ACUPUNCTURE: WHAT IS IT?
Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
The classical Chinese explanation is that channels of energy run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up the flow in one part of the body and restricts it in others.
The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points: the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions of the dams, and re-establish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body’s internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and energy production activities, and in the circulation of their energy through the meridians.
The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and the brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body’s own internal regulating system. The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities, and in prompting physical and emotional well-being.
WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF MEDICAL ACUPUNCTURE?
Medical acupuncture is a system which can influence three areas of health care: promotion of healing and well -being, prevention of illness, and treatment of various medical conditions.
While acupuncture is often associated with pain control, in the hands of a well-trained practitioner, it has much broader applications. Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment used, or as the support or adjunct to other medical treatment forms in many medical and surgical disorders.
The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems including:
Digestive disorders, gastritis and hyperacidity, spastic colon, constipation and diarrhea. Respiratory disorders: sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, recurrent chest infections. Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, facial tics, neck pain, rib neuritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, various forms of tendonitis, low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis, urinary, menstrual, and reproductive problems.
Acupuncture is particularly useful in resolving physical problems related to tension and stress and emotional conditions.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
The number of treatments needed differs from person to person. For complex or longstanding conditions, one or two treatments per week for several months may be recommended. For acute problems, usually fewer visits are requred, and for health maintenance, four sessions a year may be all that is necessary.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS TO THE TREATMENT?
Usually not. As energy is redirected in the body, internal chemicals and hormones are stimulated and healing begins to take place. Occasionally, the original symptoms worsen for a few days, or other general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns, or emotional state may be triggered. These should not cause concern, as they are simply indications that the acupuncture is starting to work.
The link below provides you with a better understanding of how acupuncture’s benefits. I recommend the book Getting To Know You by Dr. Helmes which you will find exerts from and find purchase available as well. For now if you want to purchase the book you can do so on the link provided here. We will soon have them available at our practice.
Note: Many of our patients have been asked by us to fill out the questionare and bring in the results to their next visit. Go to the left hand margin of the link below and click on Learning More About You. Write down your results, the number associated with each of the 3 Biopsychotypes and either bring in or email the results to me.
Thanks, Dr. Nitsch