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What is Acupuncture?

Symptoms VS Problem

acupunctureIn our current society we have a difference of opinion as to our treatment approaches to ailments and disease. We spend more time focused on symptoms as opposed to what is causing the problem. Traditionally we attempt to suppress the symptoms, instead of look for the cause. The symptoms themselves are not the problem, there is a problem with a system of the body. Disease itself therefore is merely the absence of proper function in the body.

Acupuncture treats all ailments of the body.

It does this through the use of needles to stimulate the bodies systems in different ways, specifically bring more energy to it, decrease the amount of energy in it, or balancing it from side to side (when one side is more active than the other). The areas where the needles are inserted may be in a completely different area of the body than the area that is affected. The primary goal is to remove interference and balance the energy of the body, which returns the body to normal function.

Treating the Entire Person

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that acupuncture does not treat symptoms, it treats the entire person, and each person is different. The goal is finding an individualized treatment plan that is made specifically for that individual patient. The Chinese see the body and mind as being dependent on the normal flow of energy throughout the body that they refer to as chi. “Chi is a universal energy that surrounds and pervades everything, both animate and inanimate.” Within the body you have protective chi which acts as your line of defense against harmful agents that you may come in contact with. This tells us that if you raise your protective chi it will give your body the ability to help heal itself.

Yin and yang are similar to chi in that they are involved in everything, but different from it with the fact that it is not energy, it is just the two aspects of everything. You cannot have one without the other. Without the knowledge of left, you cannot have right. Without the reference of inside, you cannot explain outside. In everything there must be balance between the two opposites.

In the body there are twelve pairs of main meridians and two extra meridians that are unpaired. Each of the twelve main meridians corresponds with an organ of the body. The meridians will affect the organ itself and where that meridian goes through or to. Chi will surge and be more active in specific meridians at certain points of the day.

The basis of a patient’s treatment is dependent on their diagnosis.

The main goal is to properly identify the cause and balance the body accordingly. Once the interference is removed, the body regains its ability as a self-healing organism. While the medical community has difficulty understanding how acupuncture works, it was with the discovery of endorphins that acupuncture as a pain reliever has gained respect. It has been shown that stimulation of certain points will release endorphins, but what has not been shown is why the stimulation of other points does not result in their release.