Acupuncture: Targeting Chronic Pain
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a medical art that has flourished
in China and throughout the Orient for at least
2,500 years. Acupuncture is one of the five major
the field of
traditional Chinese medicine.
How does it work?
The ancient Chinese believed that there is
universal life energy called Chi present in every
living creature. This energy is said to circulate
throughout the body along specific pathways that
are called meridians.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine
needles into points located along your body’s
meridians. The belief is that an imbalance or
blockage in the energy flow of the body causes
illnesses. By inserting needles at the correct
points, the imbalance can be rectified. So,
acupuncture stimulation of points along the
meridians regulates flow of Chi in the body, and
thereby enhances health.
Is there a scientific explanation?
So far, modern research has described various
physiological shifts following acupuncture, such
as beneficial changes in the body’s own natural
painkillers, anti-inflammatory agents, immune
system functions and hormonal activity. Despite
the powerful technology available today, even
the modern physicists cannot explain how this
ancient healing therapy works.
Is it safe?
When performed by a properly trained and
licensed practitioner, acupuncture is safe and
effective. Licensed acupuncturists know the
human anatomy well, and insert needles in a safe
fashion. The instruments used to penetrate the
skin are either pre-sterilized and disposable after
a single use, or disinfected and sterilized in an
autoclave, as surgical and dental instruments are,
after each use. Bleeding rarely occurs. Even then
the amount is minimal and in no way dangerous.
Don’t the needles hurt?
Most people who have had acupuncture would
describe it as virtually painless or far less painful
than plucking out a hair. The sensations that
follow range fro