Traditional Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture


If your lacking energy, feeling common physical aches, need relief from severe pain, or to recover from an injury perhaps it’s time to try something different. Acupuncture isn’t meant to replace your medical treatment but accompany it.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that involves placing needles in specific areas of the body. There are more than 2,000 points on the body.

From a traditional TCM practitioner’s perspective how does it work?

TCM is about balancing the flow of energy or life force known as qi or chi (CHEE). Qi is believed to flow thru pathways (meridians) in the body. It produces energy between the organs and surface of the body. Qi stabilizes your overall health in a variety of ways: physical, mental, and emotional. It is impacted by the yin and yang.

Good health is obtained when yin and yang are in harmony with each other and working with qi to help restore and maintain good health. The needles are placed in certain points that will rebalance your energy if meridians are blocked or unbalanced. The acupuncturist points connect with twelve main and eight secondary meridians. Acupuncture will balance yin and yang and keep the flow of energy unblocked producing good health.

From a medical personnel’s perspective who practices western medicine how does it work?

TCM stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissues that boost natural painkillers and blood flow of the body. One theory is that stimulated nerve fibers carry signals to the spinal cord and brain, activating the body’s central nervous system. The spinal cord and brain then release hormones responsible for making the body feel less pain while improving overall health.

There are some people including medical professionals who do not believe that acupuncture or any form of TCM works. Ultimately, it is up to the person receiving the treatment to decide.

How deep does the needle go into the skin?

The needles are inserted no further than an inch into the skin. Needles are not always inserted an inch into the skin but less depending upon the patient’s ailment.

Are there standards for acupuncture needles?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does have regulations regarding the manufacturing and sanitation handling of acupuncture needles. The needles must be sterile and labeled for single use.

What are the pros of acupuncture?

The positive aspect of acupuncture is that an individual may use the treatment to help with a specific condition but will experience an improvement in their overall health. The World Health Organization has listed more than twenty conditions that acupuncture has proven to be an effective treatment.

What are the cons of acupuncture?

There are possible negative side effects of acupuncture such as contracting a bacterial infection at the point of the needle entry. There are reports of contracting viral herpes. It is possible for a lung to collapse if punctured. It would seem the cons of acupuncture really revolve around the acupuncturist.

What is that stick that acupuncturists waive over a person’s back?

This is known as moxibustion. Mugwort is rolled into a stick like a cigar, heated, and held over acupuncture points of the body. Sometimes the moxa is even applied to the needle with the thought that the heat will penetrate the acupuncture point more deeply.

There is more information available about acupuncture so research before booking an appointment. Like many things the opinion acupuncture varies. It’s just something you’ll have to experience for yourself to be certain of it effectiveness.



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