"What is acupuncture?" and "How does it work?" are the two main questions that new patients or prospective patients will ask about this ancient form of healing, which was introduced to the West from the East many years ago.
There is not one specific style of acupuncture in practice worldwide today but actually numerous styles - in much the same way that there are different martial art styles depending on the nation practicing it.
Acupuncture deals with homeostasis, which is the body's ability to maintain balance. The patient who is out of balance electromagnetically becomes ill and expresses specific symptoms. Acupuncture benefits the patient by eliminating the cause of the disease rather than offering a cure for the symptoms – it is an effective way of treating those who are suffering from the lasting side effects of taking strong pharmaceutical medication and wish to take a new route to health.
We all know that needles are involved in acupuncture. Inserting these needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncfure points is the method used to encourage the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning.
The Chinese way
According to the classical Chinese explanation, channels of energy run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. Any obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam blocking up or hindering the flow. The acupuncture needles unblock these obstructions to re-establish the regular flow through the meridians, helping the body's internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption and energy production activities while boosting the circulation of their energy through those meridians.
In a similar way, the modern scientific explanation confirms that acupuncture stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones thus influencing the body's own internal regulating and healing system.
Many conditions can be helped with acupuncture
- Allergic rhinitis and asthma
- Headaches and migraines
- High blood pressure
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Low back pain
- Urinary tract infections
Those seeking help with existing conditions need to be aware that the health benefits of acupuncture will be considerably heightened by adopting basic dietary and lifestyle health habits.
Making healthy lifestyle choices
It goes without saying that quitting smoking; taking regular exercise; eating living whole foods instead of refined and processed foods; drinking plenty of filtered water; getting good quality and regular sleep; boosting vitamin D levels through sunlight where possible or alternatively vitamin D3 supplementation; avoiding toxins in food, personal products and the home; and undergoing a full body detox are all part and parcel of a holistic and health promoting lifestyle. In fact, acupuncture can be used to good effect to help whose who are trying to overcome additions such as smoking, alcohol and drugs.
Acupuncture employs a holistic method of treatment where the overall health and wellness of the patient is considered with treatment taking care of all disease conditions and symptoms by unblocking energy along various channels in the human body. Acupuncture is said to eliminate the causes and therefore heal the patient.
Additional benefits from acupuncture include
- Helping those who experience a sudden drop in energy perhaps due to stress and anxiety.
- Strengthening the immune system and improving blood circulation.
- Assisting those who have suffered from long term and chronic insomnia and lack of sleep.
- Treating those who suffer from constant headaches and migraines for which they have had to take long term strong medication in order to function.
- Improving the wellness and healing of those enduring chronic low back pain or arthritis.
- A comparatively new use for acupuncture is as a beauty aid to treat wrinkles.
Acupuncture practitioners firmly believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease. You may be interested to know that acupuncture is used successfully on cats, dogs, horses and other animals too.