Acupuncture is a primary health care modality that has been practiced in China for over 5,000 years and is relied upon today as a valuable healing tool. It is considered one of the newest primary health care provisions in this country.
The goal of acupuncture is to create harmony within the body by restoring the flow of Qi (pronounced “chee”), the life force involved in all body functions: breathing, heartbeat, metabolism and even emotions. Qi collects in the organs and travels through energy channels in the body called meridians or pathways. As long as energy flows freely through these meridians, health is maintained. When the flow of Qi is either absent, deficient, interrupted, excessive or blocked in an area, health is disrupted, resulting in illness or pain. By inserting hair-thin needles into specific “points” along these meridians, the energy is regulated and released and health is restored.
Studies indicate that acupuncture influences the central and peripheral nervous system. Evidence is shown by an increase of blood circulation and an increase of hormones called endorphins which block pain and promote healing. Among a host of factors, acupuncture affects glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in the blood, the functioning of the gastrointestinal system and the activity of the endocrine system. Acupuncture works with the body, harmonizing and balancing energy. It improves circulation and allows the body to heal itself more quickly and more completely.
It is also important that your acupuncturist is properly trained. Many other health professionals such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, dentists or your medical doctor may have done short courses in acupuncture to complement the field in which they are qualified and trained. These short courses do not compare with the extensive training given to a practitioner of traditional acupuncture. The short courses they receive do not provide the thorough Oriental medical model, which would allow them to give treatments beyond symptomatic relief.