Western Scientific Theory says: Many Western doctors believe that stimulation of empirically specific points causes the nervous system to release endorphins and other naturally occurring chemicals and hormones that affect pain perception, mood, and overall health. Documented physiological shifts following acupuncture show an increase in the body’s own natural painkillers, anti-inflammatory agents and analgesics. Secondly, acupuncture stimulates the body’s immune system, affecting heart rate, brain activity, and blood pressure: not only does it relieve pain; it also increases the body’s own natural ability to heal itself and to prevent disease.
Chinese Medical Theory says: Western physics tells us the universe is divided into matter and energy: Chinese medical theory has understood this for thousands of years: they call this energy “Qi” (pronounced ‘chee’). Qi and matter both exist in the human body. Qi, though we can’t see it, flows through the body the same way blood does, in well-defined pathways, called meridians. Qi circulates through these meridians the same way water flows through a hose: if there is a kink in the hose the water flow is disrupted and part of the hose becomes empty while the other part becomes overfull.
Similarly, when Qi is blocked in the meridians, pain and illness result. Stimulating an acupuncture point is similar to removing the kink in the hose: it gets the Qi flowing again so that health is restored to the entire being.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as an effective treatment modality for many conditions, including:
- Back pain, repetitive stress injury, shoulder and neck problems, whiplash, sprains, and arthritis
- Headaches, migraines
- Fibromyalgia, insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, depression and other nervous disorders
- Indigestion, stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal disorders, constipation, diarrhea
- Asthma, Bronchitis, frequent colds and flus
- High blood pressure
- Menstrual problems, painful periods, infertility, labor and delivery
No. The needles are ultra-fine, filiform needles, about the thickness of a hair. Insertion is often painless or may feel for a brief moment like a mosquito bite. Usually during treatment 4 or 5 needles are inserted in your body and left in for 10-15 minutes. Many patients find a treatment to be very relaxing: some people even fall asleep.
Acupuncture works with a person’s internal pharmacy rather than putting in chemicals from the outside. This approach has several advantages over pharmaceutical medicine. Most importantly there are no negative side effects. The most common occurrence is that patients feel such a relief from symptoms that they may participate in activities that can cause a flare-up of their condition, before their body is completely healed.