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