What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the manipulation of specific points on the body. This process stimulates the movement of energy within the body, allowing natural healing to take place. These points are selected based on over 3,000 years of experience in China.
Acupuncture helps to prevent illness by improving the overall functioning of the body’s immune and organ systems. Acupuncture is helpful for:
- Treating existing illnesses and injuries.
- Preventing both recurrence of illnesses and new illness.
- Improving overall health.
How does Acupuncture work?
The Classical Chinese explanation is that energy (Qi) flows in channels throughout the body and over its surfaces. These channels are rivers of energy which are referred to as meridians. Each of the major organs in the body is associated with its own meridian.
The Chinese believe that health is a manifestation of balance, both within the body itself and between the body and the external environment. When the body is internally balanced and in harmony with the external environment, Qi flows smoothly through the meridians to nourish the organs and tissues. If an obstruction occurs in one of the meridians, the Qi is disrupted and cannot flow properly. When the Qi cannot flow smoothly the body’s innate balance is disrupted and illness results.
Acupuncture points are the specific points on the meridians where the Qi is both concentrated and accessible. Acupuncture engages the Qi by inserting needles at these specific points, the goal being to restore the proper flow of Qi. As the body regains its natural balance, well-being returns.
Acupuncture and Modern Science
To the human body, acupuncture needles are a physical stimulus. When the body detects change, it produces a response. Although acupuncture is not yet fully understood by Western science, with modern technology scientists can now actually begin to “see” the body’s response to acupuncture. For example, researchers have shown with both radioactive isotopes and thermal imaging that when a needle is inserted at specific acupuncture points on the body, corresponding changes occur in the brain.
Everyday new studies and articles are being published showing that acupuncture can be used for far more than most people realize. For instance, acupuncture points are now believed to stimulate the central nervous system to release pain-relieving chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord and brain. Acupuncture may also stimulate other chemicals to be released by the brain, including hormones that influence the self-regulating system of the body.
Oriental medicine has been around for thousands of years, and has provided us with a unique and holistic approach to help prevent and treat disease. Traditional Chinese Medicine ultimately relies on the body’s natural healing ability to maintain health and protect against disease. Western medicine tends to use drugs and surgery as needed. Acupuncturists tend to use gentle needling and herbs. A combination of both systems creates the ideal network of health and healing.