Acupuncture, which is part of Chinese Medicine, is the oldest system of medicine in use today and its effectiveness has been clinically proven for over two thousand years. The evidence has been found in Shan Hai Jing classic, which says that “the foot of the mountains of the eastern ranges was littered with stone needles”. Further evidence of ancient practice of inserting a needle into the human body was a discovery of bone carvings dated from period 21st-11th century BC.
The application of Acupuncture involves stimulating various places on the body surfaces. These places are called acupuncture points and when stimulated they produce a range of therapeutic effects depending on the location:
- Regional therapeutic effect – involves local tissues
- Remote therapeutic effect – involves distal tissues, as acupuncture points are linked by 14 meridians (channels) they have a distal effect on tissues along the same or linked meridian
- Specific therapeutic effect – a specific point has a specific therapeutic effect
Other therapeutic effects:
- Analgesic effect ( point “Shenmen” in earlobe is used for general analgesia as it stimulates release of endorphins)
- Homeostatic regulation
- Immune enhancing
- Sedating, calming effect
More About Acupuncture
How does an Acupuncturist know which acupuncture points to use?
Acupuncturist determines the appropriate treatment via detailed diagnosis, which may include questions relating to diet, appetite, sleep, bowel function, menstrual flow, stress etc.
Observing the tongue and feeling the pulses on both wrists are other highly skilled diagnostic aids. Every piece of information obtained in diagnosis is a vital clue that identifies the imbalance of QI so the appropriate acupuncture points are selected.
How many treatments are needed?
It is dependent upon the nature and severity of each individual’s complaint. Many acute complaints respond in 2-3 treatments. Otherwise more treatment is necessary.
What if I am already receiving other treatments?
Traditional Acupuncture can usually be used in conjunction with other medical care. Acupuncturists often work closely with other health care providers in the joint management of their clients.
How does it work
In clinical situations the Acupuncturist relies on traditional theories which have been used for thousands of years. Fundamental to the traditional theory is concept of “QI” which is considered to be a form of energy. This QI flows through the body in channels or pathways called meridians. When you are healthy then the QI flow is said to be adequate and in balance. However when this QI becomes inadequate or disturbed in its flow disease follows. Acupuncture points are located on meridians and their effects alter the flow of QI in the meridians.
Like a musician the Acupuncturist uses the Acupuncture points to tune your body to a harmonious symphony of activity, thus restoring the vitality you should normally have.
Means of stimulation of Acupuncture points
Acupuncture points can be stimulated by very fine acupuncture needles, laser, electroacupuncture, pressure/massage, moxa ( special heat producing herb) and magnets.
The sensation felt at the site of stimulation can be described as numbness, distention, soreness or heaviness and sometimes lasts for up to two hours after the treatment.
Acupuncture involves complex neurohumoral mechanisms and effects appear to be induced by et least three body reactions. They are local tissues, neurological stimulation and hormone regulation.
According to the latest "Acupuncture evidence project" (by J.Mc Donald, Stephen Janz, Jan. 2017), Acupuncture has been shown to be effective for the treatments of the following conditions:
- Acute low back pain, neck pain, Sciatica
- Anxiety and depression (with antidepressants)
- Menopausal hot flushes, postmenopausal insomnia and perimenopausal insomnia
- Insomnia, post-stroke insomnia
- Post-stroke shoulder pain, shoulder pain, shoulder impingement syndrome (early stage)
- Stroke rehabilitation
- Cancer pain and cancer-related fatigue
- Temporomandibular pain
- Lateral elbow pain
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Labour pain
There is also evidence of positive effect of Acupuncture in treatments of :
- Allergic rhinitis (perennial and seasonal)
- Headache (tension type and chronic)
- Postoperative nausea and vomiting
- Chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting (with anti-emetics)
- Chronic low back pain
- Knee pain (osteoarthritis)
- Postoperative pain
- and more...