Acupuncture is a therapeutic method that involves the insertion of fine needles through the skin. Its purpose is to encourage natural healing, reduce pain and improve function. There is no injection of any substance.
Acupuncture originated in China about 4,000 years ago. It was developed as part of Chinese Medicine which is a unique system of diagnosing and treating disease based on restoring balance to the flow of “chi” in acupuncture meridians or channels. Western scientists have discovered that acupuncture stimulates the production of endorphins, which increase relaxation and stimulate balance in the body’s internal regulation systems. Acupuncture stimulates natural healing and promotes physical and emotional well-being.
Acupuncture is effective in treating a variety of painful disorders. For example, studies have shown that acupuncture can reduce pain and improve function of osteoarthritis of the knee. In addition, the World Health Organization has identified a wide range of medical conditions that would benefit from acupuncture treatment. They include digestive disorders, respiratory disorders, neurological and musculoskeletal disorders (headaches, neck/back pain, tendonities, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, sciatica, arthritis), insomnia and addictions.
A correct diagnosis is important before a decision is made regarding treatment of whether a trial of acupuncture is appropriate. Please see your family physician, rheumatologist or other specialist to confirm your diagnosis. If you decide to pursue a trial of several acupuncture treatments, you are encouraged to continue seeing your family physician for follow-up.
Chinese herbal medicine is as ancient as acupuncture and is a major aspect of traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture treatments are best combined with Chinese herbs. Herbs enhance and augment the therapeutic effects of an acupuncture treatment.