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ACUPUNCTURE

The ancient practice of Chinese Medicine consists of three branches: acupuncture, herbal medicine and qi gong healing exercises. More than 3,000 years of research and continuous practice in Asia has made the tradition the most comprehensive health care system known in the world today.


Chinese Medicine does not separate the body, mind, emotions or spirit during diagnosis and treatment, nor does it simply mask the symptoms of disease with pharmaceutical drugs. The goal of the Chinese Medicine Practitioner is to focus on and treat the root cause of disease. In this way our body uses its own healing wisdom to return to a state of balance and health. During an acupuncture treatment thin, sterilized needles are shallowly inserted into the muscle layer in order to activate ourqi (chee). Qi is the life-force energy that resides in all of us, including everything found in nature and the universe; without it we would cease to exist.

 

Qi flows within pathways called channels, bringing life and energy to every inch of our body in much the same way that blood and oxygen are distributed via veins, arteries and capillaries, bringing nourishment to bones, muscles and organs. This complex and intelligent system of channels can be likened to several rivers and streams in which our qi is free to flow back and forth, and from head to toe in our body.

 

There is an ancient Chinese saying: If there is free flow, there is no pain; if there is no free flow, there is pain. In a state of health, qi flows along the channels without interruption keeping the body in balance. This is similar in concept to homeostasis, the term in Western Medicine used to describe a state of balance. Common stressors that create obstructions of qi in our channels and bring us out of balance include acute muscle injury, disease, lifestyle choices, emotional stress and improper nutrition. During an acupuncture treatment, needles are inserted into the muscle layer of the affected channel. The body’s natural healing abilities take over and attention is called to the area around the needle. If the area needs more qi, it will generate it — like the energy from the heat of the sun melts a frozen river and gets the water flowing again. If there is too much qi in one area, like the tightly packed water molecules in a frozen riverbed, the body responds by breaking up the mass of qi, moving it through to the end of the channel and releasing it — much like a waterfall at the end of a turbulent river.

 

When the channels are opened, the qi is free to flow up and down the body again, relieving pain, healing disease and creating a sense of well-being as the body comes back into balance.


Most patients report feeling relaxed and calm after treatment. Western clinical researchers report that inserting acupuncture needles into specific body points stimulate endorphins and serotonin in the brain — natural chemicals that regulate pleasure and mood. Endorphins are produced by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. They produce analgesia and a sense of well-being in the body. They are our body’s natural pain killers. In the central nervous system, serotonin plays an important role as a neurotransmitter in the modulation of anger, body temperature, mood, sleep, sexuality, appetite and metabolism.


While pain relief is the number one reason that Americans seek out acupuncture, it is exciting to know that there are many other diseases and conditions that Chinese Medicine successfully treats. TheWorld Health Organization recognizes acupuncture’s effectiveness for more than 40 common disorders including:

 

· acute muscle injuries and sprains

· hypertension

· acute and chronic pain

· infertility

· overuse injuries

· insomnia

· addictions

· menopausal symptoms

· allergies, sinusitis

· PMS

· anxiety, depression

· migraines

· arthritis

· morning sickness

· asthma

· nausea

· BPH/prostatitis

· Parkinson’s disease

· common cold

· post-stroke paralysis

· digestive disorders

· sciatica

· dizziness/vertigo

· trigeminal neuralgia

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