Dr Nancy administering acupuncture on the neck
(left) and on the arm (right)
Acupuncture originated in China
over 5,000 years ago. It is based on the belief that health is determined by a
balanced flow of qi (also referred to as chi), the
vital energy present in all living organisms. According to acupuncture theory,
qi circulates in the body along 12 major energy pathways called meridians, each
linked to specific internal organs and organ systems.
There are over 1000 acupoints
within the meridian system that can be stimulated to enhance the flow of qi.
When special needles are inserted into the acupoints (just under the skin), they
help correct and rebalance the flow of energy and consequently relieve pain and
Acupuncture alleviates pain and can
increase immune system response by balancing the flow of vital energy through
the body. It is an element of traditional Chinese medicine that in the West is
often used as a stand-alone treatment for a wide range of disease conditions
from the common cold to addiction and chronic fatigue syndrome. It is also
effective as an adjunct treatment for AIDS.
WHO has cited over 40 conditions
that acupuncture can treat, including migraines, sinusitis, the common cold,
tonsillitis, asthma, inflammation of the eyes, addictions, myopia, duodenal
ulcer and other gastrointestinal disorders, trigeminal neuralgia (severe facial
pain), miner's disease (ringing in the ears with dizziness), tennis elbow,
paralysis from stroke, speech aphasia (loss of language abilities due to brain
damage), sciatica, and osteo arthritis.
Acupuncture is very effective in
the treatment of a variety of rheumatoid conditions and brings relief in 80% of
those who suffer from arthritis. It is also valuable in environmentally induced
illnesses due to radiation, pesticide poisoning, toxic compounds and air
pollution. It is also found effective in stroke rehabilitation, headaches,
addiction, menstrual cramps, fibromualgia, low back pain and asthma. Even in
acute abdominal problems such as appendicitis or kidney stone and gallstone
attack, acupuncture can be used before surgery to arrest the condition before it
progresses further. It used in immune system of dysfunction, respiratory disease
and hormonal imbalances that lead to menstrual irregularities and menopause
related problems, anxiety and sleep disorders.
It has proven to be a successful
treatment for pain relief. It can reduce the need for traditional painkilling
drugs. It reduces the need for alcohol, reports the British Journal, ‘The