Sunday, January 27, 2008


Acupuncture is based on theories of the flow of energy & blood through a system of channels in the body. Diseases are treated by needling specialized points on the body to activate energy to where it is deficient, and drains it from where there is an excess. Acupuncture regulates and restores harmonious balance within the body.
Illness, on the other hand, is thought to occur because of too much, too little, or blocked qi. Inserting the fine needles into specific points, known as acupuncture points, on the meridians is believed to stimulate the body’s own healing responses and help restore its natural balance.

According to the NIH Consensus Statement on Acupuncture, there have been many studies on acupuncture's potential usefulness, but results have been mixed because of complexities with study design and size, as well as difficulties with choosing and using placebos or sham acupuncture. However, promising results have emerged, showing efficacy of acupuncture, for example, in adult postoperative and chemotherapy nausea and vomiting and in postoperative dental pain. There are other situations--such as addiction, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, low-back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma--in which acupuncture may be useful as an adjunct treatment or an acceptable alternative or be included in a comprehensive management program. An NCCAM-funded study recently showed that acupuncture provides pain relief, improves function for people with osteoarthritis of the knee, and serves as an effective complement to standard care.7 Further research is likely to uncover additional areas where acupuncture interventions will be useful.8

NIH has funded a variety of research projects on acupuncture. These grants have been funded by NCCAM, its predecessor the Office of Alternative Medicine, and other NIH institutes and centers.

Visit the NCCAM Web site, or call the NCCAM Clearinghouse for more information on scientific findings about acupuncture.
Read the NIH Consensus Statement on Acupuncture, to learn what scientific experts have said about the use and effectiveness of acupuncture for a variety of conditions.

Acupunture Treats these health conditions: ADHD - Attention Deficit Disorder, Addiction, Allergies, Alzheimer's Disease, Andropause (Male Menopause), Anxiety, Arthritis and Rheumatoid Disorders, Asthma, Autism, Autoimmune Diseases, Back Pain - Sciatica, Candidiasis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, High Cholesterol, Chronic Fatigue, Chronic Pain, Colds and Flu, Constipation, Depression, Diabetes & Hypoglycemia, Digestive Disorders, Eye Disorders, Fibromyalgia, Gall Bladder Disorders, Gastrointestinal Disorders, Headaches, Hearing Disorders, Heart /Cardiovascular Disease, Heavy Metal Toxicity, Hemorrhoids, Hepatitis, Herpes, Hypertension /High Blood Pressure (HBP), Hypothyroidism, Infertility, Inflammation, Insomnia, Joint Pain, Learning Disorders, Lupus, Lyme Disease, Memory/Cognitive Problems, Metabolic Disorders, Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoporosis, Parasites, Parkinson's Disease, Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), Enlarged Prostate, Psoriasis, Skin Disorders, Sleep Disorders Sports Injuries, Stomach / Intestinal Problems, Stress, Stroke, Tendonitis.

How might acupuncture work?

Acupuncture is one of the key components of the system of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). In the TCM system of medicine, the body is seen as a delicate balance of two opposing and inseparable forces: yin and yang. Yin represents the cold, slow, or passive principle, while yang represents the hot, excited, or active principle. Among the major assumptions in TCM are that health is achieved by maintaining the body in a "balanced state" and that disease is due to an internal imbalance of yin and yang. This imbalance leads to blockage in the flow of qi (vital energy) along pathways known as meridians. It is believed that there are 12 main meridians and 8 secondary meridians and that there are more than 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body that connect with them.

Preclinical studies have documented acupuncture's effects, but they have not been able to fully explain how acupuncture works within the framework of the Western system of medicine that is commonly practiced in the United States.9-14 It is proposed that acupuncture produces its effects through regulating the nervous system, thus aiding the activity of pain-killing biochemicals such as endorphins and immune system cells at specific sites in the body. In addition, studies have shown that acupuncture may alter brain chemistry by changing the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones and, thus, affecting the parts of the central nervous system related to sensation and involuntary body functions, such as immune reactions and processes that regulate a person's blood pressure, blood flow, and body temperature.15,16

You may need several acupuncture treatments in order to help your problem, usually about six to start with. A large number of people feel relief from their symptoms after the first treatment. This relief will usually be short lived in the first instance, but relief should progressively increase in quantity as the treatment progresses. In some instances you may not feel relief until the second or third treatment.

The improvements made may be permanent or temporary, for long term conditions such as Arthritis; acupuncture may need to be repeated every week to start with then tailing down to monthly session to help keep the person mobile and pain free.

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