Acupuncture is a complete holistic health care system that originated in China over 2500 years ago. It is based on the belief that living beings have a vital energy, called Qi (pronounced “chee”) that circulates throughout the body. The very fine needles used in acupuncture are inserted into points on pathways called “meridians” which communicate with the organs in the body. According to Chinese medical theory, illness arises when the cyclical flow of Qi throughout the body becomes unbalanced or blocked. The points are stimulated in various combinations with the goal of restoring the free flow of energy.
Western Medicine works from the "outside-in". It intervenes with strong man-made pharmaceuticals or surgeries that are designed to take over the body and to repair it like a mechanic might repair a machine.
Eastern Medicine stimulates the body's own resources to help it heal from the "inside-out". For example, when a person gets a cut, the body heals from the "inside-out". Acupuncture needles stimulate nerves that transmit impulses to your brain that in turn release chemicals such as endorphins, hormones, and cortisone. These chemicals stimulate the body to use its own resources to heal.
Endorphins, which are the body's natural pain killing hormones, are effective for pain disorders. Endorphins also play a big role in the functioning of the hormonal system, explaining why acupuncture can be effective for hormonal disorders such as P.M.S and infertility.
Depression is often treated with acupuncture. The substances released as a result of acupuncture not only relax the whole body, but regulate serotonin in the brain which plays a role in balancing our moods.
Physiological effects resulting from acupuncture treatments include increased circulation, decreased inflammation, relief from pain, relief of muscle spasms and increased T-cell count which stimulates the immune system.
In 1997, acupuncture needles were reclassified from "experimental" to "medical device" by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
How Does Acupuncture Work?