Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used medical practices in the world. Originating in China more than 2,500 years ago, acupuncture gained attention in the 1970s, when China and the U.S. opened relations. The practice has grown in popularity since James Reston’s 1971 landmark article in the New York Times describing his experience when in China with his successful postappendectomy pain management treatment using acupuncture needles.
How is Acupuncture used?
Acupuncture involves the placement of very fine hair-thin, sterilized and disposable solid metallic needles along points in the body. Needles may be heated(moxa) during the treatment or mild electric current (electro-acupuncture) may be applied to them. According to theories of traditional Chinese medicine, the human body has more than 2,000 acupuncture points connected via pathways or meridians.These pathways create an energy flow.
What Is Qi?
The energy flow connected via pathways or meridians(Qi, pronounced “chee”) through the body that is responsible for overall health. Disruption of the energy flow (stagnation of Qi) can cause disease. Acupuncture can correct these imbalances when applied at acupuncture points and improve the flow of Qi. When Qi is flowing properly in the meridians, we have physical, emotional and spiritual health, balance and well being. When we have Qi and Blood stagnation we get pain, therefore, with Chinese Medicine Theory, Acupuncture is used to move the Qi and blood within the vessels, to flow and relieve pain.
What does Acupuncture do?
Acupuncture stimulates certain electrical properties in the body that support specific functions in a wide variety of systems, including the musculoskeletal, endocrine, circulatory and neurological systems which affect chemical neurotransmitters in the body. Acupuncture makes some people report feeling energized by the treatment, while others say they feel relaxed or need to rest.
Instead of needles, other forms of stimulation are sometimes used, including:
- Heat (moxa)
- Pressure (acupressure)
- Suction (cupping)
- Impulses of electromagnetic energy (cold laser therapy)
How does acupuncture affect the body?
Many studies have documented acupuncture’s effects on the body, but none has fully explained how acupuncture works within the framework of Western medicine. Researchers have proposed several processes to explain acupuncture’s effects, primarily on pain.
In general, acupuncture points are believed to stimulate the central nervous system, which, in turn, releases chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals either alter the experience of pain or release other chemicals that influence the body’s self-regulating systems. These biochemical changes may stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being.
What research has been done to prove Acupuncture works?
Acupuncture theories today are based on extensive laboratory research and have become widely known and accepted. In addition, controlled studies have shown evidence of the effectiveness of acupuncture for certain conditions. Taken from online John Hopkins Medicine.
Attention has been focused on the following theories to further explain how acupuncture affects the body:
- Conduction of electromagnetic signals. Evidence suggests that acupuncture points are strategic conductors of electromagnetic signals. Stimulating these points enables electromagnetic signals to be relayed at greater-than-normal rates. These signals may start the flow of pain-killing biochemicals, such as endorphins, or release immune system cells to specific body sites.
- Activation of the body’s natural opioid system. Considerable research supports the claim that acupuncture releases opioids, synthetic or naturally-occurring chemicals in the brain that may reduce pain or induce sleep. These chemicals may explain acupuncture’s pain-relieving effects.
- Stimulation of the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. Joined at the base of the brain, the hypothalamus and pituitary glands are responsible for many body functions. The hypothalamus activates and controls part of the nervous system, the endocrine processes, and many bodily functions, such as sleep, regulation of temperature, and appetite. The pituitary gland supplies some of the body’s needed hormones. Stimulation of these glands can result in a broad spectrum of effects on various body systems.
- Change in the secretion of neurotransmitters and neuro-hormones. Studies suggest that acupuncture may alter brain chemistry in a positive way. This is accomplished by changing the release of neurotransmitters (biochemical substances that stimulate or inhibit nerve impulses) and neurohormones (naturally-occurring chemical substances that can change the structure or function, or impact the activity of, a body organ).
Acupuncture is known for treatment of relief of chronic pain, such as arthritis or low back pain; however, it has expanded uses.
What is TCM?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is the primary style of acupuncture practiced around the world. It incorporates theory going back to the Huang Di Nei Jing (Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine) and incorporates both classical and modern theories of Chinese medicine. TCM most often starts with the question “What symptom does this person have, and how can we understand why it is happening and help it to resolve?”
The TCM approach is used to treat a wide variety of physical, emotional and spiritual conditions using traditional theories and treatments. TCM allows for customized treatment using the modalities including Acupuncture, Moxibustion (moxa heat), Massage, Cupping, and Chinese Herbal Medicine.
Why different Acupuncture styles?
Orthopedic Acupuncture is a style of acupuncture that treats primarily musculoskeletal disorders. This type of acupuncture combines Traditional Chinese Medical Theory with modern knowledge of muscular anatomy, orthopedic assessment and structural functioning to treat pain and other musculoskeletal conditions. This style of acupuncture is helpful for professional athletes and performers, along with anyone who wants to treats sports or other injuries or maximize their athletic conditioning.
is a specialized form of acupuncture that is used to minimize wrinkles and signs of aging in the face, and to nurture a healthy complexion.
Chinese and Korean Hand Acupuncture
In TCM, the hand can be used to diagnose diseases since pathological information is reflected on the hand. This method can also be used to prevent and treat disease, improve life quality, and maintain health by applying various types of stimulation to specific areas of the hand. The hand as a part of the body has a close relationship with the body’s internal organs. Korean Hand Therapy is simple and easy to practice and safe and reliable for obtaining good therapeutic effects for a wide variety of diseases.
In Chinese medicine, the ear is seen as a microsystem which uses one part of the body to treat conditions present anywhere in the body equal to face, hand and scalp acupuncture and foot reflexology. Acupuncture points on the ear are stimulated with fine needles, electronic stimulation, massage or the application of ear seeds. There are over 200 acupuncture points on the ear. Stimulated points trigger electrical impulses from the ear via the brain, to the corresponding part of the body being treated.
Ancient Chinese medical textbooks, “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine” shows that auricular acupuncture has a long history of use in China, in modern times, western research has shown that auricular therapy stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s own feel good hormones.
Many acupuncturists add ear needles into their regular sessions to augment or enhance the focus of the treatment. For example, if a patient is being treated for back pain, a practitioner could stimulate the area of the ear corresponding to the back. He or she might also choose to treat other organ systems related to the back in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) such as the Kidney or Spleen.
Auricular acupuncture is especially effective for treating addictions and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A special needle protocol called 5 NP (five point ear acupuncture protocol)N.A.D.A. is used to help with detoxification of substance abuse and gives support with the emotional, physical, and psychological aspects of addictions and severe stress and commonly used in group community settings. Ear needles can be quickly and easily applied in emergency situations and are used widely to treat victims of natural disasters.
Patients go home with ears seeds after acupuncture treatment, especially in the case of acute pain and intense stress. Ear seeds are traditionally made from small seeds of the Vaccaria plant, but they can also be made of different types of metal. The ear seeds or pellets are held in place over the auricular point with a small piece of adhesive tape. Applying ear seeds allows for longer stimulation of the points and can be left on for a few days or up to 2 weeks. The ear points can also be stimulated with lasers, magnets, and microcurrent.
Scalp Acupuncture is one of a number of specialized microsystem acupuncture techniques. In scalp acupuncture, very short, fine needles are placed on the scalp to achieve the desired therapeutic effects on the different parts of the body. This technique has yielded outstanding results for thousands of patients, and has become recognized worldwide as one of the most effective methods for the treatment of a wide variety of difficult-to-manage medical conditions.
Why our services are unique?
Our therapy is integrated herbal medicine, massage, cupping and moxibustion to produce the best therapeutic results. We raise the patients’ awareness of self-healing power, and teach them self care through breathing, relaxation, meditation, physical exercises, and nutrition, among others.
Our expertise lies in the following areas:
- Neurological disorders: acute and chronic paralysis, motor and sensory impairments, muscle atrophies.
- Pain: acute and chronic pain due to musculoskeletal, neurological, organic, or psychological origin.
- Complementary urgent care: emergencies where acupuncture intervention may play a life supporting role; protects the body from further damages; and boosts its self-healing process.
Dr. Aliza Zisman L.Ac
East West Herzliya Center
477-6495 (720) Usa
By Email: Acuhealth4u@gmail.com
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