Home Health Alternative Medicine Acupuncture – Alternative Healing Therapy


Acupuncture is one of the key components of traditional Chinese medicine and has been practiced for thousands of years. Health is achieved by maintaining the body in a balanced state. Disease is due to an internal imbalance that leads to blockage in the flow of qi, the vital energy that circulates along pathways known as meridians, or energy-carrying channels. Illness is caused by a disruption of qi, which leads to an imbalance of energy. Acupuncture can correct this energy disruption using the meridian system to locate and treat many conditions.

It is no surprise many are skeptical of acupuncture, how do you see energy under a microscope? I could not “see” this flow of energy, but I was feeling it.

She turned on a heat lamp and placed it over my injured ankle, turned on mellow music, set an egg time for 20 minutes and suggested I take a nap. I had no idea how this was actually going to relieve my pain, but I was intrigued by the experience.

Pain is a feeling triggered in the nervous system. When acu-points are stimulated near nerves, causing a feeling of heaviness, tingling or fullness in the muscle, a signal is sent to the brain and spinal cord. This causes a release of endorphins and other neurotransmitters that block the message of pain from being delivered up to the brain.

The egg timer went off and the acupuncturist came in to remove the needles and turned off the heat lamp. I sat up, put my shoes on and stepped off the table, and then it happened.

I stood up and walked out and felt nothing! No pain! I kept walking, how is this possible? I always feel pain, like knives with every step. I walked to the car thinking this positive effect would wear off by the time I got home. I shared the great news with my husband, and we decided to look at my ankle. My deformed ankle from years of swelling was almost 50 percent smaller. I was happy, but still skeptical that it would wear off like a dose of aspirin.

The next morning I stepped into my slippers, and no pain. A few more days, still no pain. The next week I scheduled two appointments a week for the next two months. I will continue to respect my injury and work closely with my orthopedic surgeon, but acupuncture helped reduce the inflammation and pain. The quality of my life is greatly improved. I am now an advocate for acupuncture.

The World Health Organization endorses acupuncture, and clinical studies have shown it to be a beneficial treatment for many conditions, including:

* Chronic pain: migraines, neck and back pain, tendonitis, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis
* Digestive disorders: irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, gastritis and constipation
* High blood pressure
* Urinary and reproductive disorders: menstrual cramps, irregular or heavy periods, infertility and menopausal symptoms
* Addictions to nicotine, alcohol and drugs
* Overweight or obesity, when coupled with diet and exercise
* Psychological and emotional disorders: depression, anxiety, stress and insomnia
* Symptom management for adverse reactions to chemotherapy and radiation, including fatigue, generalized pain, dry mouth, peripheral neuropathy, nausea and vomiting
* Seasonal allergies

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