Insight Wellness

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Acupuncture

If the U.S. Army, Harvard Medical School and MIT are in your corner, you know you're in good company. Acupuncturists and their patients must feel pretty popular lately, because those are exactly the organizations vetting them. A recent paper published in a peer-reviewed journal conducted by Harvard Med School and MIT should silence many of acupuncture's doubters: acupuncture was demonstrated to have an effect greater than placebo. So the positive medical benefits experienced by patients can't be dismissed as "in their heads" any more or the products of chance. Even the U.S. Army believes. They've recently allowed "battlefield" acupuncture to be performed for soldiers suffering from chronic and acute pain.
by PeterA.C.Garrison


If the U.S. Army, Harvard Medical School and MIT are in your corner, you know you're in good company. Acupuncturists and their patients must feel pretty popular lately, because those are exactly the organizations vetting them. A recent paper published in a peer-reviewed journal conducted by Harvard Med School and MIT should silence many of acupuncture's doubters: acupuncture was demonstrated to have an effect greater than placebo. So the positive medical benefits experienced by patients can't be dismissed as "in their heads" any more or the products of chance. Even the U.S. Army believes. They've recently allowed "battlefield" acupuncture to be performed for soldiers suffering from chronic and acute pain.

According to the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, acute and chronic pain can often be treated with acupuncture as the primary therapeutic modality. So those common aches and pains, spasms, sprains, or repetitive stress injuries you get? Try acupuncture instead of your normal pill. In fact, many common conditions can be just as treated at least as effectively with acupuncture than with the over counter medicine. Migraines, motion sickness, ulcers, liver problems, kidney problems, and arthritis, to name a few, are all conditions acupuncture can help to alleviate, often times with fewer unwanted side effects, than OTC medications.

The efficacy of acupuncture is by no means limited to pain management. It can also be used to deal with emotional problems such as anxiety, depression, stress as well as other physical ailments like chronic fatigue, asthma, back pain, and infertility. The esteemed World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture as a treatment for common third-world disorders such as constipation and diarrhea.

Western science is slowly beginning to understand the science behind the seeming magic that often results from acupuncture. Major pieces of the puzzle, however, have been identified. When traditional acupuncture points are stimulated with fine needles during the course of an acupuncture treatment, studies have shown that the brain's natural "feel good" chemicals - opioids or endorphins - are released. These same chemicals are responsible for not only elevating mood but for relieving pain. The points that are stimulated during treatment lie along paths which are called meridians in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

According to TCM, living organisms are a series of pathways of energy conduits or meridian channels. Diagnostic acupuncture uses these channels or meridians to detect blockages in flow, indicating blockages of energy. Vital energy, known as Qi in Chinese medicine, flows through 12 paired meridian channels, cycling throughout the body.

TCM believes that our health depends on the body's ability to circulate Qi in a smooth and balanced fashion. Acupuncture uses the insertion of needles into specific points along the meridian. These points are close to the surface of the skin and are easily accessible with fine needles, moxibustion or acupressure.

Like other medical treatments, the severity, age and complexity of your health challenge will determine the frequency of length of treatment you'll need with acupuncture. Those who suffer from long standing physical problems or who suffer from a generally weak constitution will obviously require more frequent and sustained visits with an acupuncturist than a patient who suffers from an infrequent or acute condition.

Acupuncture has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization as a safe, natural, drug-free, and, perhaps most importantly, effective method of addressing the symptoms and root causes of many health challenges. Its use in China, Japan, and other parts of Asia for thousands of years speaks to its efficacy as well. It's a natural and powerful medicine that has been practiced for over 2,000 years. And it works.

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