Acupuncture was first used in China over 2000 years ago, and is one of the oldest medical procedures in the world. Acupuncture stimulates the anatomy of the body and helps to balance the energy flow throughout the body through the use of tiny, metallic needles placed in specific points on the body.
Acupuncture is the basic foundation for Traditional Chinese Medicine and is based on the belief that there are two opposing and inseparable forces within our body. They are known as Yin and Yang. The Yin is representative of the cold, slow, or passive principle, and yang represents the hot, excited, or active principle. A healthy state is achieved by maintaining a balance state of yin and yang. This is done through vital pathways or meridians that allow for the flow of qi, or vital energy. The vital energy flow occurs along pathways known as meridians. The meridians connect over 2,000 acupuncture points along the body.
Although traditional western medicine does not completely understand how acupuncture works, an increasing body of scientific research has backed the efficacy of this ancient healing modality.
According to the National Institute of Health and an emerging body of research studies, the answer is yes. Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in many areas of health care. Areas such as postoperative nausea, chemotherapy side effects, osteoarthritis, low-back pain, headache, menstrual cramps, addiction, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma, just to name a few. Studies have also found that acupuncture is an effective means of pain relief, and can improve function and mobility of joints due to arthritis inflammation.
It has been proposed that acupuncture works and produces its effects by regulating the nervous system. It is believed that since acupuncture produces its effect through regulation of the nervous system, it induces the release of endorphins and immune system cells at specific sites on the body. There is also thought that acupuncture alters the brain chemistry by impacting neurotransmitters in the brain.
Without a doubt acupuncture has been found to be of great benefit in many research studies. Countless patients attest to the benefits as well. Although acupuncture is classified as an alternative medicine therapy and there is still much to be understood about the way it works, it is a proven aid in cultivating and supporting optimal health.
Potential benefits and uses of acupuncture include:
Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
Chemotherapy-induced and postoperative nausea and vomiting
Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
Headaches, including tension headaches and migraines
Hormone balance and fertility support
Induction of labor and labor pain
Insomnia and sleep issues
Low back pain
Nausea and vomiting