One of the main forms of treatment in traditional Chinese medicine is acupuncture. It actually involves the utilization of very thin and sharp needles that are inserted in the body’s very specific points. This treatment is believed to alter and adjust the body’s energy flow into healthier patterns and this is used to treat a variety of health conditions and illnesses.
According to the World Health Organization suggests that acupuncture as an effective treatment for more than forty medical problems which includes respiratory conditions, allergies, nervous conditions, nose and throat, and childhood illnesses, among others. Aside from that, acupuncture has been used to treat alcohol addiction and substance abuse. It is an effective and low-cost treatment for headaches and acute and chronic pain, associated with problems like back injuries and arthritis. Acupuncture has been used to supplement invasive Western treatments like surgery and chemotherapy and it is generally most effective when used as prevention or before a health condition becomes acute.
The Yellow Emperor’s Classic Internal Medicine is the original text of Chinese medicine and it is almost 2,500 years old. Since then, Thousands of books have been written on the subject of Chinese healing, and its basic philosophies spread long ago to other Asian civilizations. In the West today, nearly all forms of Oriental medicine are used like acupressure massage, acupuncture, shiatsu and macrobiotics which all have roots in Chinese medicine. According to legend, acupuncture was developed by early Chinese physicians who have observed unpredicted effects of puncture wounds in many Chinese warriors. The Systematic Classic of Acupuncture dates back to 282 A.D are the oldest known text on acupuncture. Chinese medicine traditionally utilizes herbal remedies, dietary therapy, lifestyle changes and other means to treat patients but acupuncture is its best known technique.
Only a few Western physicians in the early 1900s, who have visited China, were fascinated by acupuncture. Outside the Asian-American communities, acupuncture became unknown until the 1970s when Richard Nixon became the first U.S. president to visit China. During Nixon’s trip, journalists were astonished to observe major operations being performed on patients without the use of anesthetics. Patients were being operated wide awake with only acupuncture needles inserted into them to control pain. A famous columnist for the New York Times, James Reston who was with President Nixon during the trip had to undergo surgery and elected to use acupuncture instead of pain medication, and he wrote some convincing stories on its success.
Nowadays, Overland Park acupuncture is being practiced in all 50 states by over 9,000 practitioners and 4,000 of which are MDs including it in their practices. Acupuncture has shown notable accomplishment in treating many conditions and 15 million Americans have used it as a therapy but in some cases acupuncture remains largely unsupported by the medical establishment. The American Medical Association has been resistant to researching it, as it is based on concepts very different from the Western scientific model.
There are several forms of acupuncture being used today in America. Japanese acupuncture uses extremely thin needles and does not incorporate herbal medicine in its practice. Auricular acupuncture uses acupuncture points only on the ear, which are believed to stimulate and balance internal organs. In France, where acupuncture is very popular and more accepted by the medical establishment, neurologist Paul Nogier developed a system of acupuncture based on neuroendocrine theory rather than on traditional Chinese concepts, which is gaining some use in America.