Friday, May 1, 2009

Acupuncture Treatment Review

By Amanda Gamdana

One of the techniques of Traditional Chinese Medicine that is very close to Acupressure is Acupuncture. Like acupressure, this method uses the points of energy in the body called meridians; here fine needles penetrate the skin at those points - the method boosts good health and treats poor health.

In times of good health, the energy flows freely through the meridians but injuries and disease tend to block the flow. It is brought down to a simplistic explanation of getting the Qi or Chi to flow without any blockage through the human body in order to maintain a state of good health. You'll find that there are 14 meridians on the body and these have 365 points for acupuncture.

Trapped energy or Chi is stimulated and released by inserting special needles at specific locations or through acupressure depending on the nature of the illness. It is something like clearing the blocks in the path of the river to allow its free flow again. Chi may also flow either too quickly or too slowly, in which case acupuncture is used to regulate the stream of energy.

Within China, this particular form of medicine has been being practiced for a minimum of four thousand years, with all of these needles being found within archaeology digs of the late Shang Dynasty. Acupuncture is of three kinds: traditional Yin/Yang Theory, Five Elements and the Western or medical acupuncture. Though the diagnostic approach used by all the three methods is similar, the causes attributed to the illness and the treatment of the illness varies from one method to the other.

The basis of five element acupuncture is the five element cycle seen in Chinese medicine; the underlying belief is that an illness can be due to a physical cause or emotional stress. Based on this it is thought that only if inner stress is taken care off then physical illness or symptoms can be cured. Since the main emphasis within the five elements theory focuses on treating an illness's underlying cause, one should realize that it can be a very slow process in order to reach a complete recovery even though it is quite possible. According to the Yin/Yang theory the overall balance of the Yin and Yang has to be maintained for good health. Combinations of the different acupuncture points on the meridians are simultaneously stimulated so that more than one element is affected.

Western acupuncture combines Eastern and Western medical techniques and its focus is more on urgent short term treatment. There are two sub-categories of the medical aspect, the first, anesthetic acupuncture, is used in surgical and dental procedures. The second one is the 'symptomatic' one, or also known as first-aid and is not used mainly to cure illnesses but used along with analgesics as a pain reliever and has a temporary effect.

Well documented, reliable medical research has shown acupuncture to be successful in treating high blood pressure and migraines, allergies, depression, arthritis, asthma and gynecological problems including infertility. The treatment works best where the illness does not respond to conventional medication, is a persistent one or it is lifestyle related.

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