Acupuncture is a method of healing developed in China over 3,000 years ago and has helped literally billions of people throughout history. Today, acupuncture describes a family of procedures involving stimulation of points on the body by a variety of techniques. American practices of acupuncture incorporate medical traditions from China, Japan, Korea, and other countries. The acupuncture technique that has been most studied scientifically involves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or by electrical stimulation.
The cornerstone of acupuncture diagnosis is pulse examination whereby the trained practitioner, by feeling the six pulses of each wrist may be able to determine the balance of the twelve meridians. This ancient method of diagnosis is giving way to modern electronic, computer enhanced evaluation known as Electro Meridian Imaging (EMI). The practitioner places an electronic probe on the skin over specific acupoints. By way of a sensitive metering device, the electro potential of the point is measured. This examination is extremely reliable and accurate and is quickly becoming the standard method of diagnosis.
Acupuncture is one of the most studied complementary medical practices and is gaining acceptance into Western medicine. According to the National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization, acupuncture has proven effective in the treatment of many common problems including:
- Chronic pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Tennis elbow
- Menstrual cramps
- Irritable bowel syndrome
A river of energy flowing through the body
Just as a river provides nourishment for life on our planet, our body has channels, called meridians, through which an energy called Qi flows as an invisible current, energizing, nourishing, and supporting every cell, tissue, muscle, organ, and gland. When Qi is balanced and flowing freely, the body’s natural self-healing abilities are activated, creating internal stability, harmony, and good health.
The stresses of daily life affect meridians and organs in different ways, disrupting or blocking Qi flow. If a garden hose is blocked, for example, it can’t provide enough water to a plant, and eventually the plant won’t be able to thrive. Likewise, a blockage in the meridians will restrict the supply of Qi needed to nourish and support the cells, tissues, muscles, organs, and glands. Such blockages can show up as signs and symptoms. Over time, the body as a whole can become weakened, and its ability to heal itself will be lessened, and it becomes vulnerable to pain, disease, and ill health.
The meridians and the energy flow are accessible through approximately 400 different acupuncture points. By inserting extremely fine needles into these points in various combinations, acupuncture practitioners help rebalance the energy flow, thus enabling the body’s natural healing mechanisms to take over.