Have an ailment or condition that isn't getting better? Wondering if acupuncture might help?
Here are some basic facts about the procedure.
We know: How Acupuncture Works
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a medical procedure that originated in China more than 2,000 years ago. The procedure uses needles to treat a great variety of conditions. Research (including that by the National Institutes of Health) shows that the procedure is successful in helping with a number of illnesses and painful conditions.
Each year, millions of Americans get acupuncture treatments, and itís estimated that there are more than 20,000 certified practitioners in the USA.
How does acupuncture work?
In general, acupuncture means the placement of needles into prescribed areas of the body to relieve pain, or improve health. How the procedure is practiced varies widely from practitioner to practitioner. In general, a practitioner will use from 1 to 15 needles during a treatment. The cost of the treatment varies from locale to locale, and practitioner to practitioner.
What's the theory behind acupuncture?
- Eastern Thinking: In traditional Chinese medicine, the belief is that there are more than 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body. These points connect with 12 main and 8 secondary pathways, called meridians. Chinese medicine practitioners believe these meridians conduct energy, or qi, between the surface of the body and internal organs. Chinese practitioners believe that acupuncture helps keep the normal flow of energy unblocked, and restores health to the body and mind.
- Western Thinking: Western scientists are inclined to think that acupuncture may enable electromagnetic signals in the body to be relayed at a greater rate than normal and thereby start the flow of pain-killing biochemicals, such as endorphins, to injured areas of the body or areas vulnerable to disease.
What kind of conditions might be helped by acupuncture?
The World Health Organization, an arm of the United Nations, lists 40 conditions for which acupuncture could be appropriate, including:
Immune system tonification