Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine
You have probably never seen a commercial advertising Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture. You have probably never listened to a jingle, or seen a billboard about it either. In spite of the fact that there are no mass marketing campaigns or major advertisement, this medicine has become one of the fasted growing movements in health care today. It is becoming mainstream because it works.
You may be looking on this website because someone you know had great results, or maybe it was a friend of a friend. It may be that you have noticed that the price of traditional Western health care keeps going up, but many people are not getting lasting results. Perhaps you are looking for treatment that does not have undesirable side effects, or risks. You may have been offered treatment with pharmaceuticals or surgery, but want to check out other solutions.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine is very effective in treating chronic and acute conditions that many people suffer with every day, such as pain, muscle tension, fatigue, infertility, digestive disorders, or allergies just to name a few. That is why famous medical clinics such as Mayo, John Hopkins, Duke University, Cedar Sinai, Stanford, and Massachusetts General have incorporated acupuncture into their treatment services.
You may have heard about acupuncture and think it sounds great except for the needle part. Acupuncture needles are not like those used for blood drawing or injections. They are very fine, about the size of strand of hair. Six or seven of them will fit on the head of a hypodermic needle. They are sterile, used only once, and then disposed of.
In the West, Chinese medicine is almost entirely associated with acupuncture; but acupuncture is not synonymous with Chinese medicine. It is just one aspect of Chinese medicine. As the primary health care system in China for over three thousand years, it includes several modalities. Acupuncture, herbology (the use of natural plants and minerals to restore good health and treat illness), nutritional therapy, tuina, massage, and stretching, and meditations that harmonize the body and breath.
Although it is well established that acupuncture works, there are differing opinions on why it works. Studies have shown that acupuncture stimulates the secretion of endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s own natural painkiller. (Endorphins are about ten times as strong as morphine.) Other studies have revealed that certain neurotransmitter levels, such as Noradrenaline and Serotonin are affected by acupuncture. Low levels of Serotonin are linked with sugar cravings, depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. Acupuncture raises levels of white blood cell counts, gamma globulins, and anti-bodies. This suggests that acupuncture is helpful in improving the body’s immune system, and helps it fight chronic infections, allergies and sinusitis. The effect acupuncture on the body’s release of the natural vasodilator helps to explain why acupuncture can help to resolve edema and help to heal chronic injuries by supplying red and white blood cells to the area.
Oriental medicine is not a substitute for Western medicine. It is a complementary medicine. Western medicine tends to focus on acute problems and symptomatic relief, while Oriental or Eastern medicine focuses on the root of the problem and prevention. Use of one does not exclude use of the other, and they work well together.
The meridians are the channels that the acupuncture points lie on. The points allow access, and effect different physiological functions of the body. The choice of points is based on the patient, their condition, and the system of the body that needs treatment. That is why the medicine is both a precise art, and a science.
Working in Western medicine, I knew about the circulatory system, the respiratory system, the endocrine and so on, but it was when I studied Traditional Chinese Medicine that I learned about the body’s energy system. A healthy energy system is abundant, flows smoothly, and results in good health and vitality. An unhealthy energy system is stagnant and results in sickness, fatigue, and disease.
The first evaluation and treatment lasts about one and a half hours and allows you to experience acupuncture and its relaxing effect. Follow up visits last about an hour. Your individualized treatment plan is based on your individual needs and goals. It may include follow-up visits and herbal remedies to maximize the healing process.
Acupuncture and Eastern medicine have been around for over 2,000 years. It has been used to help millions of people. Its clinical trials have involved millions of individuals over countless generations. If you are in pain, or have been struggling with a chronic issue such as infertility, inability to sleep or relax, or problems with digestion, you can do something about it now. If you know that doing more of the same thing is not going to work for you, if you are not satisfied with the status quo, please take this opportunity to move not just away from disease, but towards good and wellness.