What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is finally gaining the recognition it deserves in Western medicine. Many health conditions can be effectively treated and managed with acupuncture.
The principle behind acupuncture is based on balance and “qi.” Qi (pronounced “chee”) is regarded in Eastern medicine as the measurable electromagnetic life force. Thinks of it as life-giving energy that flows through your body. In a sense, an analogy could be made with respect to blood flow through the body and the consequential oxygenation of tissue and release of energy into our cells. Qi passes through channels called meridians and it is necessary for the balance between yin & yang and for energizing different areas of the body.
Chinese medicine believes that all illnesses, disease and conditions have to do with the blockage of qi and resulting imbalance between yin and yang. Acupuncture uses very fine needles and applies them to different points on the body to unblock the meridians and allow qi to flow. Some patients describe the sensation as energizing while others feel relaxed during and after acupuncture.
Western medicine hasn’t exactly adopted the idea of “qi” per se, but studies on acupuncture show promising results. There have been many documented reports of the benefits of acupuncture to relieve and manage chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, back pain, chronic pain from accident or injury, diabetes, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders and even fertility.
It may have something to do with the ability of acupuncture to release serotonin (calming hormone) and relieve some of the negative effect of stress. Stress contributes to much of what makes us ill. To boot, acupuncture can relieve inflammation, which is quickly gaining recognition as a major cause and contributor to numerous health problems including cardiovascular disease and premature aging.
In addition, acupuncture has been useful in treating conditions that Western medicine has yet to pinpoint a direct cause. Western medicine relies a great deal on knowing exactly what is causing a disease or condition making it rather difficult to treat conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. For some, acupuncture may be the best alternative to conventional medicine. For others, it may work nicely as a complimentary treatment alongside conventional medicine.
Browse our articles to learn more about the benefits of acupuncture.