Acupuncture is one of the oldest healing arts in the world, practiced centuries ago by Chinese as a method of curing a host of ailments. Acupuncture and other forms of traditional Chinese medicine have been in existence for over 4,000 years.
Acupuncture involves the application of extremely fine needles into or more of the 2,000 acupuncture points on the humane body. These channels, or pathways, are called "meridians." The meridians are believed to conduct energy between the body's skin and internal organs. Part of the controversy surrounding acupuncture stems from the fact that scientist cannot correlate the 20 pathways, or meridians, with the human body's blood circulation and nerve paths. Nevertheless, acupuncture theory holds that energy conducted by meridians, also called Qi (pronounced "chee"), is known to coordinate the balance between one's spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical state. Acupuncture is believed to help in balancing the opposing forces called yin and yang. A healthy person's yin and yang are said to be in state of harmony.
Researchers have been able to measure an increased flow of acupuncture-induced endorphins. This explains the pain-relieving effect of acupuncture. Also, functional MRI's have measured changes in the activity of key centers of the brain, where pain is interpreted, when certain acupuncture points are treated. There are other beneficial effects of acupuncture also being researched, including the treatment of: nausea, asthma, sinus conditions, colds and the immune system, and other internal disorders. Furthermore, acupuncture has been observed clinically to enhance healing, and provide long-lasting pain relief.
Acupuncture's clinical results are attracting interest from mainstream medicine. A panel of independent experts converted in 1997 by the National Institutes of Health concluded that acupuncture is safe and effective in treating nausea and pain due to cancer and chemotherapy drugs. It is also shown to be as helpful as prescription medication in treating post surgical and other form of pain, and with out harmful side effects and toxicity.
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
Acupuncture needles are so incredibly small and thin (up to 50 times thinner than a standard hypodermic needle), they are barely noticeable when inserted. Some people who experience acupuncture report feeling nothing at all; other report feeling a mild discomfort, followed by mild sensation of cramping, tingling, numbness, warmth, or heaviness. Acupuncture needles are normally left in place for 20 to 40 minutes.
Benefits of acupuncture:
• Pain relive for acute and chronic conditions
• Decreases stress and anxiety
• Accelerates the healing process
• Aids in smoking cessation
• Relieves acute and chronic sinus congestion
• Compliments other treatments for internal disorders