Acupuncture from East to West
Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of healing in the world, beginning in China thousands of years ago. It remains the primary source of treatment in Asia. Acupuncture has rapidly become an accepted treatment alternative in America. People in the U.S. started to hear more about acupuncture after Mr. James Reston, a New York Times reporter, reported his own experience with acupuncture and how he benefited from acupuncture treatment for his severe pain after acute appendititis, while he was in China with President Nixon in 1972. After that M.D.s from western countries rushed to other side of the world to find out whether a tiny needle curing disease is a fairy tale or a real thing. To their surprise, they witnessed that the needle treatment, one of the ancient arts, not only cures many chronic diseases, but also its analgistic power demonstrated in open heart surgeries is completely beyond their imagination. Seeing is believing. Many of them attended training courses in China and came back to the west to practice acupuncture. Another wave of interest in acupuncture came after the National Institute of Health Consensus in Acupuncture in 1997, which concluded that acupuncture is effective for certain conditions and calls upon more attention from mainstream medical field and public. Since then, NIH formed a new center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the fund used to support acupuncture research is more than tripled in past 5 years. Nowdays, in seeking an alternative way to cure disease, to avoid side effect of conventional medicine, to obtain a better life or to maintain an optimal health, people start to choose acupuncture. As NIH consensus indicated: One of the advantage of acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the same condition. Recent reports indicated acupuncture and Chinese medicine is becoming more aned more popular in this country.
How does acupuncture work?
In the eastern view of traditional Chinese medicine, an energy or life force called Chi flows through the body along 14 channels. When Chi is blocked, people may become sick. Placing needles at various points along the channels to remove the blockage, allowing Chi to flow and restoring harmony between the body’s opposing forces of Yin and Yang. While Western science does not yet understand the concept of Chi, studies have found that acupuncture somehow stimulate the bod’s natural protective and pain-fighting systems. Studies show that brain activity is increased, the immune system is boosted and pain-fighting endorphins and peptides are released during acupuncture. The effectiveness of Acupuncture has been repeatedly verified through various reports from the National Institute of Health, the World Health Organization and others. Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration has approved acupuncture needles as medical devices. Acupuncture, sometimes referred to as Traditional Chinese Medicine, comprises a full range of services. The acupuncturist provides a complete physical examination with occasional subsequent examinations as needed. The primary treatment is acupuncture: the placement of fine hair-like needles into specific points of the body. An acupuncturist may also include Chinese-based adjunctive therapeutic procedures such as cupping, moxibustion or acupuncture. Additionally, Chinese herbal supplements may be recommended by acupuncturists.