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About acupuncture

Acupuncture is a natural therapy that dates back thousands of years. Specifically, acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles into the skin at specific points.

According to traditional Chinese medical theory, all the body parts and internal organs are connected by the special pathway which is called channel or meridians. Qi (energy force, pronounced chee) and blood  flows through these channels. There are 14 major meridians in the human body, 12 of which are dominated by the major Organs.  Each of these links energy points across the whole body, which are all related.  The body stays healthy when its Qi and blood are abundant and flowing smoothly.  If energy is weak or blocked,pain and disease may raise.

acupuncture points Acupuncture, by stimulating the specific points along the channel, is able to keep these channels unobstructed, allow qi flow armoniously and thus correct those imbalances.  It may be helpful to think of this in terms of the electricity supply to a room. The meridians are the wiring, the acupuncture points are the light switches, dimmers and fuses, and the Organs are the electrical appliances.  This process affects both the structure and function of internal organs. These acupoints were mapped by practitioners in China over 2000 years ago, and in the past few decades research has confirmed the existence and location of these points.

What can acupuncture treat?

--Adapted from University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine

Most research has focused on the use of acupuncture to treat pain, (especially from muscles and bones) and nausea, resulting from chemotherapy, anesthesia and pregnancy. Clinically, its applications range from treating back pain, joint pain, menstrual cramps and headaches to helping people maintain wellness.

In 1997, the National Institutes of Health issued a consensus statement after reviewing the research on acupuncture. Based on the research, the report said acupuncture may be an acceptable treatment, in addition to regular medical treatment, as part of a comprehensive management program or as an acceptable alternative in the areas of:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Stroke rehabilitation
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Myofascial pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Asthma
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tennis elbow
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Headache

For a more recent list, see conditions treated .