Acupuncture: Withstanding the Test of Time
With a history dating back almost 5000 years, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine are one of the oldest forms of medicine still effectively practiced today. Originating in Ancient China, it is now integrated into many modern healthcare centers worldwide.
It All Started With War
Many beneficial technologies have been produced from war and trying to make dangerous weapons. According to legend, the art of acupuncture was discovered when Chinese warriors found that arrows striking them at certain points in the body healed them of chronic conditions. We can only imagine the first soldier who stumbled upon this discovery, “Ouch that arrow in my back hurts like heck, but my headaches feel way better!”.
Coming to North America
The popularity of Acupuncture began during the Nixon administration. While visiting China in 1972, one of his reporters underwent surgery there for an emergency appendectomy. The doctors used acupuncture during the anesthesia and recovery stage. The reporter was so impressed by his effective surgery and quick recovery that he wrote about it in the New York Times and popularity has spread since then.
Thousands of Points On Our Body, Only a Few Needed
Acupuncture employs the use of fine sterilized needles to stimulate very specific points on the body. These points are usually areas of nerve bundles, dense muscle, or connective tissue, and have been found to conduct electricity at higher rates than non-acupuncture points. When properly stimulated, each point on the body will cause a different specific response to increase healing and boost the body’s natural function. As an example, a point on the lower leg can increase the immune system, or a point on the foot can increase blood circulation to the forehead. To date, there are around 2000 different points discovered so far. However, a typical acupuncture treatment will only use 8-12 carefully selected points.
But Who Needs It??
Acupuncture can help treat a very wide variety of disorders. It can help people suffering from depression, irritable bowel syndrome, fertility, degenerative eye conditions, and much more. However, acupuncture is best known for its treatment of pain conditions. This includes migraines, arthritis, sports injuries, and lower back pain. But most people can benefit from an acupuncture treatment. It’s positive effects in regulating mood and stress make it a great way to bring the body to balance, increase energy, and get a better night’s sleep.
Less Than a Mosquito Bite
During a person’s first acupuncture treatment, they are usually surprised to find how LITTLE they feel during the needling process. A common reaction, said in a confused and amazed tone is “it’s already in??”. The needles used in the treatment are extremely thin, less than that of a human hair. Needles are always pre-sterilized, and single use, thus no chance of cross infection between patients is a concern.
Not Just For Humans
There exists a separate branch of Acupuncture for veterinary medicine as well. By applying the same logic of the acupuncture points to animals, similar results are achieved as well. Many veterinary clinics and breeders have employed the use of Acupuncture for their pets and animals to achieve amazing results. This includes treatments for cats, dogs, and even horses!
Still Only One of the Tools
While most people have heard of Acupuncture alone, it actually falls under the umbrella of Traditional Chinese Medicine. This includes all of the other modalities that have been practiced in the Chinese culture for millennia. This includes the use of cupping, auricular seeds, moxibustion, guasha, Chinese herbs, meditative practice, and dietary therapy. While each one of these other tools has their separate applications and uses, they are usually combined with the practice of Acupuncture, so don’t be surprised if you go in expecting needles only but end up getting other methods used as well to enhance the effect. It is important to keep in mind that even though Acupuncture is very effective, it is still only one of the tools a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner has in their arsenal, so is best combined with other medicines as well.