What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a holistic system of healing that is thousands of years old and growing. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the larger medical system that houses acupuncture, traces its roots to at least 2,000 years ago and by some scholarly estimates over 5,000 years ago. To put it in perspective, that is just before the very first pyramids in Egypt were being built. Literally, acupuncture is ancient and is still evolving as researchers and scientist-practitioners expand the knowledgebase of this practical medicine.
Many are familiar with the notion of acupuncture, but let’s dive deeper. Modern acupuncture employs the use of filiform, or “threadlike,” needles. The needles are placed into specific points along the body by a Licensed Acupuncture Physician. The Meridian System Theory that was developed and refined millennia before today is a cornerstone of acupuncture. An acupuncturist assists the healthy functioning of this system through acupuncture needles, and other medical modalities. Points along the meridians are influenced by the acupuncture needles via numerous needling methods, physical techniques (bodywork), or herbal application.
In TCM parlance, acupuncture can move Qi and blood (promote circulation), clear and remove obstructions to open the meridians, strengthen or sedate Qi to restore harmony, raise or descend Qi to restore balance, promote organ functioning, alleviate pain, expel pathogens, boost immune levels, promote digestion, brighten the eyes, benefit the brain, calm the mind, and so much more. The overall purpose of acupuncture is to restore homeostasis and balance, in other words, to bring optimal health to the body.
Features of Acupuncture:
- Filiform needles
- Solid, hair-thin or “threadlike” medical instrument of sterilized, polished steel for single-use
- Meridian System Theory
- Network of subtle energetic, anatomical pathways that contribute to healthy physiological functioning when in balance
- Acupuncture points are locations along these pathways, or meridians, that affect the entire meridian system and therefore the body as a whole, as well as a local affect on the specific meridian and body region
- Performed by Licensed Acupuncturist
- The only medical or healthcare professional approved to administer acupuncture is a Licensed Acupuncturist
- Styles of Acupuncture based on culture and medical philosophy (not a comprehensive listing)
- Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, French
- Five Element, Meridian Therapy, Toyohari, Koryo, Balance Method, Tong
- Local, Distal, Microsystems – Scalp, Abdominal, Auricular (Ear), Hand
We live in a world where folks desire to see verifiable evidence from reputable sources to validate efficacy or discredit false claims. Here we supply 3 sources for your review of the validity, reliability, and effectiveness of acupuncture as a viable medical modality. What is significant to state is that these scientific papers are supported by thousands of documented research studies from the past few decades up to the most recent medical evidence:
The American Medical Association published a review article in 2012 in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine. It was a meta-analysis for chronic pain which evaluated the efficacy of acupuncture for common chronic pain syndromes. The conclusions reached were that “acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain and is, therefore, a reasonable referral option,” as well as acupuncture benefits not being merely a placebo effect.
The World Health Organization (WHO) published a report, “Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials,” in 2003 and lists 28 “diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved—through controlled trials—to be an effective treatment,” and another 63 “diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed.”
The National Institute of Health (NIH) published a Consensus Conference Statement in 1997 from a multidisciplinary panel of medical professionals where an extensive research review was compiled to produce a science-based position on Acupuncture. Their conclusion, acupuncture has shown promising results in the treatment of various acute and chronic common medical conditions and is an acceptable alternative medical intervention.
Experience the magic and medicine of acupuncture at Lakewood Ranch Acupuncture & Wellness. Our gifted practitioners are highly educated and trained to provide you the best treatment available. Whether you live near us in Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota, Bradenton, or you are just visiting the Gulf Coast, give our office a call to schedule your next wellness session!