What was once Asia’s best kept medical secret is on the rise in the U.S. According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, an estimated 3.1 million U.S. adults and 150,000 children had used acupuncture in the previous year. Between the 2002 and 2007 NHIS, acupuncture use among adults increased by approximately one million people.
The term “acupuncture” describes a family of procedures involving the stimulation of anatomical points on the body using a variety of techniques. The acupuncture technique that has been most often studied scientifically involves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or by electrical stimulation. If properly administered, the process is generally painless.
According to A Patient’s Guide to Chinese Medicine, by Joel Harvey Schreck, “Acupuncture works by promoting or directing the flows of energy and fluids (Qi and blood). These flows nourish the body the same way a farmer irrigates his fields with canals. A farmer regulates water flow via gates. In our bodies, these gates are the acupuncture points. A practitioner stimulates them to help direct this flow of energy.” Some scientists believe acupuncture stimulates the nervous system. Other experts posit that benefits result from the release of endorphins, a morphine-like substance in the body.
Practiced in China and other Asian countries for thousands of years, acupuncture is one of the key components of traditional Chinese medicine. American practices of acupuncture incorporate medical traditions from China, Japan, Korea, and other countries. Both Dr. Anahita Forati and Dr. Jamie Hampton studied this practice in China, as well as in the U.S.
For a more detailed introduction, consult http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/introduction.htm.
Commonly used as a tool to ameliorate chronic pain, studies actually demonstrate that acupuncture can be an effective method for tackling a substantial variety of conditions. The list includes, but is not limited to:
- Hay fever
- Adverse reactions to chemotherapy/radiation
- Nausea and vomiting/morning sickness
- Neck/knee/back pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis/osteoarthritis
- Abdominal pain
- Alcohol dependence/detoxification
- Bronchial asthma
- Diabetes mellitus – non-insulin dependent
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Female infertility
- Tobacco dependence
- Vascular dementia
For a more exhaustive list and results of clinical studies, visit http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Js4926e/5.html.
And to determine whether you might benefit from acupuncture, call Golden Leaf Community Acupuncture today.
-Golden Leaf Blogger