Acupuncture: A 2000-Year Track Record
A needle usually doesn't conjure up a feeling of comfort, but a growing body of medical evidence suggests that acupuncture - the use of carefully placed needles to promote health and improved function - does help many people. It's been used by the Chinese for more than 2000 years and has been growing in popularity in the United States. A national health survey found that more than eight million adults have used acupuncture as part of their health care.
How acupuncture works
According to Chinese Medicine, energy called qi ("chi") flows through the body in 12 major pathways called meridians. The meridians correspond to specific organs and body functions. If the flow of qi is blocked, you get sick. Inserting very fine needles at specific acupuncture points along these meridians helps restore the flow of qi. Most doctors believe that the needle stick causes the central nervous system to release morphine - like pain killers called endorphins. "Acupuncture sends a signal to the body to turn on it's own healing system," says Hamilton acupuncturist Mackay Rippey.
Another theory is that acupuncture regulates the part of the brain that is made active by mental and physical stress. Acupuncture helps calm the brain down. It re-balances the connection between mind and body. Chinese Medicine places a much greater emphasis than Western medicine on the close relationship of body, mind and spirit.
What acupuncture works for
Acupuncture has been used to treat everything from anxiety to pain and stiffness associated with oseoarthritis. The World Health Organization recommends acupuncture for many respiratory diseases, eye and mouth problems, orthopedic problems, neurological disorders and gastrointestinal ailments.
Acupuncture has been used to help patients regain movement after strokes, and to treat depression, panic attacks, headaches, low back pain, tennis elbows, substance abuse, and even Lyme Disease. A study in Neuroscience Letters suggests it may even be useful for treating Parkinson's.
What to expect
The needles used for acupuncture are only as thick as a single human hair. You will feel a pinch and a "releasing" sensation as the blocked qi is freed. The needles usually only stay in for one or two seconds. Occasionally, needles will stay in longer depending on the type of treatment.
Treatments take place once a week for about two months and then are spaced out to every other week and then once a month. Most patients find that once they reach the once a month schedule their health is greatly restored and the monthly treatments help them stay happy and healthy.
ENERGY OVERHAUL - Your First Acupuncture Session
The ENERGY OVERHAUL is the first step in 5-element acupuncture treatment and lasts two to three hours and consists of two parts. The first portion of the ENERGY OVERHAUL is a complete health history and brief physical exam. This is followed by a short break. After you break we begin a special protocol which will remove energy blocks that prevent healing. When I studied in England with J.R. Worsley, the founder of 5-Element Acupuncture, he took on many patients who has failed to get better with other acupuncturists. He always started his treatment protocols with these six clearing treatments. They are incredibly powerful and are unique to 5-element acupuncture. The ENERGY OVERHAUL is the most important and critical step to you feeling better. In 24 years of treating patients, I have found skipping over these very specific and important treatments eventually becomes a frustrating lack of progress.
ENERGY JUMP-START - The Second Phase of Treatment
The ENERGY JUMP-START is the second phase of acupuncture treatment. Now that the overhaul is complete, you are ready to jump-start your healing energy.
The ENERGY JUMP-START consists of seven treatments spaced one week apart. These treatements focus on your Causative Factor. The concept of Causative Factor is what separated 5-element acupuncture from other methods of acupuncture treatment.
Each person has an energy type or causative factor that is encoded deep within the body. It's like your energy DNA. By first treating the causative factor, the body's innate healing powers are restarted and a deep level of healing begins. Thi way we are truly treating the person and not just silencing symptoms of an underlying imbalance.