The ancient Chinese art of acupuncture has been around for at least 2500 years.
Almost 5000 years ago, the legendary Yellow Emperor of China is said to have
written the first textbook of acupuncture. Acupuncture was first introduced to Europe
in the late 1600s. By the 1820's it was widely accepted both there and in the US.
Acupuncture is based on a philosophy involving an energy flow of Qi (vital energy)
around the body through channels called 'Meridians'. When these meridians become
blocked Qi backs up and overflows, similar to water in a dam. When acupuncture
needles are inserted near the blocked meridians, the Qi is restored to its normal
flow and symptoms disappear.
There is an ever-increasing mountain of research to support the claims made by
acupuncture in the scientific world. Modern science tries to rationalise acupuncturists
results through endorphin release, and other natural chemicals, as a result of
stimulating specific areas of the nervous system. No matter what causes it the
improved energy flow you get from acupuncture stimulates your body's natural
healing abilities and puts you back on the path to health.
Acupuncture is based on the concept that the
bodys vital energy travels in a clearly
defined path, which TCM calls
meridians or channels. By using sterilized, single-use
filiform needles at meridian points that correspond to various organs
and systems in the body, the bodys energy can be encouraged back into
and stimulated to heal itself.
The practice of acupuncture in the United States is currently regulated
in 40 states
and the District of Columbia. Although practice
requirements vary between states,
all but 3 states regulating
acupuncturists require passage of the acupuncture
examination given by
the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and
Medicine (NCCAOM), which tests knowledge of acupuncture theory,
acupuncture point location, and clean needle technique. The 35 schools
that are accredited by the Accreditation Commission of
Acupuncture and Oriental
Medicine provide a minimum of 1,725 hours of
training (705 hours of acupuncture-
oriented theory, diagnosis, and
treatment; 360 hours of biomedical clinical sciences;
and 660 hours of
clinical training) taken over a minimum of three years. Additional
certification in Chinese herbology is available, and students of Chinese
must obtain an additional 450 hours of herbal training. The
degree received is
normally a professional masters degree in Oriental
Questions and Answers About Acupuncture:
What is acupuncture?
What problems can be treated by acupuncture?
How does acupuncture work?
Is acupuncture safe?
Does it hurt?
Q. What is acupuncture?
A. Acupuncture consists of the insertion of fine needles into the body
points shown to be effective in the treatment of specific
Q. What problems can be treated
A. The World Health Organization recognizes acupunctures
effectiveness for over
40 common disorders, including:
1) Ear, Nose and Throat disorders such as toothaches, earaches,
2) Respiratory disorders such as colds and flu, bronchitis, asthma and
3) Gastrointestinal disorders such as food allergies, nausea,
indigestion and diarrhea.
4) Circulatory disorders such as hypertension, high cholesterol and
5) Psychoemotional disorders such as depression, anxiety, insomnia,
migraines and tinnitus.
6) Gynecological disorders such as menstrual irregularity, endometriosis
Q. How does acupuncture work?
A. Modern Western medicine cannot yet explain how acupuncture works.
Asian acupuncture is based on ancient Chinese theories of
flow of qi (a fine,
essential substance which nourishes and constructs
the body) through distinct
channels that cover the body somewhat like
the nerves and blood vessels.
According to this theory, acupuncture
adjusts the flow of qi in the body, leading it to
areas where it is
insufficient and draining it from areas where it is stuck or
Q. Is acupuncture safe?
A. When performed by a competently trained, licensed professional,
is safe. All licensed acupuncturist today use individually
Q. Does it hurt?
A. Acupuncture needles are typically not much thicker than a human hair,
insertion is practically painless. Most people find
acupuncture relaxing and many
fall asleep during the treatment.
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