Acupuncture is one of the oldest and most commonly used medical procedures in the world. Acupuncture has been used in China for thousands of years, but it has become popular in the west only over the past 50 years.
The term acupuncture describes a family of procedures that stimulate specific anatomical points on the body using multiple techniques. The most frequently used method of acupuncture involves penetrating the skin with thin, metallic needles that are then manipulated by hand or by electrical stimulation.
Traditional Chinese medicine has a long and rich history and acupuncture has been used for more than 5,000 years to treat patients for avariety of ailments. Experts may argue about the exact origins of acupuncture and one story recounts it like this: a Chinese soldier who was wounded in battle suffered from a stiff, “frozen” shoulder. For years the soldier sought medical treatment for the pain and stiffness in his shoulder, but could never find relief. Later on he was in another battle during which an arrow pierced his lower leg. Amazingly the stiffness in his shoulder was relieved by this new injury. Upon learning of the soldier’s relief a doctor tried the same technique on another patient who had long been dealing with a stiff shoulder and it worked. Acupuncture techniques have evolved over the centuries and practitioners now use fine, disposable metal needles and rely on years of training when treating their patients.
How Acupuncture Works
Acupuncture is based on the idea that there are 12 main channels of energy, each pertaining to a different organ system, running through the body in order to keep it functioning. When there are blockages preventing flow of energy in these channels, pain, sickness and organ pathology are the results. By inserting a thin, sterile metal needle, the best conductor of energy on the planet, acupuncture is able to redirect the energy allowing it to flow once again freely through the channels. This creates a balance of energy in the body, and therefore, allows the organ systems to function properly; eliminating pain and promoting health. Acupuncture essentially helps the body heal itself introducing external chemical elements into the body.