TCM BODY ACCUPUNCTURE
Acupuncture is a treatment based on Chinese medicine -- a system of healing that dates back thousands of years. At the core of Chinese medicine is the notion that a type of life force, or energy, known as qi (pronounced "chee") flows through energy pathways (meridians) in the body. Each meridian corresponds to one organ, or group of organs, that governs particular bodily functions. Achieving the proper flow of qi is thought to create health and wellness. Qi maintains the dynamic balance of yin and yang, which are complementary opposites. According to Chinese medicine, everything in nature has both yin and yang. An imbalance of qi (too much, too little, or blocked flow) causes disease. To restore balance to the qi, an acupuncturist inserts needles at points along the meridians. These acupuncture points are places where the energy pathway is close to the surface of the skin.
The earliest recorded use of acupuncture dates from 200 BCE. Knowledge of acupuncture spread from China along Arab trade routes towards the West. Most Americans first heard of acupuncture in the early 1970s. Acupuncture gained attention in the United States after President Nixon visited China in 1972. Traveling with Nixon was New York Times reporter James Reston, who received acupuncture in China after undergoing an emergency appendectomy. Reston was so impressed with the post-operative pain relief the procedure provided that he wrote about acupuncture upon returning to the United States. In 1997, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) formally recognized acupuncture as a mainstream medicine healing option with a statement documenting the procedure’s safety and efficacy for treating a range of health conditions.
There are hundreds of clinical studies on the benefits of acupuncture now. Many of these clinical studies are performed in China. Acupuncture has been used successfully in the treatment of conditions ranging from musculoskeletal problems (back pain, neck pain, and others) to nausea, migraine headache, anxiety, and insomnia.
For certain conditions, acupuncture is more effective when the needles are heated, using a technique known as "moxibustion." The acupuncturist lights a small bunch of the dried herb moxa (mugwort) and holds it above the needles. The herb, which burns slowly and gives off a little smoke and a pleasant, incense like smell, never touches the body.