Acupuncture is a component of Chinese traditional medicine that’s been around for at least 2,500 years. It involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points to enhance the natural healing ability of the body. Traditional Chinese medicines theorizes that the more than 2,000 Acupuncture points on the human body connect with 12 main and secondary pathways, called meridians. These meridians conduct energy between the surface of the body and internal organs.
Acupuncture is based on ancient Chinese theories of the flow of Qi (energy) and Xue (blood) through meridians or pathways that cover the body. According to ancient theory disease arises when the free flow of Qi and Xue is motionless. Acupuncture helps to re-establish the free flow of Qi and Xue to flow to areas where there is deficiency and away from areas where there is excess. In this way, acupuncture is also used to improve the blood flow.
If you are seeking acupuncture care in Las Vegas, we know you’ll have lots of questions. For your convenience, we've provided below several common questions with answers.
WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
Acupuncture is a health science used to successfully treat both pain and dysfunction in the body.
Acupuncture has its roots deeply planted in China. Authorities estimate that the science is between 5,000 and 7,000 years old. Its use spread throughout ancient Egypt, the Middle East, the Roman Empire and into Western Europe as merchants and missionaries to China told of the amazing discoveries the people of the Orient had developed. Acupuncture did not become known on a national level in the U.S. until 1971 when diplomatic relations between China and American were relaxed.
The primary notoriety of Acupuncture is the utilization of needles placed into the skin at various locations to relieve pain or affect a body part. Early Chinese physicians discovered an energy network just below the surface of the skin that facilitates communication between the internal organs and over 1,000 “Acupoints” on the body. This energy works in harmony with the body’s circulatory, nervous, and muscular, digestive, genitourinary and all other systems of the body. When this vital energy becomes blocked or weakened, an effect in a body system or anatomic location becomes evident. Stimulation of one or a combination of key “Acupoints” on the body may restore harmony to the affected area.
Historians have concluded that more people have benefited from Acupuncture over the course of fifty centuries than from all other healing sciences, both ancient and modern combined.
Far too often in the medical profession an examining doctor who is unable to find the cause of a problem tells the patient, “There is nothing wrong.” Or, “You’ll have to learn to live with the pain.” Fortunately, many physicians are now referring their patients for an Acupuncture evaluation, even as a last resort.
WHAT IS MERIDIAN THERAPY?
Meridian therapy is the accepted name employed by those who practice the principle of Acupuncture without the use of a penetrating needle. Because Acupuncture is a principle and not a technique, physicians may utilize various ways to stimulate an “Acupoint” without the use of needles. Those ways may include laser, electronic stimulation or pressure massage. With each technique, the principle of Acupuncture does not change.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The human body’s energy flows over twelve meridians, or channels, that are normally well balanced. A disruption in energy flow can alter the entire system, producing pain or other symptoms in the body.
Imagine a 175-pound man on one end of a seesaw and a 45-pound child on the other end. The heavier person would be sitting on the ground while the lighter would be dangling in the air. Conventional examination would not reveal anything broken or wrong with the mechanics of the seesaw. However, the imbalance prevents the seesaw from functioning properly. Correction of the balance restores function of the seesaw. Likewise, the goal of Acupuncture is to restore normalcy to the body’s energy balance. To do this the physician utilizes a combination of “Acupoints” located on the twelve meridians.
Medical research continuously attempts to explain in western scientific terms what the ancient Chinese has described for seventy centuries. Today, many theories have been postulated as to why Acupuncture is so effective in pain control. However, as more discoveries are made, more research will be likely disclosed.
IS TREATMENT PAINFUL?
One would assume that inserting a needle into the skin would be painful. Most of us can relate to being stuck with a pin or have a hypodermic injection. However, four Acupuncture needles can easily be inserted into the hollow tube of a hypodermic needle. Because of the extreme slenderness of the needle, most people describe the sensation as less than a mosquito bite.
A phenomenon referred to as “TEHCHI” occurs when the energy is contacted. This sensation is felt as mild or moderate heaviness or tingling.
Needles obviously still have their place in clinical practice. However, many physicians certified in Acupuncture and licensed acupuncturists are employing electronic and laser stimulation to the Acupoints with equal effectiveness as the needle. Both of these procedures are painless and are quickly becoming standard worldwide.
The tapping needle “teishein” is not really a needle and does not pierce the skin. It produces a mild to moderate sensation similar to the tapping of a ballpoint pen on the skin. This form of stimulation has been used successfully for centuries. Thumb pressure is equally impressive and not considered painful.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS ARE USUAL?
The number of treatments varies with different conditions and individuals. Chronic problems generally require more treatment than acute ones. Some patients notice an immediate improvement after the first treatment while others may not notice any effect until the seventh or eighth visit. A certain percentage of patients receive maximum benefit for up to three months following a course of therapy.
A small number of patients will initially experience a worsening of symptoms as the body’s energies are returning to normal. This is normal and is usually followed by improvement. Researchers internationally agree that the most common number of treatments required is between eight and sixteen, and the usual frequency is between two and four times a week.
Patients are urged not to enter an Acupuncture program with the thought of “taking a few to see what happens.” Even though Acupuncture may achieve success within a few visits, a program of frequent visits over a period of time will have a better chance of success. Patience is important with the healing process. If the recommended treatments result in successful healing in just five visits, the doctor may elect to discontinue treatment or continue to stabilize the condition.
ARE RESULTS PSYCHOLOGICAL?
Many critics of Acupuncture have suggested the science is hypnosis or “mind over matter.” This criticism is totally unfounded as Acupuncture has startling effects in infants and toddlers as well as veterinary applications. The effect Acupuncture has in surgery as an anesthetic further disclaims the skeptics. Even total unbelievers report favorable response to Acupuncture.
However, a positive outlook is obviously beneficial in all phases of life, including healing.
WHAT CONDITIONS ARE ACCEPTED?
Acupuncture textbooks list well over one hundred different conditions that respond well to Acupuncture. The World Health Organization, working closely with the International Acupuncture Training Center of Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, has indicated Acupuncture as effective in a number of conditions that include the following:
Acute and chronic pain relief; migraine; tension cluster and sinus headaches; trigeminal neuralgia; bladder dysfunction; bed wetting; cervical (neck), midback, and low shoulder pain relief; tennis elbow; post-operative pain relief; gastric problems; asthma; allergies; skin conditions; hemorrhoids; abnormal blood pressure; fatigue; anxiety; neurologic syndrome; and various eye problems.
IS ACUPUNCTURE EXPENSIVE?
The cost of Acupuncture treatment varies. However, the average is between $50.00 and $85.00 per treatment. Many insurance companies are now paying for Acupuncture and Chiropractic treatments.
ARE RESULTS PERMANENT?
For acute problems where little or no organ system or tissue damage is evident, results are often permanent. For chronic conditions, symptoms may recur from time to time. Generally, a few additional treatments are sufficient to obtain relief. Patients with severe or chronic conditions are encouraged to return for a booster treatment two or three times a year.
The first U.S. national media coverage concerning Acupuncture was in 1971 during President Nixon’s visit to China. There, visiting columnist James Reston reported his emergency appendectomy performed under Acupuncture anesthesia.
Acupuncture has been used quite successfully in place of chemical anesthesia for a variety of surgeries within the last twenty years. Acupuncture is routinely used for the Cesarean section at the Beijing Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital. It is also routinely used for the thyroidectomy at the Long Hau Hospital in Shanghai. Other effective uses for Acupuncture include gastric and brain surgeries and dentistry.
During the surgical procedure the patient remains alert, communicating with the surgeon. The patient does not feel pain, only the pulling and tugging that may be employed during the surgery.
Acupuncture will probably not replace chemical anesthesia in the U.S. in the future. However, patients unable to tolerate regular anesthesia may eventually consider the use of Acupuncture.
Perhaps the cornerstone of Acupuncture examination is “pulse diagnosis.” By feeling the pulse, the trained practitioner can determine the balance of the twelve meridians. The ancient method of diagnosis is giving way to modem electronic evaluation, also known as “ryodoraku” or “Electro Meridian Imaging” (EMI). The practitioner places a small painless electronic pen on the skin over specific Acupoints. By way of a sensitive metering device, the electro potential of a point is measured. This examination is extremely reliable and is quickly becoming a standard method of diagnosis internationally.
Many physicians have utilized applied kinesiology, an examination involving the testing of certain muscles and correlating them to the associated meridian. Case history and consultation play a vital role in determining what is abnormal, as well as simple palpation over specified body parts.
In recent years, Acupuncture has gained a great deal of notoriety concerning its considerable success with addiction control of both drugs and alcohol in conjunction with professional counseling. Currently several clinics in the U.S. are devoted solely to the use of Acupuncture in drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
Smoking is one of the most noteworthy addictions positively affected by Acupuncture. The average patient will reduce their intake by at least one half within twenty-four hours of the first treatment. Several additional treatments generally allow the patient to stop smoking without experiencing the usual negative side effects of quitting.
Acupuncture has also proven to offer a favorable effect in weight control.
Acupuncture eartacs/earseeds are are placed into the inner portion of the ear at specific Acupuncture points. The eartacs/earseeds causes a constant stimulation to the Acupuncture points and can be left in for up to one week. The eartacs/earseeds are used for the treatment of weight control, smoking control, drug addictions, alcoholism, and stress. The eartacs/earseeds have an 80% success rate. For example, with the weight loss eartacs/earseeds, the average weight loss is 2 pounds per week, appetite and cravings are decreased and metabolism is stimulated. The stop smoking eartacs/earseeds aids in the decrease of addiction to nicotine and withdrawal symptoms.
Acupuncture is being used on an ever-increasing scale in veterinary clinics throughout the U.S. the response seen in small animal Acupuncture is very significant and many P.V.M.s are utilizing this procedure, not as a last resort, but as initial treatment. The response in equine application is especially significant.
On the ear are more than one hundred Acupoints which relate to various organ systems and parts of the body. During fetal development, the first structure to form is the brain and spinal cord. At the same time, what later becomes the external ear also develops.
The Ancient Chinese viewed the ear as resembling an upside down fetus with all of the body parts proportionately arranged in and out of the ear. For example, the lobe of the ear would relate to the head, brain, stem, and face while the top of the ear related to the knee, foot, and ankle. The success rate in Ear Acupuncture is remarkable. Thousands of American physicians have begun using ear Acupuncture as an adjunct to their practice.
HAND AND CEREBRAL ACUPUNCTURE
Throughout the body are a number of Acupoints which have a particular effect, especially significant on the hand and scalp. Cerebral Acupuncture consists of several zones which are primarily used for serious neurological conditions. Other Acupoints are utilized in treating common conditions. Headache, sore throat, neck and shoulder pain, and even toothaches may be successfully treated simply by stimulating specific hand points.
Chiropractic was discovered as a healing art in America in the late 1800's. Yet, the use of spinal manipulation in the Far and Near East is estimated to be over 7,000 years old.
Spinal vertebral therapy and soft tissue mobilization know in the Orient as “Tui Na” is a vital part of “Chung Guo I Hsueh” or Middle Kingdom Healing. The body consists of 300 trillion cells which are under the direct influence of the nervous system. The spinal column comprises 24 moveable segments and plays an integral part in human functioning as it protects the spinal cord which is responsible for sending large nerve impulses to the organs and structures of the body through small openings between the vertebrae.
Chiropractic physicians and Oriental medical doctors are explicitly trained in the detection and correction of “vertebral subluxations” which impinge or impede vital nerve impulses. The spinal mobilization “adjustment” may play a vital role in the recovery of a patient. Treatment is often considered painless and pleasant.
Asian physicians have historically recognized the importance of herbs in healing for centuries. Herbs are utilized either alone, or in combination for specific maladies with astounding success. Many, if not most, drugs in the West are derived from actions observed from specific herbs used for generations.
WHAT ARE PROBLEMS ACUPUNCTURE CAN HELP?
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO), Acupuncture has proven effective in the treatment of many common problems:
- Addiction – drug, alcohol, smoking
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Chronic Fatigue
- Common Cold
- Dental Pain
- Digestive trouble
- Emotional problems
- Eye problems
- Facial palsy/tics
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Low back pain
- Menstrual irregularities
- Morning sickness
- Reproductive problems
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Shoulder Pain
- Sleep disturbances
- Smoking cessation
- Sore throat
- Tennis elbow
- Tooth pain
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Urinary Tract infections
- Wrist pa