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An Overview of the History and Risks of Acupuncture

April 17, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 193

For over 3000 years acupuncture has been used for treatment of pain in China. So with regards to Eastern medicine, it's obviously been ingrained in their culture definitively. When it comes to Western medicine though, over the past few decades acupuncture has been increasing in popularity. It definitely helps that the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health have acknowledged acupuncture's effectiveness for many pain conditions.

The theory behind acupuncture is based on meridians. Meridians are channels in the body that energy travels through and that energy is called Chi (or Qi). There are 12 meridians in the body which are broken down into groups known as Yin and Yang.

There are three Yin and three Yang Meridian's in both the upper and lower extremities. There also meridians that have no designation and there are eight of those. It is when these meridian channels of energy get blocked that the flow of Qi can be disrupted and disease results. Acupuncture with the insertion of fine needles can restore this flow of energy and help cure disease. (Author's note - Acupuncture cannot cure cancer).

In 1997 the National Institutes of Health conference concluded that there was sufficient evidence of acupuncture to expand its use into conventional medicine. The theory behind how acupuncture works is that it results in an elevation of endogenous opiates and helps with pain relief that way. Acupuncture also releases natural endorphins in the body which are pain relievers that we make as humans.

Additional research has shown that acupuncture increases the levels of adenosine in the body which is also one of the body's natural pain relievers. Many studies have shown the benefits of acupuncture for arthritis along with sciatica and fibromyalgia.

The procedure involves the use of fine needles that are single use, sterilized and disposable. Most patients do not actually feel the tiny needles being inserted. They are placed into key locations that treat the patient's specific pain pattern, and they're left in place anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. Patients often fall asleep during the acupuncture procedure. All types of acupuncture are not identical. Various techniques involving rotation, tapping, incense, and electric stimulation of acupuncture needles may produce pain relief.

The risks of acupuncture are rare when performed by a certified professional. There's a rare risk of the needles being inserted too deeply. There is also risk of infection especially if the acupuncturist does not use single-use sterilized needles.

There are two groups of individuals who perform acupuncture. There are those who obtain a licensed acupuncturist degree. These individuals graduate from accredited acupuncture college, and then take and pass a national board exam. Also, MDs, DO's, Chiropractors or Nurse Practitioners can also take special course and be accredited in acupuncture.

David L. Greene, MD, Phoenix, AZ is CEO of PreferredPainCenter.com which serves education to the Phoenix and Scottsdale, AZ metropolitan and surrounding areas. He can be reached at dgreene@preferredpaincenter.com and (602) 507-6550.

PreferredPainCenter.com provides Comprehensive education about pain and the best Acupuncture Phoenix providers info including Medical and Interventional Pain Management, Chiropractor Phoenix Treatment, Physical Therapy, and Spinal Decompression Therapy.

Source: EzineArticles
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