Although acupuncture is unfamiliar to many who have always been treated with traditional medicine, it is an alternative approach gaining new acceptance in modern Western society.
First practiced in China, acupuncture involves the use of thin needles to apply pressure along the meridians, or pathways, along which the energy of life, or qi flows.
When acupuncture is performed by a trained practitioner using sterile needles, it is usually safe and sometimes effective for the following conditions:
- As a treatment for insomnia
- To reduce or relieve pain
- To open sinuses to prevent infection
- To treat stomach disorders or intestinal problems
- To give relief from female disorders
The list of other maladies that can be alleviated with acupuncture, according to those who are trained to practice it, is exhaustive.
Chinese Medicinal System
According to Chinese medicine, there are twelve meridians in the body which run between the three hundred and sixty-five acupuncture pressure points.
Different types of energy necessary for the smooth functioning of the body flow through these pathways. If these pathways are kept clear and the flow of energy is unimpeded, acupuncturists believe, the various parts of the body will work harmoniously.
These energy forces include the following:
- Jing (essence)
Practitioners of acupuncture assess the health of a person based on several guidelines set forth in the Chinese medical community. To determine if the energy is flowing properly, they apply the following standards:
- Your appetite is normal, with no desire to overeat.
- Your bowels move each day regularly.
- Urination occurs between five and seven times a day, but rarely at night and causes no pain.
- You sleep well without difficulty.
- You have no abnormal sweating or symptoms of thirst.
- Males awaken with an erection, and females wake up with sensitive nipples.
- You are experiencing no pain.
- Your hands and feet are warm, but your face is cool.
- You have energy to complete daily routines.
- Females menstruate in cycle with little pain or bloating.
If any of these normal signs of good health are missing, acupuncture prescribes a set of points connected to the problem organ which should be needled.
Repeated acupuncture treatments should correct the blocked energy force to the affected body parts and return the body to its normal working order.