Acupuncture and Asian Medicine
What is Asian Medicine?
Traditional Asian medicine is a comprehensive system of health care with a continuous clinical tradition of over 3,000 years. It includes acupuncture and herbal treatments as well as massage, dietary therapy, meditation and exercise. These therapies work with the natural vital energies inherent within all living things to promote the body's ability to heal itself. This system of health care is used extensively by one-quarter of the world's population who reside in the Orient and is rapidly growing in popularity in the West.
How Does it Work?
Asian medicine is based on an energetic model rather than the biochemical model of Western medicine. The ancient Chinese recognized the vital energy behind all life forms and life processes. They called this energy “Qi” (pronounced “chee”). In developing an understanding of the prevention and cure of disease, the ancient physicians discovered a system of cyclic energy flowing in the human body along specific pathways. Each pathway is associated with a particular physiological system and internal organ.
Disease is considered to arise because of deficiency or imbalance of vital energy in the energetic pathways and their associated physiological systems.
The pathways or meridians of energy communicate with the surface of the body at specific locations called acupuncture points. Each point has a predictable effect upon the vital energy passing through it. modern science has been able to measure the electrical charge at these points, thus corroborating the locations of the meridians mapped by the ancients.
A practitioner will gather much information in order to assess each person individually by feeling the six pulses on each wrist, observing the face, tongue and body, and asking a series of questions. This information is interpreted in the context of a person's present and past complaints, work and living habits, physical environment, family health history, and emotional life. When all these signs and symptoms are put together they create a pattern of disharmony. A treatment plan is then formulated to induce the body to a balanced state of health.
What Can I Expect if Treated?
Many conditions may be alleviated very rapidly by acupuncture and herbs; however, some conditions which have arisen over a course of years will be relieved only with slow, steady progress. As in any form of healing, the patient's attitude, diet, determination and lifestyle will affect the outcome of a course of treatment. Traditional Asian medicine is also an educational process in which the patient becomes more aware of his or her own body, thus increasing its ability to maintain well-being.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Pre-sterilized disposable needles are used. This eliminates all possibility of transmission of AIDS or infectious disease through acupuncture.
Is Acupuncture Painful?
Acupuncture bears no resemblance to the feeling of receiving an injection, since the main source of pain from injections is the larger diameter, hollow needle and the medication being forced into the tissue by pressure. Since acupuncture needles are very fine and flexible – about the diameter of a thick hair – insertion is felt only as a light prick. Usually relaxation and elevation of spirit is experienced.
What Can it Treat?
The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture and traditional Asian medicine's ability to treat over 200 commonly encountered clinical disorders. Among these are:
Gastrointestinal Disorders, such as food allergies, peptic ulcer, constipation, chronic diarrhea, indigestion, gastrointestinal weakness, anorexia and gastritis.
Urogenital Disorders, including stress incontinence, urinary tract infections, and sexual dysfunction.
Gynecological Disorders, such as irregular, heavy or painful menstruation, infertility in women and men, and premenstrual syndrome(PMS).
Respiratory Disorders, such as emphysema, sinusitis, asthma, allergies and bronchitis.
Disorders of the Bones, Muscles, Joints and Nervous System, such as arthritis, neuralgia, migraine headaches, insomnia, dizziness and low back, neck and shoulder pain.
Circulatory Disorders, such as hypertension, angina pectoris, arteriosclerosis and anemia.
Emotional and Psychological Disorders, including depression and anxiety.
Addictions, such as alcohol, nicotine and drugs.
Many Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders.
Supportive therapy for many other Chronic and Painful Debilitating Disorders.