Acupuncture is an integrative medical approach to healing various conditions in the mind and body. This practice involves inserting thin needles into the skin or tissue at specific places on the body to move healing energy throughout the body. Acupuncture originated in China but is now commonly used in Western alternative medicine.
Acupuncture is based on the theory that energy, or Qi, flows through energy highways called meridians. A person gets sick when their energy flows are out of balance or blocked. Acupuncture balances the patient’s energy and reduces the blocks to energy flows in the body.
Homeostasis is an important concept in acupuncture. Your body is healthy when it is in a state of homeostasis, which is balance and equilibrium. Chronic conditions can create an imbalance in your body systems by the inflammation caused by disease and conditions. Continued research is showing that chronic inflammation affects the body’s homeostasis and is a factor in many diseases such as heart disease, hypertension, and even cancer.
Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that acupuncture is an effective treatment for nausea after surgical anesthesia, cancer chemotherapy and for dental pain after surgery. The NIH also has found that acupuncture is useful by itself, or in combination with conventional therapies, to treat addiction, headaches, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma, and to assist in stroke rehabilitation.
Acupuncture is used for many diseases and conditions such as chronic pain, digestive problems including irritable bowel and nausea, emotional problems such as PTSD, depression and anxiety, headaches and migraines, chronic back pain, fatigue, addiction and lung conditions such as asthma.