I have on many occasions found acupuncture to be extremely helpful, particularly for relief of back pain and muscle problems, though it’s uses are far more varied than that. This is a short introduction to acupuncture for those of you who may be curious about this alternative medicine.
Acupuncture has been shown to have positive effects in many areas of health care. Areas such as postoperative nausea, osteoarthritis, low-back pain, headache, menstrual cramps, addiction, pain relief, carpal tunnel syndrome and asthma, to name but a few.
Acupuncture is thought to have first been used in China over 2000 years ago and is one of the oldest medical procedures in the world. It is a procedure that stimulates the body and helps to balance the energy flow throughout the body through the use of tiny, metallic needles placed at certain meridian points and manipulated by hand or sometimes by electrical stimulation. The sensation is not as unpleasant as it may sound!
In traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncture is widely used, it is based on the theory that there are two opposing and inseparable forces within our body. They are known as the Yin and Yang of the person. The Yin is represents of the cold, slow, or passive principle, and yang represents the hot, excited or active principle. A healthy state is achieved by maintaining a balanced state of the yin and yang.
This is done through vital pathways or meridians that allow for the flow of qi, chi, or vital energy. The vital energy flow occurs along pathways known as meridians. These meridians connect over 2,000 acupuncture points along the body. There are 12 main meridians, and 8 secondary meridians. Although traditional western medicine doesn’t fully understand how acupuncture works, there is ample proof that it does work and this has been documented in several studies conducted by western medical facilities.
It is thought that acupuncture works and produces its effects through regulating the nervous system. The theory proposes that since acupuncture produces its effect through regulation of the nervous system, it induces the release of endorphins and immune system cells at specific sites on the body. There is also the theory that acupuncture alters the brain chemistry by the changing the neurotransmitters in the brain.
But what about people who are healthy and well, can acupuncture benefit them too? Yes, since acupuncture works off the belief that we must maintain balance of our vital energy flow in order to remain healthy, acupuncture serves as the tool for realignment. Our vital energy flow can be out of balance and we still feel and appear quite healthy. So acupuncture can be used for maintenance and as a preventive medicine.
As with all information given on this website, this article, introduction to acupuncture is for information purposes only, please be sure to find a qualified professional should you want to explore acupuncture further.
You may also be interested in my previous article, Yin and Yang.