Acupuncture – A General Overview

Acupuncture is a 2500 year health modality from China that involves the use of hair-thin needles to specific points in the body to treat disease. When the needles are inserted into certain areas of the body (known as acupoints), the needles are manipulated to influence the flow of Qi (metabolic functions) and blood. Once the flow Qi and blood is manipulated through the insertion of needles, it affects your nervous system to bring relief from pain. It affects the immune system to fight off illness. Your digestion is also effected then helping you utilize the nutrients your body needs to carry out its day-to-day activities. This form of medicine is not just used in China but all over the world. It is recognized by the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health as a useful modality in treating a wide range of problems from allergies and the common cold to the side-effects of chemotherapy. It is used by many Americans in the treatment of migraine headaches, muscular and skeletal pain, sciatica, psychological diseases, and menstrual irregularities.

The first reason to make acupuncture your choice of treatment is that it uses a holistic view of looking at the body rather than each organ and each disease as a separate entity. When you appear for your first visit, your main complaint is addressed along with your lifestyle, diet, emotional factors, and other signs and symptoms. Even if you have other problems that you think are unrelated to your main complaint, they may likely be a cause or a part of pattern that extremely relates to the main complaint. For example, if your migraines are not caused by stress or diet, than the root cause could come from menstrual irregularities such as PMS or a previous neck injury due a car accident or sports. Again, instead of treating the symptoms of a particular issue, we look for the root cause to eliminate the problem rather than just masking the issue. Livia Kohn says it best in her book Health and Long Life: The Chinese Way: “… patients seek an integrative approach to health, a methodology that takes their whole being, lifestyle, and social situation into account and that promises long-term relief and a high quality of health. ” Acupuncture has proven that it is clinically effective based on scientific and anecdotal evidence. It has been used as a part of China's training of its athletes back in the summer 2004 Olympics and has been proven to work effectively in alcohol, tobacco, and drug detoxification programs since the late 1970's at Lincoln Memorial Hospital in New York. Former New York Times correspondent James Reston, had acupuncture treatment for post-operative surgical pain following an appendectomy back in 1971 when he was covering former President Richard Nixon's visit to China.

Acupuncture also helps you feel better without any side-effects. In today's healthcare crisis, many of the new medicines that have appeared out on the market that have done more harm such as Avandia, Vioxx, Exubera, and others. Even though they are off the market there are many more drugs out there that cause more problems. In the media every time you see an advertisement for new type of medication, you will see at the bottom of the page or your TV screen, “side-effects include nausea, upset stomach, fatigue, drowsiness …,” and the list goes on. These side-effects alone are the number one cause of reduced productivity which leads to missed school and work days.

Lastly, acupuncture has a good cost-to-benefit ratio. Again this brings back to another sector in the current health care crisis which is the rising costs of health care which is leaving so many people in this country unable to afford health insurance. The amount of money spent equivalent on health insurance premiums, the doctor's visits, the co-payments, and the medicines adds up in thousands of dollars. However, acupuncture is an affordable solution to this dilemma since the treatments are economically priced. That alone helps patients save themselves thousands of dollars in the long-term by cutting back on the costs. I have given you many reasons on how acupuncture can help you. It is my honor to present to you the most sophisticated and unrivaled form of medicine to come out of Asia than any other medical system in the world. It is wise venture that meets the demands of the mind and body together.

Bibliography
Kohn, Livia Health and Long Life The Chinese Way 2005 Three Pines Press Magdalena, NM 87825 pg.2

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Acupuncture – Different Applications for Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient method of healing evolved from china. It is an important part of the traditional Chinese system of medicine. Since ages this is frequently used to reduce body pain, stress and various disorders in the body. The principle behind working of the acupuncture is that energy within the body flows in definite channels. These channels are located all along the body and are termed as meridians. This energy is termed as chi and for an individual to be healthy; balance of this energy is required. Acupuncture believes that any disorder in body is caused due to disruption in the path of energy flow.

Acupuncture works to open the blockages in these pathways by inserting needles in the acupuncture points lying on the meridians. These needles activate the points which are associated with body organs. This activation maintains a smooth flow of energy and increases circulation in blood. It also enhances muscle movement so that stiffness and strain in muscles are reduced.

Although concept behind acupuncture remains the same but it has different application in the whole body:

• Cosmetic acupuncture: this helps in toning the face muscles and providing them elasticity so that wrinkles are flattened. This makes an individual look young and healthy. It also works on dark spots, pimples, acne, loose skin and dark circles. It improves the complexion of skin.
• Auricular acupuncture: this involvements insertion of needles in the outer or auricular part of the ear. It is believed that auricular part contains acupuncture points that are connected to all the body parts therefore acupuncture performed in this area helps in treatment of disorders occurring in any system.
• Stress acupuncture: in this stress suppression hormones are released which gives a deep relaxing feeling and also reduces concentration of cortisol ie stress inducing hormone. This makes a person feel calm and happy.
• Neurological disorders: various disorders of brain have effective results from acupuncture. It reduces intensity of headache including migraine and cluster headache. It prevents frequent repetition of pain, activates the blocked nerves, helps in brain surgery and causes somewhat effect in tumors also.
• Digestive disorders: indigestion, constipation, gastritis, gastrointestinal infection, bleeding and ulcers. It stimulates release of gastric hormones and other intestinal hormones.
• Circulatory disorders: acupuncture is very effective in increasing efficiency and functional capacity of heart. It maintains proper rhythm of heat beat removes blockage in arteries and veins, releases hypertension. Smoothen the hard arteries and provides cure for various lethal diseases.
• Respiratory disorders: acupuncture relaxes the lung muscles thus improving contracting and relaxation of lungs. This causes deep breath and proper inhale and exhale of oxygen. With this it cures diseases like bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis and other pulmonary diseases.
• Women problems: here it eliminates release of female hormones on time and in suitable concentration that maintain a balance in menstrual periods. It helps in relieving pain during pregnancy and prepares a woman for labor.

Thus the above are the different application of acupuncture. A slight pain is felt when needles are inserted in the points otherwise it is very safe and natural method of healing without any side effects and take of harmful medicines if performed by experienced acupuncturist.

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Acupuncture Treatment – Acupuncture for Respiratory System

From ancient times, our gurus and sadhus have focused on the breath as the solution of all problems in the body. Breath is a way through which air enters in our body. This air reaches to every and every tissues of our body so if we will breathe fresh and clean air, we will be away from any type of medication and treatment. Due to the advancement of technology we can not escape living in polluted environment. As a result of which we are facing many many respiratory disorders everyday. The no. of asthmatic and allergic patients is increasing day by day.

There are many solutions for these disorders, most of them involving heavy medication. But besides medicines there are methods which do not include any drugs and are natural and safe. One of which is the acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture treatment is a very ancient process which was practiced in china and other Asian countries. Acupuncture believes that a positive energy always flow through our body. This energy flows along the pathways in the body called as meridians. There are so many meridians in our body, each of which is specific to certain oranges and affects it in positive or negative manner.

Acupuncture believes that any respiratory disorder is caused due to the disruptions in the energy pathways. This disruption is then mended by this process. The process of acupuncture is accomplished by inserting needles in the body parts. These needles are inserted into the specific acupuncture points lying on the meridians. These needles are kept inside the body for some time. During this you can feel numbness in limbs. During insertion a tingling sensation is observed. This remains for a small time only. After some time of insertion patient starts feeling comfortable and relaxation because needles entered inside starts their working. Their pinch stimulates muscle contraction and relaxation which then gains blood circulation.

Acupuncture for the respiratory system has been proved to be very beneficial as it first finds out the root cause of the problem after that strategy is developed accordingly. This does not include any side effects of traditional medicines. Respiratory disorders treated by this treatment are:

-Asthma: this is an allergic response to certain allergens like pollens, dust, smell, etc. it can be of non allergic and chronic type also. Acupuncture causes glands secretion, balance of neurotransmission and sympathetic / parasympathetic nervous system, reduces allergic responses and thus repairing whole respiratory system. It finally reduces frequency and intensity of asthmatic attacks over a period of time.

-Pulmonary disease: treated by balancing respiratory process, increasing circulation and increasing vitality of the body. It strengthens the body immune system to prevent further attack of diseases.

-Bronchitis: it is caused due to injury of lung tissues. Although acupuncture can not repair those tissues but it allows free air flow in the remaining tissue to keep them healthy. This should be repeated periodically for a long term benefit.

Besides these acupuncture has a solution for sinusitis, common cold, emphysema, cough, shortness of breath etc.

Acupuncture is very safe and health care treatment, but it is very important that your acupuncturist is an experienced person. There are various cases reported where due to a lack of experience needles inserted have led to the lethal diseases in the patients. Therefore before moving to any acupuncturist, make sure about his authenticity and work experience. Acupuncturist should be an educated one especially about the human anatomy and physiology. The acupuncture treatment although famous, has not reached everywhere in this world, still there are countries who lack experienced professionals in this field. So be contended then step forward, after all this is the question of your health.

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Acupuncture Treatment – Acupuncture for Circulation Problems

Our body is a complete unit with so many systems like circulatory, digestive, excretory, nervous and skeleton working in coordination. Although each system has a different role, they are so much connected to each other that any impairment in one system can affect the working of the other one. Among all the systems circulation system has very important role as it helps in providing all the nutrients and oxygen to the each cell of the body. This only takes the pure blood to the tissues and carries away harmful toxins and accumulated waster out of the body. If this system is disrupted due to any reason, whole body gets affected.

Acupuncture treatment provides easy and simple way to repair this system. According to its principle, body has a network of channels which carry energy all along the body in the form of chi. This energy channels are termed as meridians. Any imbalance in the chi distribution is the main reason for body illness and disorders. These imbalances can be due to physical imbalances, emotional disorders and poor diet. With acupuncture, needles are inserted in meridian points to direct the flow of chi to the most required areas of the body. With this, blockages are removed and circulation is also increased which solves all the other problems.

Poor circulation can result in various problems ranging from cold hands and feet to hardening of arteries and hypertension. Various studies have been performed to know the role of acupuncture for circulatory problems. It has been proved that it helps in increasing the efficiency and functional capacity of heart. Studies have shown that 80% of angina patients improved themselves after acupuncture treatment. Sometimes heart undergoes abnormal heartbeats like dropped beats, irregular heart rhythm, palpitations which are also corrected by this treatment. Acupuncture is effective in releasing arterial spasms especially in collateral vessels. It is beneficial in diseases like Reynaud's disease, therapy of ulcers in venous stasis. Some herbal medicines are also used along with this to detoxify certain compounds in the body.

This method of acupuncture treatment is not considered safe as sometimes insertion of infected needles can lead to lethal diseases. And some people move away from it to avoid the pain of pointed needles. But do not worry, there is just a slight tingling sensation felt while injecting but after that you feel pleasure when needles starts working inside. And infection problem occurs due to the lack of experience of your acupuncturist. If one uses sterilized needles or one time usable needles there is no worry about the infection.

Western medical practitioners have made certain modification in this acupuncture technique. Although the principle lays the same of the meridian system but they do not use needles to activate points. Several methods like electric impulses, heat, magnetic radiation, and laser beam are specifically used on the part to be treated.

You can also consult about this treatment while surfing on internet. There is a no. of health clinics which provide their services online. You can tell them about your problems and they will suggest you qualified acupuncture treatment according to your body symptoms. After that you can also find acupuncturists near by your areas so that it is easy for you to understand everything. Give this technique a chance to cure you and you will see how beneficial it is without any side effects and being so natural and healthy.

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Auricular Acupuncture – A Brief Story About Auricular Acupuncture Treatments

Traditional Chinese medicine has always given us different and unique ways of treating a particular disease. These methods are natural, safe, painless and do not include any medication. In Chinese concept body is considered to maintain a fine balance with the environment through the exchange of energy. A positive energy always flow through the body and eliminates the negative one. The whole body system works for this exchange only to maintain balance. One such method is the auricular acupuncture.

Auricular acupuncture is a Chinese concept which focuses on the outer ear for the treatment. Auricle part of ear is considered as a whole system that controls major activities of ear as well as other body organs. Auricle or outer part of ear contains several acupuncture points that are connected to the whole body. Here superfine needles are inserted in these points, insertion causes stimulation of points which generate signals, signals reaches to brain which activates the concerned organ. This activation increases the functioning of that organ by increased muscle movement, blood circulation and release of toxins.

The working of the auricular acupuncture is based on the three theories:

Anatomical model: this states that location of the auricular points on the map can be considered as of inverted fetus. Whatever messages are transferred to the body parts again leads back to auricle that making it bidirectional movement.

Delta reflex: this says that stimulation of points in auricle causes stimulation in the concerned body part. This causes an increase in temperature of that part and slightly body part causes increase in temperature of auricle. They both work as lock and key where auricular point acts as key of the lock of body organs.

The meridian concept: this is accepted in the Chinese medicine. It believes that energy flows through fixed energy pathways called meridians. Any blockage in this path is the root cause of any disease so stimulating of auricular points has the therapeutic effect on the meridians.

The western world adopts the Chinese method and principles and comes up with the same techniques with few modifications in the form of improvements. Auricular acupuncture uses needles is a Chinese based concept but now western world has developed it in the form of Auriculotherapy. Here advance technologies are used to stimulate these acupoints in the ear without using needles like laser, magnets, pressure pellets, electricity etc. it was developed by the French neurologist Paul Nogier.

The auricular acupuncture treatment has various therapeutic effects on the whole body as it contains acupoints connected to whole body. It balanced mental and emotional status by reducing anxiety, depression, stress and insomnia. Different types of physical pain like arthritis, back ache, headache, migraine, muscle tension are reduced with this. Its connectivity with the digestive and respiratory organs helps in treating indigestion, colitis, asthma, bronchitis, and constipation etc. these; it is very helpful in giving away the habit of smoking and drinking. It maintains a balance in menstrual periods in women.

For auricular acupuncture there is a special class of acupuncturist who are experts for the ear muscles. These acupuncturists have complete knowledge about the two hundred acupoints located in the outer ear. A precaution taken during this treatment is that needle should be inserted into the audit canal that reaches to the inner ear. It may cause complete hearing damage to the person so one has to be very careful during this process. It is specifically done on the fleshy part of ear also known as ear pinna.

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Acupuncture Treatment – Acupuncture for Disorders of the Mouth and Eyes

You must have heard the saying that “eyes speak a lot”. Your eyes give the complete reflection of what you think, what you feel and also about your health enough to make a person form opinion about you. So it is necessary to keep your eyes healthy. Along with that your words impress the people. For this your mouth should be odor free and with healthy gums and teeth. Acupuncture gives you a solution for keeping your eyes and mouth healthy by treating disorders. This is done without any intake of harmful medicines. Acupuncture treatment is very ancient technique that works on the meridians or energy points of the body.

Acupuncture treatment for eyes includes working on the certain acupuncture points located in that area. When acupuncture is done on those areas, they stimulate circulation of energy along the qi pathways and more blood reaches to your eyes. With blood all nutrients and hormones also get there which keep your eyes healthy and disease free. The acupuncture points are located in areas of eyes like inner corner of eye (UB-1), depression at the inner end of eyebrow (UB-2), midpoint of the eyebrow, outside of the eyebrow and at the corners of the eyes.

These points are helpful in treating diseases like cataract, night blindness, blurred vision, conjunctivitis, glaucoma, redness, excessive tearing, swelling and pain, facial paralysis, photo phobia etc. Besides the acupuncture therapy, you can also take care of your eyes in general. Drink about 8-0 glass of water to keep your body hydrated. Regular exercise improvements proper circulation in eyes that providing them nutrition. Avoid smoking, always blink your eyes frequently while watching TV or working on computer. Try to include some special nutrients routinely in your diet like vitamin A, B, E, bioflavonoid, carotenoid compounds, omega's 3 and other essential minerals. These are simple endeavors which can make your eyes lively and could make them speak a lot about you.

On our face all muscles are connected to each other, therefore if there is any disorder in one organ its pain reaches to another one also. There fore acupuncture points for seeing eyes can also be used for treating mouth disorders. Various other neck and ear points are also used for mouth problems. Various mouth disorders treated by acupuncture are:

Toothache: this can vary from a mild pain to strong one that can make you uncomfortable in eating, speaking, laughing and chewing. Acupuncture mainly is done near the affected area which gains circulation and detoxifies the meridian of that area. It is very effective in alleviating this pain.

Gingivitis: it is the inflammation of gums in the mouth resulting in bleeding, redness, mouth odor and acute pain. This occurs due to the deficiency of nutrients and blood in that area. Acupuncture promotes more energy flow so that blood flow is generated.

Pharyngitis: it is the inflammation of pharynx also termed as sore throat. It is more prone to children due to its tendency to get infected easily. Acupuncture removes the cough and transforms the phlegm to clear the respiratory passages. It also strengthens the immune system to prevent further attack of infection.

The acupuncture for disorders of the mouth and eyes is a sensitive issue, so you have to be careful while choosing your acupuncture specialist. Make sure that your acupuncturist is well versed with all the techniques.

Needles inserted in such urgent areas require extreme patience and precautions. Go for the well established name and fame with assurance from the past results.

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3 Things About Acupuncture

Acupuncture is one of the best alternative medicines that are out there today. However, many people still do not have a thorough understanding of what that type of treatment brings to the table. To help you know more about this practice and how it works, here are five things that you should know about:

The body is treated as a whole.
In acupuncture, the body is treated as the sum of its parts. The parts or systems of the body must be in harmony in order to go out and have a healthy and successful life. However, when the balance is disturbed, then that is the time that the body will feel ill and that the body will be feeling bad. One disturbance from a body part is enough to make a disturbance.

There is a connection between physical and emotional.
There is a connection between the physical aspect of the body and the emotional aspects of our bodies. The disease of the physical body can cause emotional symptoms and the emotional diseases can cause physical symptoms. This is one of the things that separates this practice from modern medicine which beats the physical as purely physical. That is why many treatments in acupuncture also involve changes in the lifestyle of the person. This is because of this type of approach to healing.

The treatment is different for different individuals.
Not only is the treatment for every disease different but the treatment for every individual is also different. This is because the acupuncture expert recognizes the different factors that may affect the imbalance in your body system. Depending on your lifestyle and emotional state, the treatment will be different for each person that will be consulting.

These are just some of the things that are in the core of the belief in acupuncture. Learn this well and know that acupuncture is a treatment like no other.

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2 Acupuncture Facts That You Don’t Know

Needles. That is the first thing that pops to anyone's had when they hear the term acupuncture. However, there are a lot of things that are not known about acupuncture. Needles are just the tip of the iceberg and you have a lot of things to know and discover about this type of medical practice.

To learn more about acupuncture, here are some of the things that I am sure you do not know about acupuncture:

1. Acupuncture looks at the body as an interconnected system.

There are a lot of things and systems in your body. In acupuncture all these systems are working in unison in order to achieve harmony and good health. If one of the system is sick it is possible that it will not affect that system but it will affect the other systems of the body. To simplify things, acupuncture insects the human body like a big river. When a part of a river is not functioning properly, the problem often is not that region itself but can be seen in other regions. Acupuncture is like this because it believes that the chi flows from one system to another and if the flow of chi is disturbed then the whole body is affected.

2. Acupuncture acknowledges the fact that the physical is affected by emotional aspects and vice-versa.

The physical ills of a person can and is also determined by how he is mentally or emotionally. In acupuncture the emotion and the physical is not mutually exclusive. They affect one another and a person will not be cured if one of the two is not in top order.

These are just two of the facts about acupuncture that are not well known to the public. If you take time to learn this practice then you can go out and discover new things about this method.

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Acupuncture Solves Osteoporosis Discomfort Once and For All

Do you know that according to research, people who are afflicted with osteoporosis have a greater likelihood to have vertigo as well? This is because vertigo is caused by an imbalance in the inner ear that causes dizziness. Vertigo is said to be the result of having loose calcium carbonate crystals which move about in the inner ear's sensing tubes.

Osteoporosis occurs when the bones in our skeletal system deteriorate because of lost density. People afflicted with this disease, mostly women, are highly prone to being injured at the waist, spine or hip, because their bones have become very brittle. Acupuncture is known to be a great alternative treatment for osteoporosis. In Chinese medicine, osteoporosis is related to our kidney. So when undergoing acupuncture as treatment for osteoporosis, Chinese herbs are also given to the patient to strengthen his or her renal system.

Acupuncture and Kidney Energy

The lower back is the location of the kidney's energy in our body. With a combination of acupuncture and herbs, the pain is eradicated and bone density is increased. Herbs are used to take effect in the kidneys because that is the source of our marrow, which in turn, makes up our bones. Nourishment strengthens the kidneys so whatever is good for the kidney is also good for the bones, nails, teeth and hair. So if a person complaining of back pain also happens to have bad teeth, thin hair and brittle nails, then you know the culprit.

The goal of Acupuncture is to prevent osteoporosis prior to its sunset. There are many ways to prevent osteoporosis; Having a healthy, well-rounded diet is one of the most enjoyable and easiest steps to take. However, it is an unfortunate fact that not all foods are good for the bones. In fact, certain foods can actually damage the bones when consumed excessively.

About 55% of individuals aged over 50 years old are prone to osteoporosis, regardless of their ethnic background. Osteoporosis is more prevalent among Asian women. Some of the herbs prescribed by Chinese doctors that are good for osteoporosis are: dura-bone elixir, vitamin k, magnesium, vitamin D, and calcium.

Acupuncture stimulates specific points to enhance the health of the bones and replace tissues that have been lost, to avoid the decrease of density in the bones. Acupuncture is also used to make muscles stronger, enabling better support of our body weight, thus minimizing pressure to the bones. Acupuncture is proven to ease back pain.

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Acupuncture Treatments for Chronic Back Pain Works Wonders

Do you suffer from chronic back pain? It's no walk in the park. In fact, it can be quite debilitating. All those trips to specialists, going through expensive rehab and taking medications while dealing with the pain can be quite an ordeal. The good news is, there are new and better alternatives that offer relief from this kind of pain. Acupuncture for Back Pain is now available in Chinese Medicine Clinics near you.

Traditional Chinese Medicine studies and makes use of the pathology and physiology of the human body. Basic TCM boasts of two fundamental features: holistic visions and treating identified causes. TCM does not regard disease in the same way that western medicine does.

Although our body organs have different functions, they do work in conjunction. When these regular bodily functions are disrupted, diseases occur. Acupuncture stimulates the body's external areas. TCM also claims that when a person's environment is altered in any way, there are corresponding changes in the body rhythm as well.

According to TCM, the body organs have an interrelationship, which is attuned with the environment. Long-term TCM practitioners explain that several factors result in an imbalance in a person's body. TCM gives clinical indications by examining the symptoms of the person's disorders. Through these symptoms, causative factors may be diagnosed.

Fundamental Patterns of Traditional Chinese Medicine

TCM does not label or diagnoseose disorders and diseases in the same way that western medicine does. According to TCM, a prostate problem is caused by dampness; hence, this disorder is treated according to its identified root cause. Blood and liver disorders cause migraines. A practitioner of TCM diagnoses the situations based on the patterns which they manifest. The eight fundamental patterns are: yin and yang, deficiency, excess, cold or heat, exterior and interior. TCM says that disorders in the spirit, body and mind are dictated by these patterns.

Herbs play an important role in Chinese medicine, and the correct choice can help cure an ailment. There are in excess of 50,000 herbs that may be found in China, but only a small percentage of this is used. Western medicine says that herbal use could be insufficient in treating ailments, but the truth is, the use of synthetic drugs is even more harmful. It is true that not all organic and natural substances are safe. Another essential part of TCM is Acupuncture. This is a science that is as ancient as Traditional Chinese Medicine . The Chinese people and other Asian regions swear by its effectiveness.

Chronic back pain is oftentimes caused by a psychosomatic or perpetuated process. As we all know, western science seems unable to get rid of this ailment. An estimated $ 39 billion is spent by people who suffer from chronic back pain. Acupuncture costs relatively less than western-type treatment, and provides significant relief from pain for a longer period. This type of TCM treatment is supported by studies and research. Neverheless, in contrast with western medicine which offers back exercises, physical therapy, chiropractic care and medicines, acupuncture is still most preferred by people who have tried it.

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Acupuncture Treatment and QiGong

Traditional Chinese Medicine, or simply referred to as TCM is an umbrella term that refers to not only treatments and procedures used to treat medical conditions, but also the diet, lifestyle, and nutritional habits based on traditional Chinese beliefs. TCM is used by 25% of the world's population, which is why Denver acupuncture clinics and TCM centers around the world continue to thrive. TCM is more appropriately viewed as a health care system instead of medical approach because it is comprised of various nutritional and medical procedures, treatments, traditions, as well as lifestyle.

Acupuncture

One of the practices considered as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine is acupuncture, which involves the insertion of needles into different parts of the body for the purposes of healing, pain and stress relief, and medical treatment. According to TCM beliefs, illnesses are caused by external obstructions that cause imbalance in the body's natural flow and processes. The insertion of needles in specific areas of the body is designed to correct these imbalances and restore the body to its natural functioning state.

Acupuncture is practiced with the patient lying down, and may be asked by the acupuncture practitioner to remove items of clothing depending on the condition to be treated and the body parts that will be involved in the treatment. Due to its highly specialized nature, one would have to be educated, trained, and certified in order to practice acupuncture. Contrary to popular belief, acupuncture is not a painful process as long as the needles are inserted properly in the right places. So if you want to try acupuncture as an alternative medical healing method, make sure you find a Denver acupuncture center that has qualified practitioners who are knowledgeable in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Qi Gong

Qi Gong is the origin of Tai Chi, which explains why the movements involved in the two practices are a lot similar. Qi Gong involves doing slow, fluid movements that are aimed to improve blood circulation and unclog vessels that cause imbalance in the body's energy flow. However, Qi Gong is practiced not only for its physical and medical effects. In fact, Qi Gong could be more accurately described as a term used to refer to different physical and mental training systems that originated in China. It is practiced and used for medical (preventive and curative) purposes, as well as for meditation and self-enlightenment, and martial arts.

Medical Qi Gong is similar to acupuncture in that the Qi Gong practitioner also uses the same map of the body to locate energy points, vessels, and organ systems. There are certain forms of Qi Gong that have been shown to be effective in treating high blood pressure. As mentioned, Qi Gong is also practiced for meditative purposes, so it will also be beneficial for those who want to de-stress, gain focus, and achieve self-enlightenment. There are different forms of Qi Gong and it can be performed in different positions; sitting down, standing up, or lying down.

If you're looking for an alternative, more natural treatment for your illness or condition, we suggest you look for an acupuncture clinic or center that employs TCM-certified practitioners and therapists. Some Denver acupuncture clinics also offer more than just your regular acupuncture treatments; some may also offer nutritional counseling and Chinese herbal treatments.

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What Is Acupuncture All About?

Acupuncture is one type of oriental medicine that is very commonly used in the world. It is also one of the oldest practices that is passed on from ancient times. It is said that the acupuncture practice started two thousand years ago. It originated from the orient and is currently being done worldwide.

How is acupuncture done?

Acupuncture is done when needles are inserted into a person's body. You can do this in almost any position. The needles can be inserted while standing up or while sitting down. This may look scary at first but you need to keep in mind that there is a reason for this method. In the practice of acupuncture, the body is divided into different sectors, each sector of the body then corresponds to a certain body part or a certain organ.

What happens in acupuncture?

What happens when the needle is inserted in your body is that it can improve your health by removing the different imbalances in the certain sector of the body. It is important to know that there are a lot of aspects that happen when you are using acupuncture. The most common phenomenon that occurs when a person is going for an acupuncture treatment for the first time is that they are shocked to know that needles are not inserted to the part of the body that you are complaining of. Do not worry and be sure that your acupuncture doctor knows what he is doing.

Is this based on science?

The traditional form of acupuncture is not based on the modern knowledge of physiology and anatomy. However, this does not prove that acupuncture is not effective. Many studies have proven that acupuncture is legitimate and that it is effective.

Acupuncture may be odd at first but it is very effective. While it may be very scary at first, you can be assured that the effects of acupuncture is legitimate.

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Stealth Acupuncture

Names have been changed for privacy purposes:

So a funny thing happened the other day. Granted, as an acupuncturist, awkward situations, and hysteria-pepered-hilarity are things you get used to; after all, your job involves sticking needles into people. It's not like being an accountant.

But this incident can be chalked up as a first.

I got my first call on from Mary's husband on a Friday. He wanted to know if acupuncture could help with Sciatica (painful inflammation of the sciatic nerve which begins in the lower back and runs through the buttock into the leg). This is the largest nerve in the body and if something goes wrong with it can cause excruciating pain (as you can imagine). After a fair amount of backing and forthing about where and when we were going to set up an appointment, I ended up tootling through to Mary's place in the Beetle with a set of needles packed in my bag.

When I arrived, I found her pretty much confined to her bed from pain. She had visited the doctor a number of times but gotten no relief. On her latest visit, she had been told that she would need x-rays to check if her disks were collapsing but after a couple of hours waiting for a radiologist, she had been so sore that she'd thought 'bugger this for a lark 'and gone home.

Seeing a new client is always a little awkward. There's typically a fault aura of suspicion (acupuncture is not exactly mainstream) and clients will often try to lock you into some kind of guarantee. Acupuncture works extremely well, but even the most brilliant surgeon essentially fumbles along with the mystery that is the human body as best he can, unable to guarantee anything. I normally start with a new client by asking them if they've ever had acupuncture before, and if they have not, giving a short introductory brief to manage expectations, familiarize them with the procedure and let them get an idea of ​​who this strange person is who will be … well, stabbing them repeatedly.

In Mary's case, I skipped this step. She was obviously in too much pain to be having a casual pre-session chat; the priority here was getting her comfortable as quickly as possible.

The first challenge was to get her on top of the covers so that I could reach the acupuncture points I needed to work on. The acupuncture fix for sciatica involves inserting a two inch long needle into the point 'Haun Tiao' (GB30) and shaking it around a little to unblock the energy flows in the area. Huan Tiao is parked (brazenly) smack bang in the middle of the human buttock.

Mary slowly and painfully got out under the covers and hobbled around the bed, trying to help me straighten it out. I felt really sorry for her. Every step she took was accompanied by an “ooh” an “ah” or a grunt of pain and her movements were severely restricted.

Sometimes we got her lying face down (not comfortable) with her buttocks proudly jutted towards the heavens through her pj's for me to have my evil way with them. I palpated her glutes to find the exact spot and then swiftly inserted the long needle through the thin pajama material. I was rewarded with mild exclamation of surprise from the direction of Mary's face, now buried firmly in her pillows.

I unwrapped the second long needle from its sterile packaging and inserted into the other buttock with no reaction – so far so good, and then inserted a couple of other needles behind her knees, and in her ankles to support the action of Haun Tiao.

It was at this point that she suddenly piled her face out of the pillow and said; “What are you doing to me?”

Now the tone of voice used by a person tells you a lot about what they actually mean when they ask you a question like that. This was not an inquiry for explanation of process or the response of someone who fees a lot of energy coursing through their body from the effects of the treatment. She was in that “what the hell is going on here ???” place. She wanted to know what I was up to. Immediately.

“Um” I said. “acupuncture?”
“Yes but why is it pulling like that?” she asked.
OK that explained it. She was just feeling the “de chi”, a sensation often experienced by acupuncture patients, which feels like their muscles are contracting independently of their will. It's a little weird, but not painful.

“Oh that's nothing to worry about” I said, “It's just energy moving in your body because of the needle”

“Did you just stick a needle into me?” she asked incredulously.
Well of course I had. What had she been expecting?
It was at this point that I realized that Mary and I had something of a sever communication breakdown. We'd missed each other as gracefully as Hailey's comet misses the earth every seventy odd years.

“Um …” I said inadvertently, “this is acupuncture … um it's sticking needles into people for um … pain relief”
Yes, I was completely aware in that moment how wacky that sounded.

“Oh my god!” she said “I though you were just going to massage me or something!”

Well.

The deed was done, so the only thing left was to let the needles take effect. I sat down on the corner of the bed and dutifully performed the previously omitted preliminary chat. From her reaction, I could see that Mary thought this acupuncture malarkey was simply the kookiest idea she'd ever hear. At the end of it, she asked, “well what do we do now?”
“We wait” I said. And we did.

Considering that she had had no idea what was going to go down, she took it extremely well. Or maybe she thought I was mad and she had better behave before I started throwing things around the room. Either way, she lay still andave me good feedback about the sensations created by the needling. Every now and then, I asked her to stretch towards her nightstand to assess if and how fast her pain was clearing, and quickly, the movement became more comfortable for her. She started relaxing and talked to me about her family and her work. By the end of the session I think she'd decided I was OK.

Then it was time for the acid test, otherwise known as “ok I'm going to take the needles out now and let's see if it's worked”
It had.

Brilliantly.
I know this because Mary kept on saying so. Granted she was a little more flabbergasted than I Did have preferred, but it was good to see her marching up and down her bedroom and telling me “look it worked!” bending down and touching her toes and saying, “look here! It actually worked!” and leaving from side to side with her arms out and saying … you get the picture.

I did not hear from Mary again. Weirdly, that's a good thing when you're an acupuncturist, but sometimes it would be nice to have a phone call or so, just to confirm that the results have held. I got my little reward a week later from a friend of hers who told me Mary is still absolutely fine and not suffering any lasting trauma from the strange goings on in her bedroom that Tuesday night.

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Why I Disagree With Louise Hay

I often get clients coming through to me with a backache who lift an eyebrow meaningfully at me and say, “financial stress at the moment”. Or who come with a bladder infection and shrug resignedly saying, “I know this is because of my fear of letting go” (obviously after having dutifully gone to page 154 of their copy of 'You Can Heal Your Life' by Louis Hay and looked their ailment up in the book's long list of emotional correspondences).

I know that these clients are trying to take some responsibility for their disease and this is understandable, since the popular view is that physical disease has its root in negative emotions and assures that true healing starts at an emotional level.

The problem with this philosophy is that it promises to place the client under undue stress; logic dictates that if your emotions are causing your disease, you need to change them before full healing can take effect. But emotions are not something that we do. They are something we feel, they are our natural responses to our environment and as such, provide a healthy yardstick for assessing events in our lives.

We only know that we are being mistreated when we start to feel bad in an unhealthy business or personal relationship. We only know that we have mistreated someone else when we get that creeping sense of guilt. Balanced positive and negative emotions are a valuable, valid part of our being; they teach us how to live.

Coming from a New-Agey background in healing, I struggled with this concept of emotional causality while I was studying acupuncture and repeatedly * ahem * needed my teacher with questions such as “Will acupuncture help if the cause of disease is emotional?” and “What if someone has relevant grief – should they receive acupuncture to balance it?” I just could not seem to put it all together in my head.

In his ineffable patience, he would give me the same answer every time. “Everything comes from chi (energy)”. Sometimes I understood, but it took me damn near my whole acupuncture course to truly grass it.

Which is why I was quite amused to find that another healer had also butted heads with this idea. The healer in question is one Dr David Servan-Schreiber, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and author of the fascinating book, 'Healing without Freud or Prozac' in which he explores alternative ways of overcoming depression without psychoanalysis or drugs. In the book, he tells the story of how, in his process of discovery, he visited a Tibetan acupuncturist in Dharamsala to ask how depression and anxiety are treated with acupuncture.

“You Westerners,” (said the Tibetan healer) “have a vision of emotional problems that's all topsy-turvy. gain or loss and irregular heartbeats as if they were physical manifestations of an emotional problem. truth, both of these views are wrong. Emotional symptoms and physical ones are simply two sides of the same thing: an imbalance in the circulation of energy, the chi. ”

This is why acupuncture is so effective in treating anxiety, depression and a host of other psycho-emotional disorders. In treating the chi, you bring the whole being into balance – physical, emotional and mental.

As I read this, I thought of how often my teacher had repeated his minimalistic version of that same answer to me. We always want to find some kind of reason for disease – much as we do in an office where some process has gone wrong. We want to know who did not send the fax, who spilled the coffee on the contract or who took the call that lost the business. But when we think in this way, we develop a false sense of a division in ourselves. It's not one part of the being that makes the other sick; it is the whole being that lives in a state of harmony or becomes disharmonized. The Buddha explained it eloquently and gracefully when he said: “In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.”

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The History and Benefits of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a technique wherey inserting needles into specific points on the body will reduce pain and increase the body's own ability to heal itself. Much like several of the other alternative medicines, acupuncture has not been readily accepted in Western culture. It has only started to become more recognizable in the last three decades.

Acupuncture origin in China thousands of years ago. Acupuncture, much like many other Chinese medicines are based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM). TCM beats the body as a whole composed of several system functions. The organs are split into two systems called the yin, solid organs and the yang, hollow organs. The balance between these two systems is easily disturbed and can become blocked or stagnant causing disease. Qi, which is known as the bodies vital energy and blood flow through the body systems called meridians. Acupuncture points are positioned along the meridians of the body so when qi or blood becomes dormant acupuncture needling can release the stagnation and restore the body to balance.

Acupuncture is about balancing or returning the body's balance of qi. Therefore whenever there are signs of imbalance such as pain, aches, sickness, or injury, acupuncture is the prescribed treatment. Acupuncture tumors a variety of diseases and disorders such as headaches, migraines, low back pain, whiplash, cold, flu, PMS, tendonitis, arthritis, etc.

A traditional acupuncturist uses four methods of diagnosis, inspection, auscultation and olfaction, inquiring, and palpation. Inspection examines the face and tongue. TCM believes that the tongue holds valuable clues to the imbalance through the body. The shape, size, tension, color and coating of the tongue all correspond to specific imbalances. Auscultation and olfaction refer to listening and smelling the body sounds and odors. Inquiring requires the acupuncturist to ask seven questions about the person's symptomology. They include chills and fever, perspiration, appetite, thirst and taste, defecation and urination, pain, sleep, and menses and leucorrhea. Lastly palpation reiterates the examination of the body for tenderness and of the pulse pressure on the radial pulses.

Once acupuncture has been recommended, the acupuncturist will determine which pressure points will be needed. The needles used by modern acupuncturists are disposable stainless steel usually with plastic or wound wire covering the upper third of the needle. This gives the acupuncturist something to hold onto while inserting the needle. The needles are inserted at the tender points where qi or blood are believed to be blocked at a depth of about 3-5mm. Patients who have experienced acupuncture description a feeling of a twinge or pressure once the needle is inserted, as well as sensitivity in the area of ​​the body where the needle has been inserted and immediate relief of the pain that they were feeling. Sessions normally last 30 minutes and treatment frequency will be determined based on the condition being treated.

When looking for an acupuncture physician or facilities in your area make sure the physician is a doctor of acupuncture. Check the doctor's credentials before starting treatment. If you do not feel comfortable do not hesitate to look for another physician.

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