exercise activities. Thoreau, one of t ...View Article
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What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and improve functioning. This is done by inserting needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points. Early Chinese physicians discovered there is an energy network transversing just below the surface of the skin which communicates from the exterior to the internal organs and structure over 1,000 acupoints on the body. This energy works in harmony with the body's circulatory, nervous, muscular, digestive, genitourinary and all other systems of the body. When this vital energy becomes blocked or weakened, an effect in the body system or anatomic location becomes evident. Stimulation of one or a combination of key acupoints on the body may restore harmony to the effected area.
How does Acupuncture Work?
The classical Chinese explanation is that channels of energy run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up in others.
The Meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points; the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions at the dams, and reestablish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body's internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and the circulation of their energy through meridians.
The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals and hormones which influence the body's own internal regulating system.
The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body's natural healing abitlities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.
Is Treatment Painful?
Acupuncture needles are very fine and flexible, about the diameter of a human hair. Most people compare the sensations to "less than a mosquito bite." A phenomenon referred to as Tai Chi occurs when the energy is contacted. This sensation is felt as a mild to moderate heaviness or tingling. The tapping needle "tai shein: is not really a needle as it does not pierce the skin." It produces a mild to moderate sensation. Compare it to tapping a ball point pen on the skin. This form of stimulation has been used successfully for centuries. Thumb pressure is equally impressive and not considered painful.
How Many Treatments Are Useful?
Obviously the number of treatments vary with different conditions and individuals. Chronic problems generally require more treatment than acute ones. Some patients notice an immedite improvement after the first treatment, where as others may not notice any effect until the seventh or eighth visit. Patients are encouraged to be patient with the healing process.
What Does Acupuncture Treat?
The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems including:
such as food allergies, peptic ulcer, chronic diarreha, constipation, indegestion, gastrointestinal weakness, anorexia, and gastritis.
including stress incontinence, urinary tract infections, and sexual dysfunction.
such as emphysema, sinusitis, asthma, allergies, and bronchitis.
Disorders of the Bones, Muscles, Joints, and Nervous System:
such as arthritis, migrane, headaches, neuralgia, insomnia, dizziness, and low back, neck, and shoulder pain.
such as hypertension, angina pectoris, arteriosclerosis, and anemia.
Emotional and Psychological Disorders:
including depression and anxiety.
such as alcohol, nicotine, and drugs.
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