Acupuncture is an integral part of the ancient system of healing called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM has evolved in China over the past several millennia and is still widely used today in China and throughout the rest of the world. In China TCM is practiced alongside Western medicine in hospitals and performs the vital role of primary medical care for billions of Chinese.
TCM views the human body as being composed of different organ and channel systems that perform different functions to ensure our health, and that disease and/or pain are a breakdown of these functions for a variety of reasons.
The premise of this view rests on the ancient observation that the universe and the human body conform to certain natural laws, and by uncovering those laws we are not only able to understand the body and its functions, but also to grasp how disease arises and how it can be prevented and treated.
TCM physicians apply the concepts of Qi (chi), Yin-Yang and the Five Phases (earth, metal, water, wood and fire) to their work in diagnosing and treating patients. The human microcosm is viewed as being in direct relationship and sensitive with the larger fluctuations of the universal macrocosm. This focus accounts for the holistic nature of TCM.
Qi flows through and is all things. The more diffuse and active Qi circulates around the human body through a system of pathways called channels. These channels run from our head and face along the torso to the toes or from our chest and face to the fingers, as well as diverging interiorly to nourish the organ systems.
During an acupuncture treatment ultra-fine surgical steel single use sterile needles are gently inserted into the acupuncture points located along these channels to affect the Qi. The ingestion of Chinese medicinal herbs also has a direct effect upon the Qi flow in these channels.
Qi is susceptible to pathological changes. Qi vacuity and repletion can result from various lifestyle factors or from various environmental factors. These pathologies may be characterized by such symptoms as, lethargy, poor digestion, constipation, diarrhea, insomnia, pain, fever and chills.
Qi stagnation may also arise from the clogging of excess food or phlegm or the constraining effect of emotional depression, stress and frustration. Qi stagnation is often characterized by sensations of fullness, distention, or pain and is often a major cause of female menstrual irregularities.
Through the use of acupuncture and/or Chinese herbal medicinal therapy our body’s Qi, Yin-Yang and balance of the Five Phases can be affected to not only alleviate the symptoms a patient is experiencing but also to heal the very root cause of the problem whether it be connected with body, mind or spirit.
What does acupuncture treat?
The World Health Organization (December 1979) recognizes a number of disorders that have been successfully treated by acupuncture. These are emphasized in bold print in the following list which also include s other disorders that respond well to acupuncture.
Headaches, migraines, difficulty sleeping, nervous tension, stroke, some form of deafness, facial and inter-costal neuralgia, trigeminal neuralgia, some form of paralysis, sequelae of poliomyelitis, peripheral neuropathy, noises in the ears, dizziness, Meniere’s disease.
High or low-blood pressure, fluid retention, chest pain, angina pectoris, poor circulation, cold hands and feet, muscle cramps.
Bronchial asthma, acute and chronic bronchitis, acute tonsillitis, rhinitis, sinusitis, hay fever, chronic cough, laryngitis, sore throat, influenza and the common cold.
Toothache, post-extraction pain, gingivitis, mouth ulcers, hiccough, spasms of the oesophagus, gastric and duodenal ulcers, gastric hyperacidity, gastritis, heartburn, hiatus hernia syndrome, flatulence, paralytic ileus, colitis, diarrhoea, constipation, haemorrhooids, liver and gall bladder disorders, weight control.
Cystitis, prostatits, orchitis, low sexual vitality, urinary retention, kidney disorders, nocturnal enuresis, neurogenic bladder dysfunction.
GYNAECOLOGICAL AND OBSTETRIC DISORDER
Premenstrual tension, painful, heavy or irregular, or the absence of periods, abnormal uterine bleeding or discharge, hormonal disturbances, disorders associated with menopause, prolapsed of the uterus or bladder, difficulty with conception, morning sickness.
Eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, nerve rash, herpes zoster, acne, scar tissue and resultant adhesions, hair loss and dandruffs.
Visual disorders, red, sore, itchy or watery eyes, conjunctivitis, simple cataracts, myopia in children, central retinitis.
Osteoarthritis, sciatica, lumbago, weak back, low back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, tenosynovitis, shoulder and neck pain, cervicobrachial syndrome, “frozen shoulder”, “tennis elbow”.
Sprained ankles and knees, cartilage problems, corking and tearing of muscles, torn ligaments and bruises.
Depression, phobias, emotional disturbances, anxiety, nervousness and addictions such as smoking.