Before we begin a discussion about the benefits of acupuncture, let’s talk about the origins of acupuncture. It was first used in China over 2000 years ago, and is one of the oldest medical procedures in the world. It is a family of procedures that stimulates the anatomy of the body and helps to balance the energy flow throughout the body. It is this kind of acupuncture that is practiced in the United Sates today, through the use of tiny, metallic needles placed in affected areas and manipulated by hand or by electrical stimulation.
Acupuncture is the basic foundation for Traditional Chinese Medicine and is based on the belief that there are two opposing and inseparable forces within our body. They are known as the Yin and Yang of the entire person. The Yin is representative of the cold, slow, or passive principle, and yang represents the hot, excited or active principle. A healthy state is achieved by maintaining a balance state of the yin and yang. This is done through vital pathways or meridians that allow for the flow of qi, or vital energy. The vital energy flow occurs along pathways known as meridians. These meridians connect over 2,000 acupuncture points along the body. There are 12 main meridians, and 8 secondary meridians. Although traditional western medicine does not completely understand how acupuncture works, the proof that it does work has been shown in several studies conducted by western medical facilities.
Now, let’s move to the question of does it work? According to the National Institute of Health, the answer would be yes. Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in many areas of health care. Areas such as postoperative nausea, chemotherapy side effects, osteoarthritis, low-back pain, headache, menstrual cramps, addiction, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma, just to name a few. The study revealed that acupuncture was able to provide pain relief, improve function and mobility of joints due to arthritis inflammation, and served to complement standard care.