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acupuncture  Acupuncture






Acupuncture is a traditional form of oriental medicine which originated in China and is being practiced by doctors all over the world now. Acupuncture treatment consists of inserting very fine needles at specific points on the skin, which are located near nerve endings. This has two effects -- first it stimulates specific nerves which transmit electrical impulses via the spinal cord and brain, to the diseased area. Secondly, it stimulates release of chemical substances from brain centers to form the body's own mechanism for pain relief.

Traditional acupuncture treats the whole person, body and mind, and not just symptoms. It's been researched, refined and developed for centuries.

The World Health Organization recommends traditional acupuncture and millions of people worldwide use it for all types of chronic and acute health problems.

The first known book of Chinese Medicine, the Classic of Internal Medicine of the Yellow Emperor, dates back to between the first century BC and the first century AD. All styles of acupuncture currently practiced around the world trace their roots back to this text.

Without the help of modern scientific equipment, ancient Chinese scholars discovered many now familiar aspects of biomedical science, such as the effect of emotional stress on the immune system. Traditional acupuncturists are no less scientific or sophisticated than western clinicians in their understanding of how the body functions, although to this day they use terminology that reflects Chinese medicine's cultural and historic origins.

In China during the early part of the twentieth century traditional medicine fell out of fashion as symptomatic healthcare treatments were imported from the West along with other cultural influences.

Calls by western trained doctors to ban traditional Chinese medicine were rejected by the National Medical Assembly in Shanghai on 17 March 1929. This day is still celebrated every year as Chinese Doctors' Day.  



Traditional Chinese medicine remained in the shadow of western medicine until the Long March of 1934-5. Without drugs, anesthetics or surgery vast numbers of sick and wounded soldiers faced death until doctors of traditional Chinese medicine achieved amazing results using acupuncture and other traditional methods of treatment.

From this point on, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and western medicine were practiced side by side in China. Under the People's Republic of China, established in 1948, all branches of TCM were nurtured and encouraged to grow. By 1978, whole hospitals and research departments were devoted to the practice of TCM.

Today traditional acupuncture is practiced all around the world and clinical trials are now confirming its efficacy. More and more people are able to benefit as traditional acupuncture becomes a recognized option within standard healthcare.

Most people find acupuncture relaxing and often feel very calm after a treatment. You may feel tired or sleepy and should take this into account if you are planning to drive or use machinery straight after your treatment. Acupuncture has very few side effects and any that do occur are usually mild and self-correcting. Cupping and guasha can sometimes temporarily mark the skin. Such bruising is painless and generally clears within a day or two.

Two surveys conducted independently of each other and published in the British Medical Journal in 2001 concluded that the risk of a serious adverse reaction to acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000.

A total of 66,000 treatments were reviewed in both surveys, one of traditional acupuncturists and the other of doctors who practice acupuncture, with only a handful of minor and transient side effects.

A 2003 patient survey of 6,000 acupuncture patients revealed almost identical figures.

There are very few side effects from acupuncture when practiced by a fully qualified practitioner of traditional acupuncture. The needles used are ultra-fine, single-use, sterile and disposable and any side effects, such as dizziness or bruising around needle points, are mild and self-correcting.

See NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) for information.

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Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products and information contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases or medical problems. This is not intended to replace your doctor's recommendations. The information is provided for educational purposes only. Nutritional benefits may vary from one person to another.







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