Acupuncture has been extensively used in Oriental folkloric and traditional health care practices. Martial arts movies as well as a few dramas and comedies often portray them as a technique for inducing some changes in the body. You would be forgiven for associating acupuncture with the use of needles being inserted into your body.
However, what you need to understand is that these are not mere needles and that they are not inserted just about anywhere in your body. If you think acupuncture is more like getting a large needle and sticking it right through the skin at wanton, then it is very clear that there are many things you do not know about acupuncture.
The Art and Science of Body Region Stimulation
Those who have mastered the art of acupuncture do not necessarily read them in medical journals or anatomy books. Ancient Chinese and other Oriental cultures believe in the existence of specific body regions that can be mentally drawn as representing the different organ systems in the body. The overall principle in Oriental medicine is that life is full of energy that should naturally flow all over the body. This natural body energy, of qi, is something what makes organs in the body fully functioning. When any disruption in the flow of qi occurs, disease can occur anywhere along its path, both from the origin of the qi flow to its destination. Acupuncture aims to relieve this disruption in order to reestablish balance and harmony – to reestablish normal the flow of energy.
So, the science in acupuncture is in the knowledge of what individual sections of the skin and underlying tissues will, if inserted with an acupuncture needle, stimulate a specific internal body organ. For example, if you want to relieve symptoms associated with kidney problems such as frequent urination and painful urination, you need to know what area of the skin you need to insert the needle to. And you are talking about roughly 1.5 square meters or body surface area. So inserting the acupuncture needle in the wrong spot may not be able to elicit the effect that you want. So knowledge of body regions and its associated internal organs is a must.
And so is the skill of inserting the needle. Acupuncturists require steady hands and the application of just enough pressure on the needle in order to elicit the desired effect.
Benefits Of Acupuncture
That being said, acupuncture can be translated into western medical principles as the stimulation of specific dermatomes on the skin to elicit a particular response through neurologic stimulation. Physical therapists know this very well as they use transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation as well as dry needling techniques. In fact, it is a widely held belief that these western therapeutic modalities are offshoots of Oriental acupuncture.
Here are some of the wonderful benefits of acupuncture you may not even be familiar with.
Pain Relief – Acupuncture relieves the pain and discomfort associated with migraine headaches and other chronic conditions. When the correct nerves are stimulated, acupuncture has been known to provide great relief for certain types of pain particularly migraine as well as low back pain.
Allergy Relief – Acupuncture relieves the symptoms of seasonal allergy. It is believed that needle stimulation can increase blood flow to help facilitate the faster and more efficient removal of inflammatory substances to help reduce the signs of inflammation seen in allergies.
Improved Digestion – Acupuncture stimulates the improved regulation of gastric acid secretion as well as enhances the rate of digestion. This is why it is considered effective in the management of indigestion as well as heartburn.
Stress-Buster and Mood Enhancer – Acupuncture stimulates the release of natural endorphins found in the brain. These substances provide a feeling of ‘wellbeing’ and ‘happiness’ so that you will not feel depressed. In some cases, acupuncture is also a great way to de-stress simply because of the stimulation of these feel-good neurotransmitters.
Better Sleep – Acupuncture can treat insomnia by stimulating GABA receptors in the brain to reduce electrical nerve impulse stimulation. This makes your muscles relax and puts you to sleep a lot faster.
Weight-Loss Miracle – Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in the reduction of weight among susceptible individuals. While the exact mechanism is poorly understood, it is believed to be related to the stimulation of improved efficiency in toxic waste removal that has always been a major consideration in weight gain.
Answer to Infertility – Acupuncture is believed to be a crucial element in the success of many fertility treatments. While acupuncture alone does not guarantee that women will become pregnant, when used with other more modern techniques, acupuncture can greatly enhance the effectiveness of these modern methods, thus increasing the chances of getting pregnant.