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 Acupuncture: Acupuncture Facts  
 
What is Acupuncture?
The intent of acupuncture therapy is to promote health and alleviate pain and suffering. The method by which this is accomplished, though it may seem strange and mysterious to many, has been time tested over thousands of years and continues to be validated today.

The perspective from which an acupuncturist views health and sickness hinges on concepts of "vital energy," "energetic balance" and "energetic imbalance." Just as the Western medical doctor monitors the blood flowing through blood vessels and the messages traveling via the nervous system, the acupuncturist assesses the flow and distribution of this "vital energy" within its pathways, known as "meridians and channels".

The acupuncturist is able to influence health and sickness by stimulating certain areas along these "meridians". Traditionally these areas or "acupoints" were stimulated by fine, slender needles. Today, many additional forms of stimulation are incorporated, including herbs, electricity, magnets and lasers. Still, the aim remains the same - adjust the "vital energy" so the proper amount reaches the proper place at the proper time. This helps your body heal itself.

Acupuncture is just one form of therapy used within the coherent system of healing known as Oriental Medicine. Oriental Medicine includes herbology, physical therapy, dietetics and special exercises (such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong), and is a complete medical system unto itself and is not another branch of modern Western medicine. Acupuncture evolved from principles and philosophies unique to Oriental thinking and Oriental Medicine, and is most effectively applied when done in accordance with those principles.

What is the history?
Most experts would say that acupuncture is at least 2000 years old. The exact age is less important than the fact that Oriental Medicine is the most widely utilized healing system on this planet.

Its roots are in China, but the fruits of its potential to help the sick and injured are apparent in many places, including all of Asia, Europe and America.

Today, the art and science of Acupuncture / Oriental Medicine is still not understood by many, yet it continues to gain popularity and acceptance because of one fact - IT WORKS.

How does acupuncture work?
For millennia, the acupuncturist has been engaging subtle human energies, otherwise known as "Qi". According to time-tested principles unique to Oriental Medicine, the acupuncturist would assess and adjust the flow and distribution of "Qi" in order to promote health and healing.

So far, modern research has described various physiological shifts following acupuncture, such as beneficial changes in the body's own natural painkillers, anti-inflammatory agents, immune system functions and hormonal activity.

Despite the powerful technology available today, even the modern physicists cannot explain exactly how this ancient healing therapy works. Perhaps in the near future, the actual chemical and electromagnetic events that occur during acupuncture will be described.

Why use Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine?
In addition to being effective for many acute and chronic common illnesses, Oriental Medicine has much to offer those who wish to raise the quality of health and vitality. Practitioners of Oriental Medicine operate with prevention in mind, attempting to correct small energetic imbalances before they become big health problems.

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 About The Author
California State Oriental Medicine Association  The California State Oriental Medical Association is a professional organization of licensed acupuncturists and supporters of Oriental medicine dedicated to the preservation and advancement of the art, science, and......more
 
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