What is Acupuncture?

Originating in China about 5,000 years ago, acupuncture is the oldest continuously practiced medical system in the world. Outside of China, in orther parts of Asia, Europe, and South America acupuncture has been used for about 200 years. In the U.S. acupuncture has been available since 1972. All told, acupuncture is used by nearly one-third of the world as a primary health care system and many more as an adjunctive therapy. The fundamental principles of acupuncture are to treat the person as an integrated whole in body, mind, and spirit, and to remedy the rood cause of illness and desease, not only the symptoms.

Although well-known in the U.S. for pain relief, acupuncture is effective for a wide variety of problems. It has been endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations and the National Institutes of Health. These bodies have declared acupuncture an effective treatment for the following conditions:

Digestive Issues
Female Disorders
Neck Pain
Muscle / Joint Pain
Back Pain
Weight Loss
Carpal Tunnel
Hormonal Issues
TMJ Issues

And many more not listed here.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture is based on the movement of Qi. Qi is the life-giving energy that circulates along channels to all organs of the body and enables them to function. Qi is what animates you and gives you vitality. When the Qi in the body is abundant and flowing freely, you thrive. If your Qi is depleted or obstructed, symptoms - the body's distress signals - begin to arise. If the underlying problem is not addressed, very likely more serious illnesses or disease may show up. Nature's tendency is to self-correct imbalances in Qi and maintain homeostasis, so we usually recover from most illness or emotional hurt in due course. Symptoms that persist, however, alert us to an imbalance on a deeper level. The acupunctuist looks to the underlying disharmony and focuses treatment on both the root cause and the symptoms brought on by the imbalance. Over time, acupuncture treatment rebalances the circulation of Qi to all the organ systems. One impressive advantage of acupuncture is that it is almost complreely free of side effects. Acupuncture, from a Western standpoint, reduces inflammation, calms muscle spasm, and promotes circulation to the area of treatments. When needles are placed in acupuncture points, pain-relieving hormones and chemicals including endorphins and seratonin are released into the blood stream and nervous system.

What is the relationship between Acupuncture and conventional medical care?

Acupuncture can be undertaken at the same time that other treatment modalities and medications are being used. It is easily integrated into and used with conventional medicine.We recommend not altering medicatino or other therapies without consulting the patient's physician or provider.

Why do people try Acupuncture?

While acupuncture is widely known to relieve pain, it is also helpful for many conditions in which pain is not primary, including a wide variety of chronic conditions. It can be used for almost any physical or emotional problem, or simply the desire to stay well. People from all walks of life use acupuncture for many different reasons. People who might particularly benefit include those:

  • With chronic pain or other symptoms not responding to Western medical treatment,
  • Who are taking a lot of medications and are reluctant to take more, or are interested in cutting back, or are concerned about drug interactions
  • For whom there are limited meditcal interventions as with nutritional and metabolic disorders, chronic degenerative diseases, and certain mental conditions such as depression or anxiety,
  • Who feel as if something is 'wrong' even though tests are inconclusive,
  • Whose symptoms seem to be associated with or worsened by stress (asthma, migraines, etc.)

Do I have to believe in Acupuncture for it to work?

Acupuncture has been used successfully to treat children and animals, neither of whom have preconceived beliefs about the effectiveness of acupuncture. As with any healing modality, be it traditional western medicine of a complementary system such as acupuncture, a positive mental outlook and lifestyle can reinforce the effects of treatment, just as a negative attitude or lifestyle can hinder healing.