How Acupuncture Works
How Acupuncture Works: Theory, Practice and History
A Brief History of Acupuncture
For thousands of years, well before Europe and Western civilization had developed sophisticated medical practice, people in China have relied upon their unique medicine as a primary healing system. Within the last 30 years, just a blink of an eye considering its long, long history, this ancient healing art has gained wide acceptance all over the world as a powerful therapy that exists on its own merits and is a very effective complement to conventional modern medicine. Acupuncture in particular has become a popular choice for millions of Americans seeking a safe, holistic, and natural alternative to conventional drug therapy and surgery.
In recent years the National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization, and other national and international health and medical bodies have come to integrate and promote Acupuncture as a safe, effective and low-cost method of treatment for a wide variety of disorders. Many hospitals, medical schools, private clinics and other conventional medical facilities have integrated Acupuncture to stand alongside other medical specialties in the treatment and care of hundreds of thousands of patients with a vast variety of health complaints.
Acupuncture is safe because the needles are single-use and sterilized, and because it is performed by licensed, well-trained specialists.
Acupuncture is holistic because it is based upon the understanding of the body as a connected whole that weaves every aspect of a being’s experience, in wellness and illness, into an integrated whole.
Acupuncture is natural because it stimulates the body’s own response to stress, injury, imbalance and disease.
Acupuncture is relaxing and enjoyable; most of our patients find their treatments very relaxing, pleasant and energizing.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
There is vital life energy that courses through our body. The ancient Chinese called it “Qi” (pronounced “chee”). Qi can be stimulated on the surface of the body by dozens of channels or meridians that connect hundreds of acupuncture points. These points have specific and powerful effects on the organs and glands, the nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems, the bones, joints, muscles and ligaments, the skin, immune and digestive systems and the emotions and cognitive functions.
By the gentle insertion of ultra-fine, sterilized needles, a skilled acupuncturist can direct the flow of qi to strengthen all the functions and structure of the body, bringing balance and healing. Modern research has confirmed that Acupuncture has a strong effect that naturally stimulates endorphins, serotonin, cortisol, ACTH, anti-inflammatory and immune modulating responses and other powerful reactions and endogenous chemicals that our body produces in order to heal disease and maintain a healthy state. Acupuncture is usually painless and can stimulate profound feelings of relaxation and well-being.
At the Acupuncture Center of New Jersey, our team of highly-trained and experienced acupuncturists utilizes several styles or techniques of acupuncture. This is because Acupuncture is very ancient and developed over many centuries in China, Japan, Korea, and other Asian countries before becoming popular in Europe and the United States. The styles of Acupuncture most often utilized in our practice are Traditional Chinese Acupuncture, Five Element Acupuncture, Korean Acupuncture, Ear Acupuncture, Laser Acupuncture, Electro-Acupuncture, and Magnetic Acupuncture. We also utilize moxabustion (infra-red heat therapy), and “gwa sha,” a traditional Chinese massage treatment as adjuncts to Acupuncture.
Acupuncture Relieves Pain
Acupuncture is perhaps best known as a natural and powerful treatment for acute and chronic pain. Contemporary medical research has shown that acupuncture stimulates the natural release of endorphins and other neurotransmitters, hormones, and enzymes that can powerfully and naturally reduce inflammation and irritation and promote healing. People with conditions ranging from headaches to sciatica to arthritis usually respond very favorably to acupuncture. Many patients seek out acupuncture in order to avoid the harmful side effects of many pain-killing medications and the obvious dangers of surgery. Most of our patients who come to us for relief of pain tell us that we are their “last resort” as conventional medicine has nothing left to offer them. We are tremendously gratified that we can help a vast majority of these people.