Although we, in the west view Acupuncture with suspicion and even downright horror, this ancient art has been extremely beneficial in reliving pain and discomfort for millions of people around the world. Look at it like this. If you were in great pain or discomfort you wouldn't you do anything to relieve that pain. So in that situation wouldn't you undergo Acupuncture. In fact that is probably how many other people discovered that this ancient Chinese technique really does work.
Although the science behind it is not clear, many health practitioners in the western world are now embracing Acupuncture as a revolutionary method of helping their patients. To try and understand how it works you must try and understand the traditional Chinese medicine belief in energy flowing around the body. This energy, called Qi, circulates around the body using pathways called meridians. These meridians run very close to the surface of the skin in many areas and can be accessed by needles. Much like plumbing, these pipes can get blocked or go the wrong, causing health problems. The insertion of needles at these points is aimed to help open these blocks and get the energy flowing again.
Modern science has found little evidence to prove the existence of these energy channels, but this is the technique that has been used effectively throughout China for thousands of years.
Acupuncture can be divided into two groups. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Medical Acupuncture. There is very little difference between them, for the traditional method longer needles are used and inserted deeper in order to reach the acupuncture points.
Medical acupuncture as its known is really a westernised, watered down version with practitioners using shorter needles and the insertions are shallower. They also tend to use fewer needles and leave them inserted for shorter periods of time. Their application of needles is not based on the traditional acupuncture points, but on anatomic data. The list of ailments that can be treated by Acupuncture grows by the day, one of the fastest growing sectors is Acupuncture for infertility. At one time it was a case of people who were troubled by their infertility problems, having most likely already tried numerous other alternative therapies and treatments, they felt they had nothing else to lose. However that has all changed with the high success rate offered with Acupuncture. Whether its a case of low sperm count in the man, or poor egg ovulation in the woman, acupuncture for infertility works. Weight loss is another growing problem that is being addressed. When undergoing Acupuncture for weight loss the areas where the needles will be inserted will be in the ear and in two of three body points. These areas could also include the mouth, the stomach, the lung, the spleen, kidney or thyroid. The needles that are inserted into these vital points will stimulate the body to release endorphins thus helping the person control their appetite. The patient will have to come back for regular treatment and have to pay attention to their, diet and exercise regularly as needles can only do so much to control a persons weight. As with any other weight loss programme, the amount lost and how fast its lost will depend on many individual factors. Are you a smoker ? Want to give up. Acupuncture to stop smoking is achieving excellent results. The treatment only takes about an hour, and when the needles are removed, you are advised to wear ear magnets so your session continues even when you leave the clinic. Most smokers will have to come to the clinic 4 to 6 times before seeing any significant results. Just to give you an idea, one study shows that the respondents reported a decrease in the number of cravings to smoke just after one or two sessions. Seven out of 10 of the respondents were able to kick the habit after 5 or 6 sessions. Other ailments that are treated by Acupuncture include sciatica, autism, stress, PMS, asthma, chronic pains, back pain, ear, nose, throat, respiratory, gastrointestinal, eye, nervous system and muscular disorders, and just about everything else. Before practising Acupuncture all Acupuncture specialists have to be trained and undergo various levels of training and specialised studies. Accredited Acupuncture schools can be found throughout the world but you will have to search a little for them. Part of the curriculum will also include basic courses in traditional medicine covering subjects such as anatomy, biosciences, medical terminology, herbal medicine, and acupressure. In some schools, they may require students to also learn about nutrition and various kinds of other research. As with most professions, the novice will spend time with, and learning from an experienced practitioner. It is an alternative and natural treatment, compared with pills and other prescriptive drugs it has no harmful side effects or long term problems, and no chance for an addiction to occur. Acupuncture is probably the most safest treatment around and has been proven to be one of the most effective treatments available today. Irrelevant of what health problems you have, book up a session with your nearest Acupuncture specialist – you will be pleasantly surprised.