Updated: December 27, 2012
Acupuncture is a process of stimulating certain acupuncture points situated on the surface or very close to the skin.
There is a notion in Chinese medicine that life energy, known as Qi, flows in a regular pattern through and over the surface of the body via channels called meridians.
Each meridian is associated with one organ or a group of organs and nutrifies the blood vessels, flow, tissues and nervous pulse, improving functionality and promoting well-being. Also proper flow of Qi helps in maintaining an active balance of two opposite forces, Yin and Yang, to promote a salubrious state of body.
If this balance is disturbed or energy flow is obstructed or blocked, it could eventually pave the road to several diseases. One of the ancient and effective ways of unblocking the movement of Qi and reestablishing the normal energy flow through meridians is by needling at specific points in the body and this practice is called acupuncture.
Acupuncture is a process of stimulating certain acupuncture points situated on the surface or very close to the skin which have the tendency to modify various physiological and biochemical conditions for achieving sound health. This practice dates back around 2000 years when it was first performed in China. It is one of the disciplines constituting the Traditional Chinese Medicine and has great efficacy in treating various health ailments, boosting the immune system and maintaining a complete harmony of body and mind.
How Acupuncture works
Acupuncture works with the Qi or energy of the body directly. People who practice this treatment believe that a person becomes susceptible to illness if the regular flow of energy throughout the body is depleted or struck or weakened due to factors such as biological, mechanical, chemical, physical, mental or hereditary and by puncturing over the acupoints this obstruction can be easily removed. Acupoints are areas near or over the surface of skin that are electrically sensitive.
By inserting pointed, stainless steel needles at such points, various sensory receptors are stimulated and also improved nervous signals are generated to hypothalamus-pituitary glands which release natural pain killing chemicals of the body, endorphins and neurotransmitters.
This helps in making the body stronger and more immune to disease and relieves from various pains like back pain, head ache, arthritis and many other conditions. The needles are slightly inserted, not pinched, into the skin which makes it a painless, safe and effective treatment of many conditions.
Performed by certified acupuncture practitioners, acupuncture has now become a part of conventional medical procedures for the treatment of several diseases and health conditions, promoting both physical and mental well being. The spectrum of benefits offered by acupuncture is very vast and includes wide miscellanea of disorders.
Although best known for its pain controlling ability, this Chinese treatment can be used for treating respiratory disorders like asthma, sinusitis, bronchitis and common cold. It also benefits toothache, musculoskeletal and neurological disorders and eye problems such as conjunctivitis, cataract and nearsightedness.
Acupuncture can be effective in eliminating or reducing the need of taking drugs to regulate pain or symptoms of certain health conditions. It also stimulates faster recovery, improved circulation and lower symptoms of stress. ?Since it strengthens the immune system of the body naturally, the body becomes less vulnerable to infections, colds and flu. Other benefits include relief from post surgical nausea, vomiting, psychological or emotional imbalances, eating disorders, depression and rejuvenation of natural body energy.
More than a cure, acupuncture is used as preventive medicine that forestalls illness from occurring. Since it is safe and involved no side effects, people even without any disorder can receive acupuncture to maintain proper flow of energy through the body and promote a perfect sense of being healthy, strong and active. It is also used, side by side, with conventional medical treatments for various acute and chronic diseases.
Chart of acupuncture points. Click on image to view full size chart.