what is acupunctureWhat Is Acupuncture?

The term acupuncture describes a family of procedures involving stimulation of anatomical points on the body by a variety of techniques. American practices of acupuncture incorporate medical traditions from China, Japan, Korea, and other countries. The acupuncture technique that has been most studied scientifically involves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or by electrical stimulation.

Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used medical procedures in the world. Originating in China more than 2,000 years ago, acupuncture began to become better known in the United States in 1971, when New York Times reporter James Reston wrote about how doctors in China used needles to ease his pain after surgery.

The term acupuncture describes a family of procedures involving stimulation of anatomical points on the body by a variety of techniques. American practices of acupuncture incorporate medical traditions from China, Japan, Korea, and other countries. The acupuncture technique that has been most studied scientifically involves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or by electrical stimulation.

Acupuncture is used to unblock energy pathways in the body. In more recent times, other acupuncture techniques are used more than the needles people associate with acupuncture. Those are still used but they also use lasers and magnets and even pressure along the same points. Acupuncture is what many athletes use in conjunction with traditional medicine to ward of the pain that comes from being an athlete at the top levels of human abilities. If it didn’t work, people wouldn’t continue to use it.

The Chinese Connection

For years in China, medical techniques have evolved from local care givers that until recently the western world knew nothing about. Teas and other medicinal drinks as well as manipulation of the body using acupuncture were all hiding from most of the west. The ability of western doctors to heal with surgery and drugs made the Chinese methods seem like folklore. It was if the Chinese methods would never work. Through time, the west has learned that much of the so called folklore really does work. It’s safer and less harmful to the body. One of the most accepted practices now used is acupuncture. 

Acupuncture Promotes Health And Is Used To Alleviate Pain

Acupuncture in its simplest form is used to promote health and alleviate pain and suffering. In the same way that a traditional doctor can look at a person’s blood pressure, acupuncture looks for energy channels call meridians that work together for better health. 

Acupuncture And Oriental Medicine  

Many people who have never tried acupuncture wonder if it hurts. Most have no idea what the needle even looks like. The needle used in acupuncture is actually smaller than a hypodermic needle used for diabetes. It is solid and not hollow like other needles. Most people who have had acupuncture say that there isn’t any pain. A person might feel some pressure or even some tingling but the pain isn’t present. Some other people say that they feel tingling in other parts of the body and not at the site of acupuncture. Acupuncture is what oriental medicine uses and it might be explained like what a chiropractor does with manipulation except with energy.

While there are still many doctors who look at acupuncture as a childish endeavor, the art of acupuncture continues to show promise everyday as it is being tested concurrently with western medicine. With the twenty first century comes other methods of using acupuncture and it continues to look promising. 

National Institute Of Health

Commenting on the relative safety of acupuncture compared to other treatments, the NIH consensus panel stated that "(a)dverse side effects of acupuncture are extremely low and usually much lower than conventional treatments." They also stated that:

"the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the same condition. For example, musculoskeletal conditions, such as fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, and tennis elbow are conditions for which acupuncture may be beneficial. These painful conditions are often treated with, among other things, anti-inflammatory medications (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.) or with steroid injections. Both medical interventions have a potential for deleterious side effects but are still widely used and are considered acceptable treatments."

For more information about acupuncture or look in the local phone book for an acupuncture clinic close to home.

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