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What is acupuncture?
What is Five-Element acupuncture?
Does it work?
Benefits of acupuncture

 

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an energetic medicine that works with your body's life-force, or Qi (pronounced chi), to bring you back to a state of balance that will allow a return to optimal health. Fine, sterile needles are inserted at points along the pathways of energy in the body in order to affect the Qi and help it move smoothly. Having originated in China more than 2,500 years ago, acupuncture is one of the oldest, as well as most widely and continuously used, systems of traditional medicine in the world.

The term traditional medicine refers to those systems of medicine which have existed for centuries in various cultures around the world before the dawn of modern, scientific medicine. The World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) states, "Traditional medicine refers to health practices, approaches, knowledge and beliefs incorporating plant, animal and mineral based medicines, spiritual therapies, manual techniques and exercises, applied singularly or in combination to treat, diagnose and prevent illnesses or maintain well-being... In industralized countries, adaptations of traditional medicine are termed 'complementary' or 'alternative' (CAM)."

An important concept inherent in traditional medicines is that of holism. As a holistic medicine, acupuncture elegantly addresses you at all levels of your being—body, mind, and spirit—rather than just as a symptom that needs fixing. If the focus remains at the symptomatic level, often the underlying imbalance will remain untouched. This is like putting out the sparks but ignoring the fire! By treating you at a deeper level, acupuncture seeks to gently remedy the true, underlying condition rather than offer a temporary fix by eliminating the sparks. By treating in this manner, the sparks themselves often naturally resolve. For this reason, acupuncture is effective for a wide range of conditions, and can support a person in a much broader way than often imagined.

 

Qi

The Chinese character for Qi

 

What is Five-Element acupuncture?

Five-Element acupuncture is a traditional style of acupuncture. Inherent in this style are the beliefs that we, as parts of a greater whole, are inextricably bound to the same laws that govern the world around us; that Qi exists within everything—the clouds, the wind, a person, a thought; and that within each of us lies an innate and powerful ability to heal, as our natural inclination is, as in all things, towards balance.

The Five Elements—Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood—are, essentially, five phases of energy through which all of life moves, each one giving rise to the next, creating the cycle of life. One of the easiest ways to observe this movement of energy is to observe the seasons; the cycle that takes place seemingly outside of ourselves also exists within us. Our bodies, minds, and spirits change from season to season. Ever in motion, these five phases create the transformations that we can witness not just seasonally, but on a daily basis as well as over the course of a lifetime.

Please visit again as I add more information about each of the individual Elements.

 

Does it work?

Acupuncture is often very effective for many people presenting a wide range of conditions. The effectiveness of acupuncture has been endorsed by both the National Institutes of Health (http://nccam.nih.gov/) and the World Health Organization. The NIH also advocates acupuncture as a therapy with extremely low adverse effects. The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture for the treatment of over 50 common medical conditions. The most common clinical applications of acupuncture are:

• Allergies
• Angina
• Asthma
• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
• Constipation
• Depression

• Dysmenorrhea
• Erectile Dysfunction
• Fibromyalgia
• High blood pressure
• Infertility
• Insomnia

• Menopause
• Migraine
• Psoriasis
• Shingles
• Tinnitus
• Urinary tract infections

Benefits of acupuncture

Although the use of acupuncture is relatively new in this country, the benefits are beginning to be widely recognized and documented. While people first come to acupuncture to address a specific concern, those who have tried acupuncture report additional benefits such as:

• Being sick less often and recovering more quickly

• Improvement of symptoms or complete abatement of symptoms

• Improvement of vitality and stamina

• Reductions in over-the-counter and prescription drugs

• Fewer visits to their physicians.

Acupuncture is also helpful for many chronic conditions or health concerns that have no clear origin or cause.

 

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