The world is full of people in severe pain that will pay whatever amount for treatments and procedures to alleviate the pain, even if the treatment may not be accepted worldwide as conventional medicine. A perfect example of this is acupuncture. Acupuncture is the practice of pricking ones skin with needles in certain parts or points in the body in order to alleviate some symptoms associated with many illnesses. It is not a sure fired way to cure or prevent illnesses or diseases and it does not work the same way for everybody, this is why it is still in the experimental phase and it is not yet covered y medical insurance.
The term acupuncture describes a family of procedures involving stimulation of anatomical points on the body by a variety of techniques. American practices of acupuncture incorporate medical traditions from China, Japan, Korea, and other countries. The acupuncture technique that has been most studied scientifically involves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or by electrical stimulation.
Acupuncture can be traced all the way back to the Han dynasty (from 202BC to 220 AC). Acupuncture has been practiced for more than 2000 years though some people believe that it has been used for 4000. The most important thing to happen in the history of Acupuncture occurred during the period of Huang Di -The Yellow Emperor (2697-2597 BC). In a famous dialogue between Huang Di and his physician Qi Bo, they discussed the whole spectrum of the Chinese Medical Arts. These conversations would later become the monumental text - The Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperors Classic of Internal Medicine). The Nei Jing is the earliest book written on Chinese Medicine. Around 1000 BC, during the Shang Dynasty, hieroglyphs showed evidence of Acupuncture and Moxibustion. Bronze needles were excavated from ruins, but the bian stones remained the main form of needle. When acupuncture first caught the eye of America it was in 1970 when China and the United States mended their relationship.
Between 10 and 15 million Americans spend approximately $500 million a year on acupuncture treatments for such things as:
Bladder and Kidney problems
Acupuncture does not work the same way for everybody because we all have different bodies, which is why it is extremely important to discuss acupuncture treatments with a doctor beforehand.
Comprises a needle tip, body and handle which can be made with different materials.
They can have different lengths and thickness, sometimes coated with silicone.
They may be packed in bunches or individually.
The type of needle or packaging you use is a personal choice and can depend on price.
For those people who are afraid of needles, but would still like to have these kind of procedures done there are different ways in which you can still produce stimulation, such as, heat, pressure, friction, suction, and electromagnetic impulses.
Acupuncture doesn’t have to be an exclusive treatment, it can also be used as complimentary therapy in conjunction with conventional western medicine. An alternative treatment such as acupuncture is sought out usually when the pain is near its most severe level and usually after the patient has tried different medical treatments without positive results.
Using well established meridian energy points, EFT allows users to use their fingertips, rather then needles to stimulate these energy centers. Not only have these acupuncture meridian points been used for thousands of years, new scientific evidence discloses some important characteristics of these acupuncture points.
Areas of designated electrical sensitivity that have been shown to be effective in the treatment of specific health problems. They have been mapped out by the Chinese over a period of over 2000 years.
Five Transporting Points system describes the flow of qi in the channels using a river analogy, and ascribes function to points along this flowline according to their location. This system describes qi bubbling up from a spring and gradually growing in depth and breadth like a river flowing down from a mountain to the sea horse.
Jing-well points represent the place where the qi "bubbles" up. These points are always the first points on the yang channels or last points on the yin channels and with exception of Kid-1 YongQuan all points are located on the tips of fingers and toes. The Nan Jing and Nei Jing described jing-well points as indicated for "fullness below the heart" (feeling of fullness in the epigastric or hypochondrium regions) and disorders of the zang organs (yang organs).
Ying-spring points are where the qi "glides" down the channel. The Nan Jing and Nei Jing described ying-spring points as indicated for heat in the body and change in complexion.
Shu-stream points are where the qi "pours" down the channel. Shu-stream points are indicated for heaviness in the body and pain in the joints, and for intermittent diseases.
Jing-river points are where the qi "flows" down the channel. Jing-river points are indicated for cough and dyspnoea, chills and fever, diseases manifesting as changes in voice, and for diseases of the sinews and bones.
He-sea points are where the qi collects and begins to head deeper into the body. He-sea points are indicated for counterflow qi and diarrhea, and for disorders resulting from irregular eating and drinking.
Acupuncture theories are based on extensive investigations in laboratories and they have become very popular. In controlled experiments evidence has shown that the procedure is effective in certain conditions.
According to the AAMA (American Academy of Medical Acupuncture) approximately 3,500 doctors and from 11 to 12 hundred acupuncturists, not doctors use this practice in the United States.
Although many studies have documented the effects of acupuncture in the body, it is not completely certain how it works within the structures of occidental medicine. In general it is believed that the acupuncture points stimulate the central nervous system which could provoke more pain or liberation of chemicals inside the muscles, spinal cord, and the brain. These biochemical changes can enhance the curing process of the body and help both physical and emotional health
One of the greatest benefits of acupuncture is that it has limited side effects and risks.
It's fairly non-invasive; you don't need to take medication or surgery for it to do its job.
It increases the energy level of the body.
It brings the body into homeostasis and allows people to really feel better so that if they do have pain they don't experience the same level of pain.
Done properly, acupuncture rarely causes serious side effects. Many people feel a brief stinging sensation, like a pinprick, during insertion of the needles. Others experience a dull ache around the needle after it goes in.
The possible side effects are very minimal and include syncope (fainting), infection from bacteria on the skin or a non-sterile needle, and bruising from stimulating a minor blood vessel.
Other problems documented by researchers resulted from mistakes made by the acupuncturists .
A practitioner should inform you about the estimated number of treatments needed and how much each will cost. If this information is not provided, ask for it. Treatment may take place over a few days or for several weeks or more. Physician acupuncturists may charge more than nonphysician practitioners.
Acupuncture is one of the CAM therapies that are more commonly covered by insurance. However, you should check with your insurer before you start treatment to see whether acupuncture will be covered for your condition and, if so, to what extent. Some insurance plans require preauthorization for acupuncture .
This interview was conducted in order to get a better understanding of peoples reactions to acupunture procedures. Both peoples participated voluntarily and have given me permission to presnet the information and disclose their names.
Alexandra : What can you tell me about acupuncture?
Angela Santiago : It’s unconventional, but it works.
Carlos Baez : It’s a very functional procedure, it cures you at the moment and it works directly with the affected area. No pain.
Alexandra: Have you ever had any acupuncture procedures done?
AS : Yes. I had severe back pain which wouldn’t go away with medicine, injections, massages, physical therapy or chiropractics. So I went to a doctor for acupuncture.
CB : Yes because I had a back muscle sprain and spasm.
Alexandra : How was the experience?
AS: The needles don’t hurt when they are inserted, but when the doctor twists them after insertion or adds electrical current it is a little bothersome.
CB : There was a detailed explanation, by the doctor, on how the needles were going to hit a specific muscle. You receive electricity to activate muscles that weren’t working before in order to reactivate and relax the injured muscle.
Alexandra : Do you consider it effective?
AS : Absolutely. Acupuncture relieved my back pain almost completely after one session whereas I had spent months trying different procedures and nothing worked.
CB: Yes, it’s very effective and worked right away.
Alexandra : Would you do it again?
AS : Yes.
CB : Yes even though it is very expensive.
The NIH (National Institutes of Health) has found that acupuncture helps, whether by itself or in combination with traditional therapy, to treat addiction, headaches, menstruation, and many other pains a person may experience.
As we know, acupuncture has not been proven to cure diseases or illnesses, but it has been proven to be completely effective when it comes to short term pain relief.
Even though it is expensive (because insurance does not yet cover it) people still do it. If it has been around for thousands of years it must be for a reason. Acupuncture may not be completely explicable, but one day hopefully it will be.