Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture is used to maximize your health by balancing your body and is most commonly used for pain relief. Your body is a dynamic environment of interrelating and interconnecting networks. Some of these networks are obvious and others are more subtle.

Western science has focused it's attention on the obvious networks such as the nervous, circulatory, endocrine, and lymphatic systems. In contrast, Traditional Chinese Medicine has, over the centuries, mapped out the subtle networks and interrelationships that reveal our bodies to be dynamic cellular ecosystems.

By using a systems approach to health care, early Oriental practitioners discovered Acupuncture points. They found that upon stimulating these acupuncture points a cascade of positive changes occurred in the body.

Computer imaging of the brain during an acupuncture treatment shows dynamic activity occurring in many regions and structures within the brain. This modern research has shown that stimulating an Acupuncture point causes an increase in the production of endorphins and simultaneously activates the immune and endocrine systems.


Acupuncture Treatment

Your acupuncturist can choose the most effective treatment plan to help you obtain your desired health outcome. Acupuncture point will be chosen to relieve pain and stress, and to increase vitality directly relating to your chinese medicine pattern.

The needles are usually retained in the body for 10 minutes to one hour. While the patient is relaxed, the Acupuncture practitioner may choose to manipulate particular needles at particular Acupuncture point to give desired effects. This action is to either tonify, nourish, or strengthen, or conversely, to drain or subdue.

Each acupuncturist uses fine high grade surgical steel needles to stimulate the Acupuncture point on your body. These pre-sterilized and disposable needles are used only once.

Traditional Chinese Medicine includes many modalities. Ask your practitioner about alternatives to acupuncture needles.

Millions of patients have enjoyed the benefits of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. They report the elimination or reduction of pain, and increase in function, as well as greater sense of vitality and well-being.


Acupuncture History

Acupuncture point treatment has evolved over thousands of years. It is called empirical science when Acupuncture points have been systematically tried and observed for functions and treatment efficacy. This art was started by the use of what the Chinese call ashi points, or points where there is pain. Bones, sharpened stones, or bamboo were inserted into these ash Acupuncture point' and it was found to give relief.

Over the next few centuries, Qigong practitioners, doctors, and shamans began to see and map out the system of energetic meridians that course throughout our body. To date this is still being refined. Acupuncture point are specific points on the body which give particular access to this energetic system, performing different functions depending on their locations and the patterns of disease disharmony involved.

Electrical stimulation on acupuncture points may be indicated for specific conditions. This is performed by placing small alligator clips onto the needles and passing a very mild battery generated electrical current through the it.


How Long for Acupuncture Relief?

It should be known that many conditions can take many months of treatments to obtain desired results. For instance, Chronic low back pain that has been nagging someone for 10 years may see some very quick results, although, any substantial lasting effects would actually take months or even years of regular treatments. The acupuncture practitioner will find out all they can about the particular condition and judge how frequent and how long treatment is indicated according to the severity and duration.


What Does Acupuncture Feel Like?

The sensations people claim to receive from Acupuncture point treatment are: dull aching pain, tingling sensation at the points or along the course of a meridian, mild electrical shock, heaviness of the treated limb(s), and many more that get quite original to the individuals. Although, if pain seems to persist and is unbearable, inform your acupuncturist, he may extract the particular needle or back it off until the pain subsides.


Choosing an Acupuncturist

As with any medical field, the patient should use caution and instinct in carefully choosing their practitioner. It should be someone they feel very comfortable with so a trusting relationship may be formed. The practitioner themselves should be healthy, as they are coming in very intimate contact with your subtle inner energies.


How does acupuncture work?

Many studies have documented acupuncture's effects on the body, but none has fully explained how acupuncture works within the framework of Western medicine. Researchers have proposed several processes to explain acupuncture's effects, primarily on pain.

In general, acupuncture points are believed to stimulate the central nervous system, which, in turn, releases chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals either alter the experience of pain or release other chemicals that influence the body's self-regulating systems. These biochemical changes may stimulate the body's natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being.

Attention has been focused on the following theories to further explain how acupuncture affects the body:

Conduction of electromagnetic signals:

Evidence suggests that acupuncture points are strategic conductors of electromagnetic signals. Stimulating these points enables electromagnetic signals to be relayed at greater-than-normal rates. These signals may start the flow of pain-killing biochemicals, such as endorphins, or release immune system cells to specific body sites.

Activation of the body's natural opiod system:

Considerable research supports the claim that acupuncture releases opiods, synthetic or naturally-occurring chemicals in the brain that may reduce pain or induce sleep. These chemicals may explain acupuncture's pain-relieving effects.

Stimulation of the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland:

Joined at the base of the brain, the hypothalamus and pituitary glands are responsible for many body functions. The hypothalamus activates and controls part of the nervous system, the endocrine processes, and many bodily functions, such as sleep, regulation of temperature, and appetite. The pituitary gland supplies some of the body's needed hormones. Stimulation of these glands can result in a broad spectrum of effects on various body systems.

Change in the secretion of neurotransmitters and neurohormones: Studies suggest that acupuncture may alter brain chemistry in a positive way. This is accomplished by changing the release of neurotransmitters (biochemical substances that stimulate or inhibit nerve impulses) and neurohormones (naturally-occurring chemical substances that can change the structure or function, or impact the activity of, a body organ).