What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an essential part of traditional Oriental medicine. It is a comprehensive system of health care with a continuous clinical history of over 3000 years. These therapies work with the natural vital energy inherent within all living things to promote the body’s ability to heal itself. This system of health care is used extensively by one-quarter of the world’s population residing in Asia and is rapidly growing in popularity in the West.
How Does it Work?
Oriental medicine is based on an energetic model rather than the biochemical model of Western medicine. The ancient Chinese recognized a vital energy behind all life forms and life processes. They called this energy Qi (pronounced “chee”). In developing an understanding of the prevention and cure of disease, these healing practitioners discovered that this energy flows along specific pathways called ‘meridians’. Each pathway is associated with a particular physiological system and internal organ. Disease is considered to arise due to a deficiency or imbalance of energy in the meridians and their associated physiological systems. Acupuncture points are specific locations along the meridians, Each point has a predictable effect upon the vital energy passing through it. Modern science has been able to measure the electrical charge at these points, thus corroborating the locations of the meridians mapped by the ancients. Traditional Oriental medicine uses an intricate system of pulse and tongue diagnosis, palpation of points and meridians, medical history and other signs and symptoms to create a composite Oriental medical diagnosis. A treatment plan is then formulated to induce the body to a balanced state of health.
Is Acupuncture Painful?
Acupuncture bears no resemblance to the feeling of receiving an injection, since the main source of pain from injections is the larger diameter, hollow needle and the medication being forced into the tissue by pressure. Acupuncture needles are very fine and flexible, about the diameter of a human hair. In most cases, insertion is performed without discomfort. You may experience a sense of heaviness or electricity in the area of insertion. Most patients find the treatments very relaxing and many fall asleep during treatment.
What Can I Expect?
Many conditions may be alleviated very rapidly by acupuncture and Oriental medicine. However, some conditions that have arisen over a course of years will be relieved only with slow, steady progress. Although Oriental medicine can treat most conditions, there are circumstances that can be dealt with more effectively by other systems of medicine like homeopathy or western medicine.
What Does Acupuncture Treat?
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture and traditional Oriental medicine’s ability to treat over 43 common disorders including:
- Gastrointestinal Disorders, such as food allergies, peptic ulcer, chronic diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, gastrointestinal weakness, anorexia and gastritis.
- Urogential Disorders, including stress incontinence, urinary tract infections, and sexual dysfunction.
- Gynecological Disorders, such as irregular, heavy, or painful menstruation, infertility in women and men, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Respiratory Disorders, such as emphysema, sinusitis, asthma, allergies and bronchitis.
- Disorders of the Bones, Muscles, Joints and Nervous System, such as arthritis, migraine headaches, neuralgia, insomnia, dizziness and low back, neck and shoulder pain.
- Circulatory Disorders, such as hypertension, angina pectoris, arteriosclerosis and anemia.
- Emotional and Psychological Disorders, including depression, anxiety, and anger/rage.
- Addictions, such as alcohol, nicotine and drugs
- Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders, such as allergies, and sinusitis
- Supportive therapy for other chronic and painful debilitating disorders.
How Many Treatments Are Necessary?
In your particular case I would want to do 4 treatments over a two week period. I would expect most if not all of your symptoms should be at least 30-40% better. If this is so then we would continue with the acupuncture. For most chronic illnesses a series of 10-12 treatments are usually necessary to get your body to a point where the symptoms will not relapse once the acupuncture is stopped. The treatment lasts 30 minutes and are given at 3-5 days intervals. Acute illnesses usually respond with just one or two treatments.