Acupuncture is an ancient System of medicine. The
earliest acupuncture books were written over 2000 years ago
and today there are over three million practitioners
worldwide. Acupuncture began with the discovery that
stimulating certain areas of the skin affected functioning
of specific organs. It evolved into a system of
healing as the connection between the skin and organs was
better understood and more sensitive ways of stimulation
were devised. In the West, acupuncture has been
misleadingly publicized as being good only for specific
conditions such as pain or weight loss. However, it is
effective for a variety of conditions due to its power to
stimulate our own healing response. This overall
therapeutic effect is one of its great strengths. This
is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural
healing and to improve functioning. This is done by
inserting needles and applying heat or electrical
stimulation at very precise acupuncture points. The
system revolves on the concept of Qi.
is Qi (pronounced chee)?
Qi loosely defined means energy or life force, and has a
profound effect on
physiological function and health. Qi is balanced when the
body is in good health. Qi courses through 12 main "meridians"
or energy pathways, throughout the body, nourishing various organs and
structures in its path. Disrupting qi along any of
these pathways can cause disfunction and disease. With acupuncture,
"qi blockages," are eliminated using fine
needles inserted into specific sites along the meridians.
By stimulating the acupuncture points, acupuncturists seek to restore
normal energy flow, and in the process, stimulate the body's
ability to heal itself.
Needles are inserted rapidly and painlessly. Often
patients remark that a deep sense of well-being follows the
insertion of the acupuncture needles.
In China, acupuncture needles were once made of gold and
silver. Here at the Center for Complementary Medicine, flexible steel disposable
needles are used. The needles are very thin and range from
about 1/4" to 8" long. To eliminate the risk of
infections, only sterile, disposable needles are used.
should perform acupuncture?
Acupuncture should only be performed by a licensed,
certified practitioner. To be licensed in
Massachusetts, one must graduate a three year accredited
program, which includes extensive clinical training, as well
as studies in Western Medicine. To be certified,
applicants must pass a rigorous, national three day
examination with a practicum on clean needle
technique. The letters L. Ac. after a practitioner's
name stands for Licensed Acupuncturist and indicates
the attainment of, at least, a minimum standard or training,
as well as approval by a state or national licensing board.
The letters M.Ac. stands for Master of Acupuncture.
can acupuncture treat?
Withdrawal from addictions-
May be helpful for withdrawal from sugar, coffee, cigarettes,
alcohol, and cocaine.
Respiratory/Ear, Nose, Throat- Colds
& flu, asthma, bronchitis, sinus infections, allergies,
pain, arthritis, sciatica, bursitis/tendonitis, neuralgia,
Bell's/Cerebral Palsy, headache, dizziness, stroke,
Dermatological- Acne, herpes, eczema
Genito-Urinary/Reproductive- Impotence, infertility,
PMS, PID, Vaginitis, irregular menstruation, cramps, uterine
bleeding, menopausal syndrome, morning sickness, difficult
labor, urinary difficulties.
Internal- Hypo/hyperglycemia, hypertension,
ulcers, irritable bowels/Colitis, hemorrhoids, diabetes,
epigastic pain, abdominal masses.
Mental/Emotional- Anxiety, stress,
depression, insomnia, palpitations.