Acupuncture as a Form of Complementary Treatment for Cystic Fibrosis

Most people know that acupuncture is a mode of treatment that involves the insertion of filiform needles into pre-chosen points on the body. These points are usually called acupoints or trigger points by the acupuncturist. Acupuncture has been known in the United States for 40 years and it is more seen as a complementary form of treatment to Western Medicine although it has been used in various parts of East Asia as a frontline treatment for various types of conditions for tens of millennia.

The practice of acupuncture is now divided into two schools of thought: one stems from a Western style of treatment in which the inserted needles are believed to convey signals to the brain through the nervous system. This school of thought believes the acupuncture stimulates the brain to release endorphins and other similar neurohormones into the blood stream that helps block pain signals from reaching the brain effectively stopping any pain sensation that the person is supposed to feel. This effectively relives the person of all pain and discomfort in his body. The western type of acupuncture considers acupoints as points where underlying energy channels called meridians are located. Each of these meridians corresponds to a certain organ system in the body (spleen, gallbladder, liver, kidney, lung, heart, etc). The meridians crisscross all over the body.

As the Western approach to medicine is to evaluate and address symptoms instead of attempting to balance and maintain health, the Western theory on the workings of acupuncture is the one mostly accepted in the West. Healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists now use acupuncture to resolve various types of conditions and symptoms.

Acupuncture practiced by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners in New York is seen to balance the vital energy (chi) in the body by stimulating or releasing its flow through the process of acupoint needling. TCM’s entire philosophy is to generate and maintain balance in the body to prevent the rise of injuries and illnesses as a result of an imbalance of energy.

Studies have proven that acupuncture can be effective in addressing symptoms associated with respiratory conditions including anxiety, nausea, shortness of breath, and pain. These are symptoms that may be experienced by people suffering from cystic fibrosis in an acute or chronic manner brought about by this chronic condition. These symptoms can negatively impact the patient’s ability to participate and derive benefit from exercise, physiotherapy, and nebulizer treatment and therefore, make the symptoms and the patient’s overall condition even much worse.

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