Acupuncture is a Chinese therapy that has been used for centuries. It is based on the theory that there is energy, called chi or qi, flowing through your body. Chi is thought to flow along energy pathways called meridians. Acupuncturists believe a blocking or imbalance of the flow of chi at any point on a pathway may result in illness. Chinese medicine practitioners believe acupuncture unblocks and rebalances the flow of chi to restore health.
People often use acupuncture to relieve pain. Western medical researchers who have studied acupuncture believe that it may reduce pain through body chemicals that have calming effects (opioid peptides), or by affecting glands (such as the hypothalamus) that produce substances the body uses.
Chinese acupuncture usually is done by putting very thin needles into the skin at certain points on the body to influence energy flow along the body’s meridians. Other types of acupuncture may use heat, pressure, or mild electrical current to stimulate energy flow along these meridians.
Is Acupuncture Effective?
Numerous studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of acupuncture to treat a variety of conditions. The NIH Consensus on Acupuncture states that “acupuncture may be a reasonable option for a number of clinical conditions.” In addition to being an effective form of treatment, acupuncture has substantially lower incidence of adverse side effects that many drugs or other accepted medical procedures. In fact, patients receiving acupuncture for such conditions as fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, or tennis elbow, experience the same results as patients who are treated with anti-inflammatory medication or steroid injections, without many of the adverse reactions.
What is Acupuncture Used to Treat?
Insomnia: In the treatment of insomnia, acupuncture yields a total effective rate of 90.44% , improves the quality of sleep and overcomes the complications induced by sleep medication.
Gastritis: Acupuncture has been found effective in the treament of gastritis, with a 95% effective rate.
Fibromyalgia: Studies show that 46% of fibromyalgia patients receiving acupuncture experience less pain, 51% experience less fatigue, and 45% experience a better sense of well-being.
Migraines: Patients receiving acupuncture to treat chronic headaches experienced the equivalent of 22 fewer days of headaches per year, used 15% less medication and missed 15% fewer days of work.
Blood Pressure: Patients treated with acupuncture experienced an overall decrease in the level of systolic pressure during and after treatment.
Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization to be Effective in the Treatment of:
- Pain Management
- Women’s Health
- Weight Reduction
- Sports Medicine
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Immune Disorders
- Gastrointestinal Disorders
- Musculoskeletal Disorders
- Facial Diagnosis
- Internal Medicine
- Obstetrics & Gynecology
- Psychological/Emotional Disorders
- Menstrual Disorders
- Sexual Dysfunction