Acupuncture originated in China over 5,000 years ago. It is practiced world wide in treating various ailments and used as a preventative form of medicine. The World Health Organization has recognized acupuncture as an effective form of treatment for: ear, nose, and throat disorders, eye disorders, respiratory, gastrointestinal,nervous system and muscular disorders etc.
The essence of acupuncture treatment is improving the overall well being of the patient, as well as the treatment of specific symptoms It has been used in treating allergies, asthma, sinusitis, colds and flu, sexual dysfunction, infertility, PMS, menopausal symptoms, morning sickness, arthritis, all kinds of pain, headaches, insomnia, tendonitis, carpal tunnel, sports injuries, sciatica, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, anemia, edema, anxiety, depression, hyper and hypothyroidism, addictions, smoking, weight loss, skin disorders and many others .
Acupuncture is a form of therapy in which fine needles are inserted into specific points on the body called acu-points. The needles are sterile, stainless steel and disposable. A person's health is influenced by the flow of Qi in the body, in combination with the universal forces of Yin and Yang become unbalanced, and illness may result. By inserting fine needles into the channels of energy, an acupuncturist can stimulate the body's own healing response and help restore its natural balance.
The principal aim of acupuncture in treating the whole person is to recover the equilibrium between the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the individual, restoring homeostasis to mind body spirit.
According to the theory of Chinese medicine, the human being has 14 meridians or channels. They form a network that carries and passes all information and Qi (energy) in the body. It believes that Qi can be enhanced, improved and nourished. On these meridians, there are many points (pressure points) that have important functions. Each point may be considered as a switch that controls energy flow. Direct causes of some illnesses are due to some switches being out of control, such that Qi (energy) is blocked.
The principles of Acupuncture are to adjust and repair those switches and to bring the energy flow under control, and thus cure illness. Practitioners apply sterile, single-use needles to pressure points to repair these switches based on the principles of Chinese medicine and the patient's conditions.
Acupuncture is virtually painless. However, as a rule, it is better to produce a little sensation to achieve improvement, sensations often felt with acupuncture may include: itchy, achy, numbness, tingling, heat, electrical, or heaviness, but some people feel nothing at all .Oddly enough, many people find that Acupuncture makes them feel relaxed and happy. Acupuncture is also associated with Massage, Moxibustion, Acupressure and Cupping, which are almost painless manipulations. After acupuncture, patients will feel relaxed or even slightly sleepy so it is not advisable for patients to undertake anything strenuous for a few hours afterwards
Acupuncture is largely a safe treatment. The world literature only contains over 193 major adverse reactions which have been reported in the last 15 years. There are, however, some fairly simple pieces of advice for anyone seeking acupuncture.
First, you should go to a registered acupuncturist whose premises have been inspected and registered for the purposes of providing acupuncture by their local health authority. This means that you will given disposable (once only use) acupuncture needles for your treatment and there will be no danger of cross-infection occurring between patients so you will not run the risk of picking up diseases like hepatitis. If you are on anti-coagulants (drugs that thin the blood), it is probably best that you do not have acupuncture. If the acupuncturist is proposing to use an indwelling needle that may be left in place for a few days, then this might expose you to an increased risk of infection and is not a good idea, particularly if the valves of your heart are damaged. There are, furthermore, certain specific acupuncture points that should be avoided in pregnancy, although acupuncture in general is a very safe and effective treatment during pregnancy for both early morning sickness and pain.