What is acupuncture?
While Acupuncture is still relatively new to the United States it represents one component of a complete healthcare system developed in China over the last 2,000 years. It has been one of the primary sources of healthcare for over one billion people or roughly 20% of the world population. What the practice can offer to a patient today is an invaluable complement to modern medical care. Prevention and long-term health maintenance are the foundations and goals of treatment with acupuncture. Acupuncture is effective for a wide range of conditions. The system is very effective side by side with physician primary care and/or diagnosis.
What is acupuncture known to be helpful for?
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help with a wide range of health conditions. The World Health Organization, in its 2003 report, Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, confirmed that acupuncture has been shown to be effective for over 100 common health conditions, including:
- Disorders of the Bones, Muscles, and Joints such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, pain in the low back, neck and shoulder, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist pain, and tennis elbow
- Gynecological Disorders, such as infertility in women and men, morning sickness, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), irregular, heavy, or painful menstruation, and menopause
- Nervous System Disorders such as migraine headaches, headaches, neuralgia, insomnia, dizziness, chronic fatigue, facial palsy/tics, and trigeminal neuralgia
- Gastrointestinal Disorders, such as food allergies, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), peptic ulcers, chronic diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, gastrointestinal weakness, colitis, and gastritis
- Stress Related Symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, fatigue, and poor digestion
- Emotional and Psychological Disorders, including depression, anxiety, anorexia, and seasonal affective disorder
- Respiratory Disorders, such as emphysema, sinusitis, asthma, allergies and bronchitis
- Uro-genital Disorders, including stress incontinence, urinary tract infections, and sexual dysfunction
- Circulatory Disorders, such as hypertension, angina pectoris, arteriosclerosis and anemia
- Addictions to alcohol, nicotine and drugs, food, and work
- Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders
- Nausea and vomiting, associated with chemotherapy drugs used in cancer treatment.
Finally, it is important to note that acupuncture is often an effective therapy for other chronic and painful debilitating disorders that have no clear explanation or origin.
What are further benefits of acupuncture?
Acupuncture is helpful for many concerns from headaches to joint pain. It has also been found effective for chronic conditions where pinpointing the cause has been difficult to determine. Those who receive ongoing treatment for maintenance and the promotion of good health have said that they:
- Tend to get sick less often and recover more quickly
- Have improved stamina and vitality
- Are better managers of their own health
- See reductions in long-term health care costs
- Tend to visit physicians less often
- Enjoy deepened, more harmonious relationships with others
Are there side effects to acupuncture?
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Statement on Acupuncture, when treating the same condition, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine offer reduced side effects compared to conventional biomedical treatment:
“One of the advantages of acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the same conditions.”
The NIH Consensus Statement further noted that the evidence supporting the effectiveness of conventional western procedures and the effectiveness of acupuncture are often equally strong:
“While it is often thought that there is substantial research evidence to support conventional medical practices, this is frequently not the case. . .The data in support of acupuncture are as strong as those for many accepted Western medical therapies.”
What can acupuncture do for me?
Acupuncture is at least two thousands of years old but likely much older. In this time it has been used to support good health and to help heal various aliments. It is perhaps best know for addressing all manner of pain issues ranging from back pain to migraines to arthritic pains to systemic pains such as fibromyalgia pains and also for localized pains in specific areas. Acupuncture can also be useful for a number of internal diseases (such as those listed above) and can be used very successfully with Chinese herbs and medical qi gong for even deeper healing. It is very useful for a wide range of conditions including acute pain, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, stress related problems, insomnia, headaches, menstrual pain and menstrual issues, infertility, digestive issues, relaxation, general well being, and more.
What can I expect from acupuncture treatments?
Acupuncture is a simple and safe technique involving the insertion of sterile, very thin, single use needles in acupuncture points known to benefit health and well being. Acupuncture sessions are relaxing, and many find the sessions meditative, some feel the flow of qi in their channels, and some even fall asleep. These sessions take place on comfortable massage tables with relaxing music chosen to enhance the healing experience.