What is Acupuncture?
Understanding the dynamics of Acupuncture into Biomedical Science terms: Reference used from Acupuncture Energetics; A Clinical Approach for Physicians by Joseph M. Helms
The word “acupuncture” was introduced by French Jesuits from the Latin acus (needle) and puncture (puncture)
“It is my opinion that acupuncture is too valuable a therapeutic discipline to relegate to last resorts for treatment of impossible pain problems, and that it should be sought as first or complementary resource in premorbid and organic problems that are nonsurgical or nonmalignant.” Joseph M. Helms
Medical Acupuncture can be termed Acupuncture analgesia. A neurohumoral model was found in the 80’s linking the CNS activities of endogenous opioid peptides and biogenic amines. By the use of stimulating acupuncture needles there was an electrical discharge that treated and helped inflamed conditions, pain and nervous disorders. Combined studies suggest that afferent nociceptive fibers are essential for propagated sensation along channels (PSAC), and does not follow somatosensory dermatomes. Concluding that PSAC is probably integrated in the parietal cortex sensory areas I and II. Additional research showed that acupuncture electrical activity is not entirely dependent on an intact CNS, and that moisture and electrolytes serves as vectors between the points. Those finding sparked the WHO and NIH to establish research, protocols and nomenclature for the western medical application.
Major neurotransmitters implicated in acupuncture analgesia are as follows: Serotonin; Endorphins; Dopamine; Enkephalin; Aminobutyric Acid. (just to name a few, many others are activated) Through clinical practice and laboratory animal research the lasting analgesic effects of acupuncture for chronic pain depend on the cumulative impact of sequential acupuncture treatments. Resulting in pain relief, relaxation and sense of well-being in a chaotic world: Without DRUGS!
Studies also show acupuncture can have positive results in Blood Chemistry and Immune system. Specifically, cortisol, lipids and natural killer cell levels.
Taken from the oldest classical text : Su Wen, expressed preventive therapy:
“The superior physician controls disease before any illness has declared itself; the average physician practices acupuncture before the disease has come to its crisis: the inferior practitioner treats the patient when the illness is already dying away.”
Thousands of clinical research can be found and documented in: Pubmed.gov; World Medical literature
Does Acupuncture hurt?
In general, Acupuncture should not be painful. You may feel a dull ache, or a feeling of electricity or tingling which are signs that the Qi (or energy) has arrived. Sometimes you can feel Qi (energy) running up or down the body or a limb. If an uncomfortable feeling persists at the site of a needle, tell your practitioner right away so she can adjust or remove the needle. The fact is that most patients report that they become extremely relaxed during their acupuncture treatment.
I have heard that Acupuncture is good for pain. Is it good for anything else?
Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of health concerns. See Conditions Treated. Oriental Medicine is a complete medical system in itself; in addition, it is an excellent complement to other treatments including Western pharmaceuticals, surgery, herbal therapies, massage or Chiropractic. It should be noted that Acupuncture is not only good if you are sick or in pain. It can be used as a preventive medicine, balancing the body’s systems and promoting good health and well being.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments a patient will require depends on the nature and severity of the condition. An acute condition may need only one or two treatments, while a chronic condition will need more.
How should I prepare for my treatments?
Don’t eat a large meal before your visit. Wear loose, comfortable clothes.
Be sure to discuss any questions with your acupuncturist.
Refrain from overexertion or alcohol for at least 6 hours after treatment.
Between visits, pay attention and take note of any changes that occur in your symptoms.
Is Acupuncture covered by insurance?
Some insurance plans cover acupuncture. Call the customer service number on the back of your insurance card to find out if you are covered.