Acupuncture is an age old pain treatment that dates back to
Ancient China. "Many theories have been entertained," says Dr.
Stemmler, " but none itself can explain the multiple analgesic,
anti-flamatory, sedative, and regenerative effects of this treatment (Kanigel 2). Although at times, even acupuncturists remain at a loss to explain how tiny needles inserted in precise points on the body's surface can provide relief from medical disorder. Whatever the case acupuncture is being practiced more and more in the United States.
Today between 9,000 and 10,000 acupuncturists practice in the United States. In a recent study, after having a tooth pulled 94 patients had acupuncture and 86% reported no pain and 10% reported only slight pain (Aching for Relief 2).
Acupuncture is the Chinese method of relieving pain and treating various diseases by inserting needles into specific places on the body. Specialists called acupuncturists insert needles along meridians or painful points on the body.
During acupuncture tiny one-to-two inch needles are inserted at selected acupuncture points. Acupuncturists recognize nearly 400 of these special locations on each side of the body and another 250-300 "extra-meridian" points outside the meridian lines. The needles are typically turned clockwise or counterclockwise to evoke patient response and to intensify or change the needles tip polarity. Manual or electrical manipulation of the needle or the application of heat or cold to the handle will change polarity and direction of the current (Kanigel 3).
One common question about acupuncture is if this practice is legimate. According to one recent research, a panel of experts assembled by the national Institutes of Health concluded that acupuncture works. Specifically, the group declared that acupuncture effectively quells chemotherapy. Although much of the research is flawed or inconclusive,( funding for large controlled studies has been scant), several reputable researchers have demonstrated that acupuncture works better than a placebo--and sometimes better than drugs-- at relieving a variety of aches (Kanigel 3).
Since few health insurers cover acupuncture most patients have paid $95-$125 per-session charges out of their own pocket. Acupuncture is an ever growing debate about if its legimate or not but no matter what you believe its your choice but just make sure you make the right decision because if not you could waste a lot of money for no reason.
Today, pain relief is the most common therapeutic application of acupuncture in the United
States. Many pain clinics have full-time acupuncturists on staff. Nerve and muscular disorders are another common use.
Acupuncture needles dating from 4000 years ago have been found in China. The first needles were stone; later, bronze, gold or silver were used and today needles are usually made of steel. Initially needles were used only to prick boils and ulcers. Acupuncture was developed in response to the theory that there are special "meridian points" on the body connected to internal organs and that "vital energy" flows along the meridian line. According to this theory , diseases are caused by interrupted energy flow, and inserting and twirling needles restores flow (Encarta 1).