What is it?!
Acupuncture is the medical practice of inserting needles into the skin at specific points on the body.
It has been used to treat a wide variety of disorders in the Far East for over 2,000 years and has been accepted by modern western medicine as a complementary method because of its undeniable effectiveness.
Who thought that was a good idea?
Acupuncture stems from the traditional Taoist theory that health is determined by the flow of Qi, or life force, throughout the body and mind.
It is believed that this balance can be adjusted via the stimulation of specific points throughout the body known as acupoints which influences the body’s Qi, or life force.
These points run along the 12 meridians through which Qi flows lying just below the surface of the skin. Each of these channels corresponds to 12 organs and Qi must flow properly through these channels to maintain good health.
What’s it used for?
The short answer – pretty much everything. Many traditional practitioners still use acupuncture as a universal treatment. In Europe and North America, it is mainly a treatment for musculoskeletal injury and chronic disease.
Most Common Applications:
- Back pain
- Hay fever
- Menstrual disorders
- Digestive disorders
- Drug and alcohol rehabilitation
How does it work?
There have been different theories as to why so many people claim to get relief from acupuncture.
Research has suggested that acupuncture stimulate the release of central neurotransmitters and modulators.
This could directly explains the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating substance abuse and acute pain. Many researchers think this is also the main reason acupuncture can effectively treat such a wide variety of conditions.
- endogenous opioid peptide
- inhibitor amino acids
Due to the difficulty in proving the mechanisms at work many medical and scientific professionals believe that the effect of acupuncture is purely placebo. Tests have been performed using both true and “sham” acupuncture in which needles were placed randomly on the body. Both true and sham acupuncture have shown to have similar effects with stress relief and short term pain relief.
Today we have more treatment options than ever yet this over 2,000-year-old technique is continuing to maintain its popularity. Though the mechanisms behind its effects have not been proven there is good evidence that acupuncture provides patients with more than just a potent and unique placebo. I believe that in addition to western medicine, acupuncture can be a very good treatment for a huge variety of health issues.