Acupuncture is one of the primary treatment methods used in Chinese medicine, commonly used in conjunction with herbal medicine. According to classical Chinese medical theory, the body is made up of a very intricate system of thousands of primary and minute channels, or meridians, which circulate energy in regular patterns, through the deepest terrain of the body as well as over its surface.
The meridians can be influenced through acupuncture points because they are specific areas where blood and energy has a tendency to gather. The use of needles or pressure can remove obstructions in the channles, reestablishing the regular flow through the meridians.
The modern scientific explanation of why acupuncture works is that needling the acupuncture points both increases circulation and stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body's own internal regulating system.
The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body's natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.
In the West, acupuncture is most commonly associated with the treatment of pain, allergies, addictions, and infertility. However, in the hands of a well-trained practitioner it has much broader applications. Depending on the condition, acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment used, or in conjunction with other medial treatment forms in many medical and surgical disorders.
The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems, including:
- Digestive disorders: gastritis and hyperacidity, spastic colon, constipation, diarrhea.
- Respiratory disorders: sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, recurrent chest infections.
- Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, facial tics, neck pain, rib neuritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, various forms of tendinitis, low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis.
- Urinary, menstrual, and reproductive problems.
- Emotional and Mental Imbalances, such as: chronic stress, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.