Acupuncture comes from the ancient system of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
The core premise of TCM is that the body must be in balance to function at its peak.
Acupuncture is a safe approach to help bring the body back into harmonious balance, and clear blockages that affect your stress level,energy, and health.
In TCM, it’s believed that energy (Qi), flows through the body along pathways called meridians. A healthy body has balanced Qi flow through the meridians.
However, Qi flow can be reduced or blocked by a poor diet, high stress, injury, and even changes in climate. If Qi does not flow smoothly, illness (mental or physical) is the result.
Acupuncture treatments use fine needles (or electrodes) to help move energy (Qi) through the meridians. Points on the meridians are connected to specific organs and body systems.
Acupuncture treatments stimulate the release of blocked energy, allowing the systems and organs to return to a natural state of balance.
This can ease both chronic and acute stress reactions, and improve general health.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), acupuncture is used for 104 different health concerns!
In TCM, acupuncture is used to treat everything from injuries to immune insufficiency, allergies, and asthma.
In the U.S., acupuncture is largely used for pain relief and for rehabilitation after injuries.
Clinically, it has been found to encourage the production of endorphins, the body’s natural pain relieving chemicals.
Today, acupuncture is a primary wellness therapy for people with arthritis, fibromyalgia, repetitive strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other pain disorders.
Still, acupuncture can do much more than relieve pain. Acupuncture can aid recovery from addictions to alcohol, prescription drugs, and even smoking.
The state of Maine is currently funding a study on auricular (ear) acupuncture to see if it can help prevent addicts from relapsing.
Today, acupuncture is popular used alongside both medical fertility treatments and natural fertility therapies.
In these cases, acupuncture can help clear blockages in the reproductive system, which impede conception.
New research shows acupuncture increases the success of IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatments, too.
Research from the University of York finds acupuncture along with counseling can decrease the symptoms of depression, providing benefits for up to 3 months after treatment is discontinued.
A study published in the Clinical Journal of Pain shows acupuncture is effective for long term relief of low back pain.
Acupuncture was found to reduce pain for up to 6 months without causing side effects like prescription painkillers.
A study of 18,000 people shows acupuncture outperforms sham treatments (fake acupuncture) and standard care for osteoarthritis, migraines, and chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain.
Research with rats shows electronic acupuncture decreases stress hormones.
Acupuncture is found to block stress-induced elevations of the HPA (hypothalamus pituitary adrenal) axis hormones and the “fight or flight” response, common to intense stress.
Today’s practitioners use acupuncture successfully for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and panic attacks.
If you’re feeling stressed out or unwell, it could be time to try acupuncture.
Keep an open mind. Acupuncture treatment is not painful and can be very relaxing.
Be confident that your practitioner knows what he or she is doing. Licensed acupuncturists go through years of school and training, and are highly skilled professionals.
Most can also point you to the right herbs and dietary approaches for your own personal health situation.