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Originating in China more than 5,000 years ago, acupuncture is a healing method to treat disease. It is so effective that it has been benefitting Chinese people for thousands of years. Now, acupuncture is the fastest growing health care treatment in America.
The acupuncture theory is based on Meridians. The word “Meridian” as used in Chinese medicine came from the translation of the Chinese term “JingLuo”, which are the channels that carry “Chi”. The meridians connect the internal organs of the body with the exterior points on the skin along these meridians. These 14 major energy channels traverse throughout the human body including the head, arms, hands, legs, feet, torso and internal organs. Energy called Chi circulates via the meridians to all parts of the body. Any misdirection, blockage, derangement of the flow of the chi may result in pain, dysfunction and / or illness.
Working on the acupoints on the surface of the body will affect the chi that exists inside the body. Acupuncture needles can stimulate these acupoints. Such stimulation helps restore the normal balance and flow of chi, so organs and bodily systems can work together in harmony.
Acupuncture treatments’ main objectives are to relieve pain and other symptoms, strengthen the immune system, and balance functions of the organs with each other, making for a unified healthy person.
Typically, acupuncture needles are fine and flexible, no bigger than a human hair or piece of thread. Prior to the first treatment, most people think it will be painful. Actually, inserted into an acupoint by a skilled acupuncturist, the needle produces little or no sensation at all. Patients are usually amazed at how comfortable and relaxed they feel during the treatment.
Acupuncture diagnosis is based on the theory of traditional Chinese Medicine. Four examinations include:
- Looking – appearance, facial color, tongue, secretions and condition of the skin, hair and voice.
- Asking – seeking a history of illness, symptoms, lifestyle, diet, environment and emotional problems.
- Pulse Diagnosis – 28 types of pulse reveal excesses, deficiencies, cold, heat, disharmonies of Yin and Yang, Chi and blood, meridians and organs.
- Physical Examination – finding the tender acupoints and stiff areas are very important for diagnosis because certain acupoints and areas are related to specific meridians and the functions of organs.
Needle treatment is the traditional method, but other treatments such as acupressure (finger pressure), cupping, moxibustion, a variety of massage, electronic stimulation, infrared heat, press needles and herbal therapy might be used as well. Acupuncturists may also recommend dietary modifications and therapeutic exercises.
Some health insurance, Worker’s Compensation and No Fault Insurance policies cover acupuncture treatment. Please contact your insurance company for your coverage information.
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