You may have heard of the word, know that it heals but what exactly it entails and how it transforms health conditions is often a mystery for many. Simply put, acupuncture is a complementary medical practice that stimulates the qi energy (pronounced “chi”) through various energy points in the body to alleviate pain and treat other health conditions. It uses fine needles to bring back the body’s balance, helping it to function better on its own. Different sizes of needles are used to treat different parts of the body. Although the treatment is known to be fairly painless, it can cause temporary discomfort or a heavy, calming sensation but it has no known side-effects.
History of Acupuncture
Qi is the “life force” that flows through us, controlling various physiological functions of organs through the meridians. The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) predates recorded history. Acupuncture was first properly documented in the ancient Chinese medical text called Di Nei Jing but the modern methods practiced today was developed during the Ming Dynasty between 1368 – 1644 and published in The Great Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion.
It was introduced to Japan as transportation improved, then brought into Europe in 1810 and the U.S. in 1972, after President Nixon’s trip to China. In 1995, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared acupuncture needles as medical instruments. Over 40 States now offer licensing and certification training for practice in more than 40 accredited acupuncture schools.
How Acupuncture Works
Traditional Chinese Medicine: TCM believes that disease is caused by disruptions in the flow of qi energy in the body. Acupuncture stimulates the qi energy to flow smoothly without blockades through the channels in the body called acupuncture points that are located just under the skin’s surface. The qi then flows through the meridians that revive the affected organs.
TCM identifies over 350 acupuncture points through which qi flows to the deeper organs, relieving diseases and allowing the body to regain balance to function properly. In scientific terms, acupuncture works by activating the nervous and hormonal systems. Although some outside TCM question its efficacy in treating specific diseases, it is widely agreed that the treatments are effective in treating conditions like depression, anxiety, nausea, chronic pain and a variety of cancer treatment-related symptoms such as nausea.
Western Explanation: Western science explains the principal in a slightly different way. They say acupuncture works by stimulating the nerves through the neurohormonal pathways. The needles send signals to the brain that releases neural hormones such as beta-endorphins that increases euphoria, decreasing the threshold of pain in the patient. Acupuncture itself is not believed to directly release feel-good chemicals but works by stimulating the pituitary gland to produce more hormones. It is about inserting a needle to stimulate the brain to secrete energy that helps the nerves to regenerate.
What Does Acupuncture Treat?
The World Health Organization has included a long list of pain related disorders especially that can be effectively treated by acupuncture. There’s a growing body of research on how it successfully treats depression, drug addiction and sleep disturbances.
- Fertility Treatments: Acupuncture is commonly used with other fertility treatments to increase the effectiveness of drugs that are taken to bring up hormonal levels to power the ovaries. Reports by the HealthCMI have shown that acupuncture helps balance hormones by lowering testosterone levels and regulating ovulation to boost the chances of pregnancy by as much as 33%.
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD): A study published in 2017 by Sean Grand on treating people with PTSD reported that acupuncture treats depression, especially when it is treated right after diagnosis.
- Allergic Asthma: Studies on the effects of acupuncture on patients with allergic asthma by researchers in 2017 showed that their condition improved significantly in the three-month period.
- Pain and Nausea: Acupuncture is particularly effective for treating pain and nausea, especially among patients recovering from chemotherapy.
Dundas Chiropractic: Oakville’s Reputed Chiropractic, Naturopathic and Orthotics Treatments Centre
We are a professional and trusted chiropractic care centre offering a variety of treatments and therapies such as acupuncture to heal, cure and allow our patients to reach their optimal physical condition. Call us for appointments. New patients are welcome.