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Acupuncture

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What is acupuncture?

It is a form of holistic healthcare that is used to prevent and treat 
certain diseases as well as relieve pain and anesthetize patients for 
surgery. Research shows that this began in China and has been practiced 
for more than 5,000 years. 

The earliest account of this is found in the book called Nei Jing which 
in English means the Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine. The 
contents of this book date somewhere around 200 BC. Back then, they did 
not use metal needles and instead used those made out of stone, 
moxibustion and herbs to treat a patient. 

Acupuncture prevents and treats diseases by inserting very fine needles 
into the skin specifically at the anatomic points of the body. 

The principle behind this concept is that illnesses occur because there 
is an imbalance in your life force otherwise known as Qi. It is believed 
that this flows in 14 channels in the human body known as meridians 
which branch out to bodily organs and functions. If there is a blockage 
or obstruction in any of them, this is when you succumb to a disease or 
an illness. 

The imbalance in the Qi may go one way or the other because of Yin and 
Yang. The person can only be normal if there is harmony between the two 
which is what acupuncture is trying to achieve. This can only be 
restored by stimulating these acupuncture points so your Qi can be 
adjusted, balanced and harmonized. 

Apart from using needles, practitioners also use friction, heat, 
impulses of electromagnetic energy and pressure to stimulate these 
points in order to balance the movement of energy in the body to reduce 
one's health. 

An example of this is sonopuncture where an ultrasound device that 
transmits sound waves is applied to these points in the body. Some use a 
tuning fork and other vibration devices. 

Acupressure is another example and here, the fingers are used to relive 
the pain. This can be used by itself or with other manual healing 
techniques.  

Impulses of electromagnetic energy are used because our bodies generate 
tiny but electrical discharges which influence the function, growth and 
maturity of certain types of cells. By inserting the needles in these 
areas, it stimulates and alters the neurotransmitters in the body thus 
making the patient feel better after treatment. This is also sometimes 
used for diagnosis and testing. 

According to the World Health Organization or WHO, here is a list of 
some illnesses where acupuncture is used. These include acute 
bronchitis, the common cold, cataract, toothaches, gingivitis, hiccups, 
ulcers, constipation, diarrhea, headache and migraine, Meniere's 
disease, osteoarthritis and a lot more. In the US, acupuncture is often 
used to treat chronic pain conditions and mind body disorders.  

But acupuncture is not risk free. Hematoma may develop if the needle 
punctures a circulatory structure. It is also possible that pneumothorax 
may occur if the needle is inserted too deep. There is also the risk of 
HIV and hepatitis if the needle was not properly sterilized. 

Now that you know what acupuncture is, you must not forget that it is 
merely an alternative and not a proper form of medical treatment. This 
means you should still be examined by a professional in the medical 
field who can determine the severity of your illness or disease.

Is Acupuncture The Remedy for You?

With the growing acceptance of alternative medicine in Western 
cultures, acupuncture is quickly becoming a popular practice. More and 
more people today are choosing acupuncture over western medicine to 
treat bodily pains, relieve stress, or to promote overall health. If you 
are thinking about trying acupuncture but are wondering if it is safe or 
if it's the right treatment for you, the following information may aid 
you in making a more informed decision.

Description and Origin

Acupuncture is the practice of inserting fine needles into specific 
points in the body for therapeutic purposes. According to theory, these 
specific points called "acupuncture points" lie along pathways of the 
body along which one's vital energy is said to flow. The needles are 
used to promote free-flow of energy in areas of the body that 
circulation may have stagnated. Although acupuncture is practiced in 
many Asian cultures such as Japan, Tibet, and Korea the practice is 
commonly known to have originated in China. 

Acupuncture in the Western World

One of the most debated issues between the East and the West is the use 
of acupuncture as a western means of medical treatment. Even though this 
form of medicine has been used as an effective method for over five 
thousand years in China, there is no concrete evidence from scientific 
research studies that have proven the healing properties of acupuncture.

Skeptics shrug off the positive effects of acupuncture as merely 
placebo effects. Believers in acupuncture, however, say that the 
benefits have simply not yet been proven. Believers promote that the 
treatment is harmless and can be used as a complement to western 
medicine. 

Unfortunately, standards of acupuncture have not been fully approved by 
the FDA due to many unregulated practices that still exist such as the 
re-use of needles. Furthermore, acupuncture certification today is 
mostly a sham, used to make money on desperate patients who have not 
benefited from western medical treatments. The National Council Against 
Health Fraud has even declared acupuncture as an unproven means of 
treatment whose concepts of healing are primitive and false. 

Should You Try It

One thing that Western science can agree upon is that there are no 
proven harmful effects of acupuncture. Many doctors agree that as long 
as a medication is not detrimental to one's health, then there is no 
reason why it should not be used if there are noticeable benefits. Most 
scientists would also state that it is simply due to a lack of research 
that the therapeutic properties of acupuncture have not yet been proven.

Although many forms Chinese medication remain debated concepts in 
Western society, there is a growing interest in these medications and 
perhaps as the acceptance of the practice grows, so will the discoveries 
about its medical properties.

More Information on Acupuncture

You can find more information about acupuncture at an acupuncture 
center close to you. You can easily locate nearby centers or 
practitioners by searching online. An appointment may be necessary as 
acupuncture centers are usually busy with long wait lists. 

So if western medicine is not working for you and you are looking for 
an alternative, give some thought acupuncture. More and more people are 
discovering the therapeutic benefits of this ancient medicine. 
Acupuncture is safe and harmless, and therefore you have nothing to lose 
and everything to gain.

What Do Acupuncturists Do?

The acupuncturist is the specialist who conducts acupuncture. He or she 
may use needles or some other instruments depending on the type that 
will be used to create harmony and balance in the body. 

Before this person does anything, you will first have to answer a few 
questions. You will then be given a physical exam to check your pulse 
and observe the shape, color and coating of your tongue. Other things 
that are checked will be the color and texture of the skin and your 
posture as this will give clues to your health.  

Only then will you be told to lie down on a padded examining table and 
the needles are inserted to the skin. The difference with this kind of 
needle is that they twirl and jiggle each time they are pushed further 
into the body. 

You may not feel them at all and if you do, it will only be a twitch 
that soon goes away. Once they are in place, this will be left there for 
15 to 60 minutes that may make you feel very relaxed and sleepy that you 
may even doze off. Once the session is complete, the needles are removed 
and you will be on your way.  

In some cases, acupuncture is more effective when the needles are first 
heated. This technique is known as "moxibustion." Here, the 
acupuncturist lights a small bunch of the dried herb called moxa or 
mugwort and holds it above the needles. The herb, which burns slowly and 
gives off a little smoke and a pleasant, incense-like smell, will never 
directly touch your body. 

Another variation is electrical acupuncture. Here, electrical wires are 
hooked up to the needles and a weak current runs through it which may 
cause no or little sensation at all. 

It is also possible that herbal medications will also be prescribed by 
the acupuncturist for your treatment to be successful. 

When looking for an acupuncturist, make sure that person is licensed. 
Before he or she can obtain one, they have to complete 4 years of 
training at an approved college of oriental medicine. In the state of 
California, one governing body that gives the person the title is the 
California Acupuncture Committee. 

If they get this from another organization, a copy of their license 
must always be clearly displayed in the practitioner's office. One 
example is the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and 
Oriental Medicine. 

When choosing an acupuncturist, there are a few things you should ask 
aside from their credentials. You should know what styles of acupuncture 
is used as there are some techniques that do not use needles to treat a 
patient. 

Although there are no studies which prove that one technique is better 
than the other, some patients are more comfortable with one type over 
the other. 

Another question you should ask and discuss further is the length of 
the treatment. Patients who are suffering from a chronic illness will 
have to be treated over a period of months before any improvements can 
be seen. This will help you plan your schedule since you need to go to 
the clinic 2 to 3 times weekly.  

The acupuncturist just like a medical doctor is there to help you get 
better. If you don't see any progress with this person, perhaps you 
should seek the help of another specialist. 

Types of Acupuncture

There are different types of acupuncture. Whichever you decide to use, 
they are designed to do the same thing and that is to relieve pain or 
treat certain diseases. 

The first is called TCM based acupuncture. Here, it uses eight 
principles of complementary opposites to create harmony in the body. 
These include yin/yang, internal/external, excess/deficiency, hot/cold.

Next is called French energetic acupuncture. This is often used by MD 
acupuncturists. Meridian patterns are emphasized here particularly the 
yin-yang pairs of primary meridians.

Korean hand acupuncture is another as practitioners believe that the 
hands and feet have concentrations of qi, and that applying acupuncture 
needles to these areas is effective for the entire body.

There is also auricular acupuncture where it is believed that the ear 
is a microcosm of the body. This means that acupuncture needles are 
placed on certain points on the ear so it can treat certain addiction 
disorders.

Myofascially-based acupuncture is often utilized by physical therapists 
as it involves feeling the meridian lines in search of tender points 
before applying needles as this is where abnormal energy flows.

Japanese styles of acupuncture referred to as "meridian therapy," tend 
to put more emphasis on needling technique and feeling meridians in 
diagnosis.

Impulses of electromagnetic energy can also be used as the body 
generates tiny but electrical discharges which influence the function, 
growth and maturity of certain types of cells. By inserting the needles 
in these areas, it stimulates and alters the neurotransmitters in the 
body thus making the patient feel better after treatment. This is also 
sometimes used for diagnosis and testing.

There are also other forms of acupuncture that do not use needles. For 
instance there is sonopuncture that uses an ultrasound device that 
transmits sound waves to points in the body to treat a patient. Some 
practitioners use a tuning fork or other vibration devices.

Acupressure is another. Here, the professional will use their hands to 
relieve the pain. This can be used on it sown or with other manual 
healing techniques.  

The number of treatments you will need depends on the patient's 
condition. On average this could be from 10 to 5 treatments and 2 to 3 
times a week. How much it will cost also varies as this could be from 
$40 to $150. Some insurance companies and HMO's now cover that or 
partially so you should check if this is included in your policy.

Anyone can try acupuncture to relieve pain or prevent one but many 
practitioners decline to see someone during pregnancy. But if you have 
already started, it is generally safe to do so until the infant is born. 

Some acupuncturists may ask you to take in some herbs as part of the 
treatment. Since you have no idea what it can do, have this checked 
first by your local doctor to make sure this is safe as this could 
interact with the drugs you are taking causing side effects. 

Which type of acupuncture should you try? That is up to you. All of 
them are effective so discuss this with your doctor and do some research 
so you know what you are getting yourself into. Each of these is 
painless so just relax and let the professional do the rest.

Just like conventional medicine, don't expect an improvement overnight 
as this takes time so just keep an open mind. 

Things You Should Know About Acupuncture 

Acupuncture has been practiced for hundreds of years. To let you know 
more about this practice, here are a few things that you should know. 

First, acupuncture is a holistic healthcare technique that involves 
inserting needles into specific points in the body. Studies have been 
conducted and it has been proven to treat ear, nose, throat, 
respiratory, gastrointestinal, eye, nervous system and muscular 
disorders. 

The needles used in acupuncture are very small and you will probably 
feel a slight twitch when the needle goes in. They will be inserted 
carefully to 1/2" or an inch in depth and will stay there from 45 minutes 
to an hour depending on the condition of the patient. 

If inserted properly, you should feel some cramping, distention, 
electric sensation or tingling which means that the treatment is 
working. 

Needles used for acupuncture especially in the US are clean because 
they are required to be disposable. This prevents any chance that those 
who go for treatment will be contaminated by a communicable disease like 
hepatitis or HIV. 

Given that this has been practiced for more than 2000 years, various 
styles of acupuncture have been developed. So, before you decide to go 
for a session, you should know what technique is used so they can 
explain to you what happens.

When looking for an acupuncturist, you should also ask where they got 
their training, how long they have been in the practice and most 
importantly, what experience the specialist has had in treating the 
condition you are experiencing. 

They should also be able to present their credentials like where they 
graduated and their state board license. If you live in a state that 
does not require a license, make sure they have something to show which 
certifies that they can practice their profession like a document from 
the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturists. 

The duration of your treatment varies depending on the nature of your 
problem. Some are easy to fix compared to others especially if you are 
dealing with something long term. For instance, alcoholics and drug 
users may quit their vices after 3 or 4 months while those suffering 
from a disease like autism will take years as there is no know cure yet 
for the this illness. 

Before the needles are inserted, you need to undergo a physical 
examination and answer a few questions. There are risks involved even 
though it is a painless procedure because the needle might hit something 
vital inside but if the specialist is good, then there is nothing to 
worry about. 

You may notice a spot of blood when the needles come off. But if you 
are concerned about it, talk to your acupuncturist so he or she can 
prescribe something. 

Some patients will experience immediate relief after the first session 
but others will not experience anything at all. This is the reason that 
an average session should be done 12 to 15 times at least 2 to 3 times a 
week.

If acupuncture works for you, then the only thing you need are follow 
up sessions. This can be done twice every 2 weeks or monthly. It is 
really up to you. But don't forget to also see your regular doctor so he 
or she can also monitor the progress of your condition.

A Quick-Start guide to Acupuncture

Using needles to adjust bodily functions to optimum levels is the 
principle behind acupuncture. Both ancient Chinese and modern Western 
practitioners have used this technique to relieve many sufferers of 
chronic disease. Needling is a relatively safe, beneficial treatment 
strategy that can be used to reduce pain, improve healing, and increase 
general well-being. But exactly how is this procedure done and what sort 
of benefits can be obtained?

Procedure for Needle Puncture

There are two broad categories of acupuncture practice today, 
traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and medical acupuncture. Both have 
their merits, so the choice is individual. The decision for most people 
hinges upon which philosophy appeals more to them and which technique 
holds the least apprehension.

In TCM, practitioners adhere to the concept of Qi, or energy flow, and 
the meridians in which they travel. They use longer needles and insert 
them deeper in order to reach the acupuncture points. Modern science has 
found little evidence to prove the existence of these energy channels, 
but this is the technique that has been used effectively for thousands 
of years.

In medical acupuncture, the practitioners are graduates of western 
medical schools. Their application of needles is not based on the 
traditional acupuncture points, but on anatomic data. These 
acupuncturists use shorter needles and the insertions are shallower. 
They also tend to use fewer needles and leave them inserted for shorter 
periods of time. Adherents to TCM feel this is a watered-down version of 
the real thing. Nevertheless, many patients have felt relief of symptoms 
through this method.

The Tradition of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a form of medicine that happens to involve the insertions 
of little needles. You will find that the acupuncture is a practice that 
began in China and can be traced back through history over eight 
thousands years. It can be found in areas of Asia, Japan, and Korea. 
Recently it can be recognized as legitimate forms of medication in the 
western world and especially in the United States. You will find that 
more and more doctors are recommending acupuncture to help with certain 
pains and issues, but it is mixed with modern medicine. It is very 
important to understand the tradition. 
 
Traditionally, the Chinese saw the body as a whole with several 
different working energy systems, run by the organs of our bodies. At 
one time, disease was seen as a disruption in the body system due to a 
particular part of the system. The vital energy that runs through our 
bodies is known in acupuncture as "qi" and is what acupuncturists seek 
to heal through their work. Qi (the energy flow) is blocked by pain, and 
acupuncture was said to once again unblock it. From the history of 
things, acupuncturists claim, "no pain, no blockage; no blockage no 
pain.  This means that your pain and blockage go hand and hand and if 
you can end the pain, the blockage will go away, and if you end the 
blockage your pain will go away. 

Major success of reception into society was first found with acupuncture 
during the Huang Di (The Yellow Emperor) Dynasty. It was at this time 
that the ruler discussed medical traditions with his doctor. These 
dialogues became part of what we now know as The Nei Jing, and it is the 
earliest medical text found in Asia. It includes two sections - the first 
on anatomy, disease, diagnosis, and the cosmos and the second on the 
aspects of acupuncture. Great development in the acupuncture field was 
also seen in the 7th century AD, with the Sui and Tang Dynasties. It was 
at this time that acupuncture charts and texts were introduced to the 
teachings of schools as a form of medicine. The techniques were slowly 
refined, and during the Ming Dynasty, in the late 16th and early 17th 
centuries, doctors again made leaps and bounds in the field. Later it 
became less important with western medicine in the early twentieth 
century.

When it comes to the tradition of acupuncture it prevailed in the 1950's 
and become a part of western medicine. The doctors used it along with 
modern medicine. Between the 1950s and 1960s the practice was begin 
highly researched throughout the world. With the new millennium, 
acupuncture has become something of accepting by western medicine and is 
offered as a treatment. It has been concluded that acupuncture can be 
used to help others in a respect of modern medicine. Some people are 
wary of ideas that involves needles to prick away illness or disease, 
but it may be something that you maybe able to have in conjunction of 
modern medicine.

The Soothing Effects of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine that has been 
practiced for thousands of years. Commonly used to treat bodily pains, 
acupuncture actually has a wide range of uses that range from 
addictions, to injuries, to disease prevention. If you are thinking 
about trying acupuncture, the following will give you a better idea of 
its many benefits.

Pain

Acupuncture is most commonly known to treat bodily pains such as 
muscular pains and arthritis. There are many types of arthritis, and 
each have a different acupuncture procedure. However, the healing 
effects may vary from person to person. Acupuncture for arthritis 
usually takes several sessions and takes a lot of cooperation your 
therapist for best results. 

Other pain related ailments that can be cured by acupuncture are severe 
headaches and migraines, acute backaches, shoulder and neck aches, leg 
pains, trapped nerves, muscle related injuries, after surgery, carpal 
tunnel syndrome, sports injuries, menstrual pains, tooth aches, 
abdominal pains, and rheumatic pains.

Depression

Acupuncture is widely recommended for symptoms of depression and 
anxiety such as irritability, insomnia, loss of appetite, loss of 
interest in social activity and suicidal tendencies. Acupuncture is 
thought to relieve stress and improve flow of energy that may be causing 
the depressive symptoms. Improvement in symptoms can be seen as early as 
the first session. Experts have found acupuncture to be a beneficial 
complement to other forms of depression therapy such as psychological 
counseling, and healthier than chemical alternatives such as anti-
depressants.

Insomnia 

Acupuncture has become a popular alternative to common remedies such as 
sleeping pills. It works at the nerve levels, relaxing and soothing your 
senses. Acupuncture is thought to be a safer route for insomnia because 
it brings back your natural sleeping cycle through natural means and not 
through chemicals, which can turn into an addiction. Using acupuncture 
for insomnia usually starts working after the very first session. The 
treatment is usually stretched out for a period of time, until your body 
returns to its natural sleeping cycle.

Infertility 

Studies show that acupuncture is a beneficial form of complementary 
therapy for women who are having undergoing treatments for fertility 
problem. Acupuncture is believed to relieve the anxiety of women 
undergoing fertility treatment. Also, acupuncture's success in aiding 
fertility is more pronounced in in-vitro fertilization. In addition, the 
rate of miscarriages has been found to be lower for women who do 
acupuncture.

Others

The following are other ailments that acupuncture has been known to 
remedy:

* Menopausal problems such as hot flushes, infertility, and 
  premenstrual tension. 

* Bladder or bowel problems, difficulty or pain in urination, and 
  urinary infections.

* Digestive disorders including nausea, indigestion, heartburn, and 
  diarrhea.

* Respiratory problems such as rhinitis, hay fever, prickly heat, 
  rashes and ulcers, eczema, and some types of dermatitis and psoriasis.

* Conditions of the eyes and mouth such as cataracts, dry eyes, 
  conjunctivitis, retinitis and toothache, and post extraction pains.

* Heat problems such as poor circulation, stroke recovery, and 
  hypertension.

* Addictions such as smoking, drinking, or other harder drugs.

If you as suffering from any of the ailments mentioned above, 
acupuncture may just be the remedy for you. Acupuncture is harmless, and 
is known to promote health and a sense of well-being. It is a healthy, 
chemical-free alternative to traditional forms of medical treatment. 
The History of Acupuncture 

Acupuncture comes from two Latin words namely "acus" which means needle 
in English and "pungere" which means prick. Its history originated in 
China more than 2000 years ago and has evolved into various forms.

Some of the techniques of acupuncture do not even use needles anymore. 
Vibrating objects, ultrasound and even the fingers of the practitioner 
have taken some of the work to make the person feel better. 

The history of acupuncture is first discussed in an ancient Chinese 
medical text called the "Huang Di Nei Jing" or The Yellow Emperor's 
Classic of Internal Medicine. 

But there have been a few who are skeptic as archaeologists have found 
a 5,000 year old mummy in the Alps with similar acupuncture points in 
the body. This gives some people the idea that it was used even before 
the Chinese did but sine there is no written text to prove that, no one 
is certain and credit to this ancient practice goes back to the Chinese. 

In the 6th century, this knowledge moved to Japan. In the 17th century, 
a man by the name of Waichi Sugiyama wanted to make this procedure 
painless for the patient so he developed the insertion tube, a small 
cylindrical tube through which the needle is inserted. Believe it or 
not, this technique is still being used today. 

But acupuncture only reached the US in the early 80's with the 
establishment of a regulatory board called the National Commission for 
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. As a result, various schools have 
been built and those who want to become licensed acupuncturists are now 
able to practice their profession. 

Despite that, there were a lot of people who are not yet convinced on 
the positive effects of alternative forms of medication. It was only in 
1995 that the US Food and Drug Administration decided to classify the 
needles used for acupuncture as medical instruments and assured the 
public that they are both safe and effective.

To further promote acupuncture, the NIH or National Institute of Health 
in 1997 has stated that this technique is very useful in treating 
various health conditions.  These include ear, nose, throat, 
respiratory, gastrointestinal, eye, nervous system and muscular 
disorders. In some cases, acupuncture is able to prevent some of them 
from happening. 

This was further strengthened by the fact that the side effects of 
acupuncture are much less than that of conventional drugs that are being 
sold by pharmaceutical companies. 

So that people can avail of acupuncture, another recommendation by the 
NIH is for US companies to provide full coverage for certain conditions. 
If you do not quality, perhaps there is partial coverage which you 
should look up in your policy. 

But despite that, more research needs to be done to see its effects on 
other health related problems. Some examples of these include 
addictions, autism, chronic low back pain, migraines and osteoarthritis 
of the knee. 

If you look at the history of acupuncture, not much has changed since 
the needle technique used back then is still being used today. Even if 
various forms have developed through the years, one thing for sure is 
that it works.

In order for you to see how effective it is, you have to see a 
specialist who is not only qualified to treat your condition but also 
one is well trained.

The energy of acupuncture

When it comes to acupuncture, you will find that there are basic 
concepts that you have to understand in order to learn the entire 
process known as "qi". Qi happens to the energy of the body. Anything 
negative that you body may go through, like disease or illness, is 
because your Qi is disrupted. When it comes to the stimulation that you 
will get from Acupuncture, you will find that there are needles that are 
placed in specific points of the body so that the Qi flow can be 
affected. An acupuncturist is someone who uses the use of the needles to 
heal or unblock your qi flow. The concepts of the qi is difficult for 
most beginners, but it can be broken into easily understand concepts 
that you can learn one at a time. 

First, it is important to note there are five main types of qi energy: 
Qi, Jing, Xue, Jin Ye, and Shen. Qi can be roughly translated to 
"matter-energy." It causes the movements in the universe, but it is a 
vital part of your own good health. Some equate the Qi to the soul. Jing 
can be most closely translated to "essence" in the English language, but 
there are no exact words in Western terms that mean Jing. When it come 
to Jing, it is something that is inherited like DNA and then we are able 
to create out own by eating certain foods and through the air that we 
breath.  Jing, then can be somewhat called "health," since we 
genetically receive some health predisposition, but also effect our own 
health and the health of our children with our lifestyle choices.

Literally meaning blood, Xue is the liquid that flows in the blood and 
through the Qi or energy of the body. The health of the two is dependent 
on one another. Jin Ye is also a tangible idea - bodily fluids. These 
include saliva, milk, tears, genital secretions, sweat, stomach fluids, 
and other liquids of the body. Finally, Shen is simply just the spirit 
of the body. Traditionally, your spirit is located in your heart.

Acupuncture is a way that you can treat the energies and to help create 
a healthy body. The energies are important since that help us develop 
body heat, defend illness, grow and develop, control the body's blood 
and organs, transform, and break down the body's metabolism. If you get 
acupuncture done on a regular basis, then you will be able to turn all 
of your negativity in your Qi to be released.

The Effectiveness Of Acupuncture

Whenever you are feeling pain and discomfort, you'd usually reach for 
your painkillers for relief. While they do relieve the pain, they also 
bring along side effects that comes with taking foreign chemicals into 
your body. As much as modern medicine has developed drugs that can 
relieve pain right off the bat, do you really think that the quick fixes 
you've been taking are actually good for your body? Why not try 
something safer and more effective like acupuncture.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture has surged in popularity for the last few decades as 
brought on by the recent health trend. Mostly known as a traditonal 
Chinese medical technique, acupuncture is seen as a homeopathic method 
of treatment. While alternative medicine does raise a lot of eyebrows 
for the scientifically-inclined, it does merit attention before being 
dismissed as a quack cure.

Basic Procedure

Basically, needles are inserted into the skin, each corresponding to 
one of the numerous pressure points located throughout the body. 
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, by inserting a needle into 
the pressure point, an acupuncturist can manipulate the flow of chi or 
life force, thus relieving pain and gradually treating the patient. 
While most would say that the whole chi thing is a bunch of nonsense, 
science has suggested that with the needles inserted, the body's natural 
painkillers called endorphins are released, thus helping with pain 
relief.

Instruments

Modern acupuncturists nowadays use disposable fine stainless steel 
needles that are 0.007 to 0.020 inches in diameter which are sterilized 
with either ethylene oxide or by autoclave. Since they are way finer 
than hypodermic syringe needles, being poked by these needles are 
relatively painless. The upper third of the needle is covered with 
either a thicker bronze wire or plastic to make the needle sturdier and 
easier to handle. The length of the needle and how far they are inserted 
is all up to the acupuncturist and his practised style of acupuncture.

Example Of Treatment

If a patient has a headache, he/she is diagnosed and is treated by 
stimulating the sensitive points located at the webs between the thumbs 
and palms. In acupuncture theory, these points are connected to the face 
and head and can be used for treatment of headaches and other ailments 
involved. Needles are then carefully inserted into the skin until the 
patient feels a twinge, which is usually accompanied by a slight 
involuntary twitching of the area. During this treatment, a number of 
things may occur.

- Sensitivity to pain in where needles are inserted.

- A hint of nausea during treatment in case of bad headaches.

- Near-immediate headache relief.

Evolution

As an ancient method, acupuncture has crossed over into the modern age 
with implementations of technology and recent scientific findings. 
Electrical stimulation is now a common technique that is combined with 
acupuncture to produce more effective results. Also, acupuncturists 
combined this eastern technique with western methods to further enhance 
the treatment.

Practitioners have eventually realized that leaning towards one school 
of thought can't propagate progress unless they are willing to move 
towards the future by looking towards other horizons as well.

Reactions And Research

Not everyone is impressed with acupuncture itself. Most western medical 
professionals have expressed either doubt or indifference to the 
oriental method while others have downright driven it down into the 
earth with criticisms and brutal skepticism. However, recent research 
shows the efficacy (or lack thereof) of acupuncture, and while more 
research has to be done, it has been proven to actually positively 
affect some, but not all, forms of ailments that it claims to cure.

So as the doors open to a new age of acupuncture, give it a try when 
you feel the need for pain relief and you will not be disappointed. As 
the Chinese have used it for many centuries, so should we.
The Do's and Don't of Acupuncture

There are things that patients have to be aware of before, during and 
after surgery. The same goes for those who undergo acupuncture because 
in order to enhance the value of the treatment, there are some do's and 
don'ts that patients have to follow. 

First, you should not eat a large meal before or after treatment.

You should also avoid over exercising, engaging in a sexual activity or 
consume alcoholic beverages 6 hours before and after treatment. 

Since the acupuncture session will last from 45 minutes to 2 hours 
depending on how often you have to go to the clinic, you better fix your 
schedule so you have time to rest. 

Chances are, you were consulting with a doctor prior to your visit to 
the acupuncturist. If there are any prescription medicines given, don't 
forget to take them. 

You will not feel any improvement after just one or two visits with the 
acupuncturist. Just the same, you should write this down so you can go 
back to the acupuncturist on your next visit and tell him or her how you 
felt during the previous session. Such feedback will let the specialist 
know what needs to be modified in the future to help you with your 
problem.  

The acupuncturist might give you some herbs to take as part of your 
treatment. Since you don't know if taking them will have any side 
effects with the medication you are taking, you should first consult 
with your doctor if it is safe to consume both. 

Women who are pregnant are also advised not to undergo acupuncture 
treatment. However, they can engage in that once the baby is born.

How well the acupuncture treatment will go depends also on specialist 
who will be performing it. You have to take into account their years of 
experience and skill so they are able to make the correct diagnosis, 
finding the acupoints in the body, the angle at which the needles will 
be inserted and the techniques they know as there are different types of 
acupuncture. 

This brings us to asking ourselves how to find a skill acupuncturist. 
For this to work, we have to do ask our doctor if they can refer anyone. 
It wouldn't hurt to also do some research online. After all, there are 
about 3,000 acupuncturists all across the country so it won't be that 
hard to find one. 

Before you decide to have a session with them, talk to the 
acupuncturist to know their credentials. This will also give you the 
opportunity to find out how much do they charge as this can be from $45 
to more than $100 per session. 

You can probably ask for the name and contact number of a previous 
client so you can ask this person how everything went. Remember, if it 
doesn't work out for you, don't be afraid to find someone else who can 
do a better job.

The most important thing to do during the session is to relax. If you 
feel an itch or something, tell the acupuncturist. The same goes if you 
are nervous or experience a burning sensation so the specialist will 
take out the needles. 

Now that you know the do's and don'ts of acupuncture, you should ask 
yourself if this form of treatment is right for you. If conventional 
medication doesn't work, it wouldn't hurt to see how things turn out. 
Quitting Smoking for Good with Acupuncture

Acupuncture is already a renowned method used in treating smoking 
addiction. An alternative medicine believed to have originated as far as 
3000 BC in ancient China, this treatment is now being widely utilized 
for various medicinal and therapeutic purposes. It has been found 
furthermore to successfully treat drug dependence and chronic smoking 
addiction.

There are several smoking cessation medications and therapies available 
presently. However acupuncture is a recommended alternative procedure, 
especially where conventional therapies have already failed. The 
strategic insertion of needles in various parts of the body aims to 
treat the condition in a more profound and emotional level. A smoker 
needs to free himself from the physiological and psychological addiction 
of smoking, thus necessitating a more holistic treatment.

How It Stops the Addiction

The placement of needles is usually located behind the ear, or on the 
ear cartilage. This is where the calming effect takes place, curbing the 
patient's cravings for more cigarettes. People who have a smoking habit 
are bound to take up the nicotine stick more often whenever they feel 
stressed, bored, or depressed. Needles are also often inserted on the 
hand and wrists to promote a steadier flow of bodily energy. The feeling 
of relaxation will help an individual think twice about lighting a 
cigarette again.

Furthermore, this treatment has been found to help an individual deal 
with the withdrawal symptoms better.  This alternative medicine promotes 
better tolerance to pain and discomfort during smoking cessation. 
Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe and may involve 
nausea, palpitations, and dizziness. Oftentimes, these same conditions 
will propel an individual back to his smoking tendencies sooner than 
later. 

Nicotine is the addictive and toxic substance present in a cigarette. 
This is the same substance that makes quitting a big challenge for most 
smokers. The nicotine that you get from smoking will attach itself to 
the pleasure areas in the brain, making it hard for you to stop. Without 
a steady stream of this substance, a smoker will tend to feel depressed 
and uncomfortable.

People who have undergone acupuncture treatment reported that they no 
longer find cigarettes as tempting or as satisfying. Oftentimes, smoking 
would leave an awful taste in their mouths prompting them to stop their 
habit for once. Some patients would even resort to eating mints or 
lozenges to clear to get rid of the terrible aftertaste.   

According to skilled practitioners, approximately 7 out of 10 smokers 
will successfully extricate themselves from their smoking habit after 2 
or 3 weeks. While the others are unable to quit totally, these smokers 
will be able to cut down on their cigarette consumption quite 
significantly. 

Treatment from Acupuncture Experts

It is very essential for a patient to consult with a skilled 
acupuncturist. A more personalized service will be provided by an 
expert, as well as added counseling for the patient. Moreover, an 
acupuncturist may prescribe herbal supplements to aid the patient in 
quitting efforts. 

During treatment, filiform needles are inserted into specific points on 
the ear cartilage, as well as the hands and wrists. Normal procedures 
last for about 30 minutes. Body acupuncture can be used in combination 
with the ear and wrist needle placements. An acupuncturist may also 
utilize a mild electric current, to enhance the effect of the needles 
through the body. 

The greatest advantage of this ancient Oriental procedure is the 
absence of side-effects during and after treatment. Unlike smoking 
cessation medications and nicotine replacement therapy products, 
acupuncture does not employ chemically manufactured substances. There is 
also no risk of weight gain during therapy. In conjunction with helping 
a patient quit smoking, it can also curb appetite, thus reducing food 
cravings. 

If you have tried several methods in smoking cessation to no avail, 
perhaps it is high time you consider the alternative method that is 
acupuncture. With the right practitioner and the right frame of mind, 
there is no reason why you won't be nicotine-free before long.

Nutrition and acupuncture

If you have recently started to see an acupuncturist, you will find that 
there are many people who are joining you in the practice. Yu will find 
that you will want to start a new diet to help you get the most out of 
your appointments. You will find that if you begin to eat healthy, you 
body will be able to help the acupuncture to have a good effect. You 
will begin to clear up some of your health problems. Look acupuncture as 
a way that you can have a totally new life and a healthier one to boot. 
You will find that when you change your diet, you'll feel better and 
you'll be able to live longer and happier. 

Every person, before beginning a new diet program, should speak with a 
medical doctor about the effects this will have on your body. Ask your 
acupuncturist to help you out with your diet. You will find that there 
are able to suggest what foods will benefit you the most. Be sure to 
check with a professional before making any major changes so that you 
can be sure these are the changes your body needs. For some reason, if 
you begin to feel tired, weaken, or ill, you may want to contact your 
doctor about the things that you can do to make yourself feel better.

Some times your acupuncturist will recommend things that you should take 
like herbs. He or she may make a tea for you to drink or have you 
swallow an herbal supplement in pill form before beginning your 
acupuncture session. You will want to tell your acupuncturist everything 
that you are allergic to so you will want to be careful. Some 
acupuncturists sell you tea bags that you can use at home or suggest 
foods that will create the same effect. Herbal medication has been 
proven to help some people with certain diseases or such.

With the diet, herbs, and acupuncture, you will be able to improve the 
way that you digest your food. This will help your body use the food in 
the best way possible. For example, chew each bit of food very 
thoroughly before swallowing, instead of eating large bites quickly. 
Traditionally, you will want to pat very close attention to the food 
that you are eating. Instead of watching television while you eat, learn 
to enjoy each bite. This will help focus all of the body's energy to the 
stomach. 

With diet and eating, you should be concerned and you will want to talk 
to your acupuncturist about all of the things that you should take 
inconsideration. Even though they may not make and specific 
recommendations, you will be able to talk to your doctor about your diet 
and you'll be able to benefit greatly from the acupuncture treatments 
and a healthier lifestyle.

Locating an Acupuncturist

Acupuncture has become a very popular treatment for health related 
issues of all kinds. You will be able to relieve stress and anxiety 
along with all sorts of body pains. Acupuncture is something that can be 
risky, however, with sterilization of needles can have the anxiety. With 
a trained acupuncturist, you will be able to relieve your pain and find 
a certified acupuncturist to help you. There are lot of ways that you 
can locate a professional.

Most people will use the word of mouth to find an acupuncturist. You 
would be surprised at the number of people who have regular acupuncture 
treatments. For some, it's like going to the chiropractor to get your 
back realigned  a weekly or bi-weekly treatment to make life easier. 
You may want to ask your friends or family of their opinion to some of 
the local acupuncturists. Maybe they see an acupuncturist that they 
really like or maybe they have seen an acupuncturist that they did not 
like. Both are important to note. If a friend has a bad experience with 
an acupuncturist, be careful. You will find a good many unlicensed 
practitioners, but you will be putting yourself at more risk than you 
bargain for if you see someone without a license. If your friends do not 
see an acupuncturist, perhaps someone they know does. This is the beauty 
of word of mouth; there is an endless network of opinions and resources.

You will find that many of your friends and family members, along with 
the healthcare professionals to help you find a licensed acupuncturist 
in your area. In fact, because of its popularity and effectiveness, many 
medical professionals are becoming certified acupuncturists. However, if 
your doctor ends up recommending that acupuncture is a method of 
treatment, then they will be able to recommend someone for you to go and 
see. 

A lot of people will also go online and find an acupuncturist to help 
them relive their pains. Because most states require acupuncturists to 
be licensed, there is also a database of competent acupuncture 
practitioners. If you look up the American Association of Oriental 
Medicine, you will be able to find acupuncturist nation wide. This 
association is comprised of state acupuncture and medical boards. 
Besides the nationwide search, there are also links to each state 
medical board or acupuncture licensing department, where you may also 
search for licensed practitioners near you. 

If you are looking for an acupuncturist, you will find that there are 
many concerns that will allow you to feel safe and comfortable. You will 
want to make sure that you see the credentials of the acupuncturist 
before you contact the stat's acupuncture licensing board. Also, you may 
want to arrange a meeting with your acupuncturist to learn about how 
they go about the practice and how they handle the professional end of 
the process. Make sure that you find a good acupuncturist, because it 
can be hard to find a good one. 

Just how safe is acupuncture?

Acupuncture happens to be a very popular and profitable form of 
medicine, since millions of people will use acupuncture to treat all of 
their health issues. You will find that you can go from back pain to 
headaches to sleeping disorders. There is a lot of uncertainly about 
acupuncture, however, you will find that this articles has a lot of 
advantages and disadvantages for you to consider. 

Most people who are not familiar with acupuncture are often worried 
about needles being inserted into the body. This is a typical concern 
that should be serious, however, you should know that if it is done 
properly, you will be able to have acupuncture performed properly and 
safely. There are licensed acupuncturists, who must pass state-
established training standards to become certified, and many doctors and 
specialists, such as neurologists or those working in physical medicine, 
are becoming certified in order to perform acupuncture as a treatment 
option for patients.

You should know that the United States FDA or Food and Drug 
Administration has approved the use of needles only by licensed 
practitioners. This approval should ease some concerns about acupuncture 
as a safe practice. In fact, there have been very few complaints logged 
at the FDA about acupuncture. There have been concerns and complaints of 
non-sterile needles that can end up spreading infection and disease. 
Thus, if you are seeking acupuncture treatment, ensure that the 
acupuncture needles have been sterilized. Professional acupuncturists 
will certainly work with sterile needles to ensure client safety.

Certainly, with acupuncture, there is the risk of a needle being 
inserted too deeply, which could cause organs to be punctured. This risk 
if a very small risk and you should begin to think about all of the 
millions of people who have seen success in acupuncture treatments, and 
there are very few cases of needles puncturing organs. Furthermore, this 
sort of situation can most likely be avoided by undergoing treatment 
with a licensed acupuncture practitioner. In addition, if you feel 
serious pain when getting the needles injected, you may want to talk to 
the practitioner because they may be putting them in too deep. In fact, 
some people do not even feel the needles being inserted into your 
pressure points. If you do feel pain after or during an acupuncture 
treatment, you should see a medical doctor right away.

There are two risks that you will want to consider dangerous or unsafe. 
You will want to think about both of these risks, but also know that 
they can be avoided if you use a qualified acupuncture practitioner that 
has been certified and has some experience. With the millions of people 
who have tried it and had success, you will find that your health issues 
may become a lot better for everyone with the use of acupuncture.  You 
can also rest assured that the procedure can be completely safe if you 
take all the right precautions. 

How to Look For a Good Acupuncture School

Since 1982, acupuncture has found its way to the US. There are 
currently 50 schools that teach it and 3,000 licensed practitioners all 
over the country. Do you think you can be a licensed professional? Here 
are a few things to help you look for a good acupuncture school. 

You should now that the 50 schools mentioned are all accredited by the 
National Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.  It is 
recognized by the Department of Education and some of these schools even 
have a masters program.

Most of these schools can be found online so you can give them a call 
and ask certain questions about the school. You can find out the cost of 
tuition, the teacher student ratio, if the school offers consultation 
services to students and the alumni and if they have an extensive 
library which focuses on traditional Chinese medicine.

Should there be a school near where you live, you should probably take 
it so you don't have to worry about boarding and lodging as this is just 
added cost to this long term investment.  

If you like the school but cannot afford the cost of tuition, find out 
if they offer scholarships or if they have a grant in aid program. If 
there are none, then check with the federal government because they 
should have one and they will give it to deserving students who plan to 
enroll in a school accredited by the National Commission for Acupuncture 
and Oriental Medicine.

Some states do not require you to get a license once you graduate from 
the program. However, if you plan to practice this elsewhere, you should 
prepare yourself for the state board exam as this is a requirement. 

The lists of subjects you will be learning in school include anatomy, 
body therapy, massage therapy and the other sciences. Training will be 
done also in a clinical setting so you are able to put theory into 
practice but this will only happen in your third year. 

While some schools will let you finish a program in three years, there 
are those that can be completed after five. 

Lately, acupuncture school has also gone down the digital path by 
offering cyber distance programs for those who cannot go to school. Some 
of these offer CEU's or continuing education units to advance programs. 

These courses can be chosen on the basis of modules or on an hourly 
basis. The course material covers the history, theory and techniques of 
acupuncture. Courses that offer tools such as acupuncture DVD and video 
are ideal for acupuncturists or students of acupuncture to improve their 
clinical expertise.

Once you graduate from acupuncture school, some will open their own 
practice while others will first work for a clinic. Those who decide to 
be employed will work with other professionals that may include 
naturopaths, chiropractors and other specialists that are also into 
Oriental Medicine. 

The average acupuncturist makes about $45,000 a year but this can 
change in the years to follow as they add years or experience under 
their belt. This just goes to show that if you work hard, you too will 
make a fortune. Just make sure that you do this properly for each 
patient because one mistake could make this all go away.

Five Elements in Acupuncture

You will study the five main elements or the most fundamental things of 
acupuncture and you will be able to study the traditional Chinese 
medicine. You will find that there is an important part of the universe 
that controls something. You will find that there is earth, water, fire, 
metal, and wood. You will learn how the five elements and their meanings 
can affect the body and how it is important for any acupuncturist to 
take these ideas in mind. If you are interested in acupuncture or in the 
Chinese culture, you will want to research more about the five elements 
and get a better understanding of the Chinese world of view. 

Most of the time Chinese ideas of the elements sound something of 
mythology or mystical to the Western Society, but these elements will 
bring you to the same conclusion of Western Medicine, except it has a 
different way of relating life to medicine. The five elements relate 
closely with the idea of "qi," or energy in the body. Acupuncture seeks 
to resolve imbalances in the five elements, which result in the 
disruption of the flow of qi in the body.

As you may know, the Chinese look at everything in the aspect of yin and 
yang; everything has a positive, everything as a negative. The Chinese 
also look at everything with a view of yin and yang. You can think of 
yin and yang as opposites in the terms of spring and winter. Yin is 
associated with all of that is positive. You will find that the rebirth, 
warmth of life, spring, and all of the light in the world is Yin. Yin is 
the beauty of the world. It is the beauty of nature. When it comes to 
Yang, you will find that it is everything dark in the world. Things like 
winter, downward actions, hibernation, and dying of summer is what Yang 
is referred to. Each element can be associated with either yin or yang, 
and each of these pairings in turn represents a part of the body.

When it comes to the spleen and stomach, you will find dampness or yang. 
You will find that coldness is linked to the kidneys and bladder. Then 
the heart and the small intestine is paired with fire, while metal is 
associated to the large intestine, lungs, and dryness. As for the wood, 
you will find it to be associated with the liver and the gallbladder is 
the wind. When you study these elements and the body, you will begin to 
know how you can treat your ailments and you will be able to use 
acupuncture to help your body get back in line. In fact, many studies 
will support all of these associations. You will need to remember that 
you need to be open to new ideas and then you can find ways to live in a 
healthy way.

Fibromyalgia Treatment: Acupuncture

Did you know that Fibromyalgia is a disorder that had affected thousands 
of people and still there is no cure for the disorder? There are only 
treatments to offer you some temporary pain relief. With the plain in 
your muscles, you will find that there is pain in your joints that will 
cause you to have many problems like stiffness, sleeping problems, and 
even fatigue. Even though you may be eager to try some alternative 
medicine, you will find that the Chinese Acupuncture will help you the 
best. There are many with the disorder who have found success with the 
acupuncture and other traditional treatments. If you are someone who you 
love happens to suffer from fibromyalgia to help relieve the symptoms.

Acupuncture is well tolerated with minimal side effects, so patients who 
participate in this medical treatment will at least leave the doctor's 
office no worse than when they arrived. With needles with the thickness 
of hair, acupuncturists will use the needles to stimulate the body You 
may feel a slight pinch as they are inserted, but when done properly, 
acupuncture is both safe and painless. That is why you are going to need 
a professional.

Fibromyalgia patients receive treatment specifically to help their 
condition. Not only will the acupuncturist use the needles, but they 
will also use cupping and warming techniques to help the energies that 
cause the joint pain. This process takes a relatively short amount of 
time, and many patients have said that they feel instantly relieved of 
pain after a treatment. Others, however, seem to feel no relief at all. 
It can be expensive for you to have acupuncture so you will want to make 
sure that it is something that will be right for you. Many patients have 
said that this technique works best with repeated treatments, so realize 
this could be an expense that you must include in your weekly budget.

Acupuncture is something that could help you with fibromyalgia, however, 
there is little proof other than the opinions of the patients who have 
tried it. The studies are simply just difficult to carry out because it 
can be a mind over matter thing. There are people who have believed that 
it works to relieve the pain and that is the reason why they have been 
able to find the relief. Before you go out finding an acupuncturist, you 
may want to speak with your family doctor and see what they think about 
the acupuncture. They will give you all the information that you need to 
find a certified acupuncture practitioner, but also about all the 
procedures.




Facial Acupuncture

Looking beautiful both inside and out is something we all want to 
achieve. Since your face is ridden with emotion and hormonal issues, you 
have to take care of it. Fortunately, there is a technique that can do 
that using painless mini needles and this is better known as facial 
acupuncture.

Facial acupuncture is a painless procedure that renews not only the 
face but the body as well. This is because it can erase lines and eye 
bags making you look younger. At the same time, it can also help clear 
up pimples and acne.  

For this to work, fine needles are placed in acupuncture points on the 
eyes, face and neck to stimulate the person's natural energies.  As a 
result, this also improves your facial color. 

Anyone can try facial acupuncture because it is painless and it has 
proven to reverse the signs of aging. However, if you are pregnant, 
suffer from the colds or flu, have acute herpes or an allergic reaction, 
it is best to wait until this has passed. 

But before anyone can try facial acupuncture, they first have to be 
evaluated by the acupuncturist. This person will evaluate your age, 
lifestyle and diet. If everything looks good, then you will probably do 
an average of about 12 to 15 treatments. More could be done if your skin 
tends to sag, manifest jowls or have droopy eyes. 

Facial acupuncture treatment needs to be done twice a week for about 45 
minutes to 1 hour. For those who can't make two sessions in a week, they 
can opt for the 1 treatment that will last 90 minutes. 

After the regular sessions, it is advisable to go back for follow up 
treatment. It should be every 2 weeks for the next 2 months and then 
once a month later on.  

Aside from needles, most clinics use herbs in the form of masks, 
poultices and moisturizers. Before you use it, check with your doctor to 
make sure there is no allergic reaction to any forms of medication that 
you are taking. 

After the first facial acupuncture treatment, you will usually seen an 
increased glow to one's complexion which the Chinese say an increased Qi 
or blood flow to the face. It becomes more open, the wrinkles start to 
disappear and the skin appears more toned. 

In the 5th or 7th treatment, this becomes more evident as your face 
looks more relaxed as though you just came from a vacation. 

The end result is that you will look and feel 5 to 15 years younger but 
of course this depends on how well the patient has taken care of 
themselves outside the confines of the clinic.

To sum things up, facial acupuncture can do for you. It can eliminate 
fine lines and reduces wrinkles, improve your overall facial color and 
add luster to the skin, relaxes tension in the face and furrows in the 
brow, brightens the eyes and reduce dark circles and puffiness, improve 
muscle tone for sagging skin, enhance your natural radiance in the skin 
and eyes, slow the aging process within, promotes overall health and 
well being as well as relaxes and revitalizes the entire body.

All you have to now is find a clinic that offers this service to 
customers so you will soon look radiant to other people. 

Eight Myths About Acupuncture

There are a lot of myths with regards to acupuncture. Some of these are 
true; others are silly while the rest only have a half truth. As you 
read on, you will learn which ones are worth believing. 

The first myth is that acupuncture is painful. This is not true because 
those who have tried it claimed they only experienced a tiny prick while 
others did not feel anything at all. There is no tissue damage when the 
needle is inserted into the skin or pulled out and only in very rare 
cases are there traces of bruising. 

The second myth is that you can get hepatitis or AIDS from acupuncture. 
This is true only if the needles used are not sterilized. In the US, 
this will never happen because acupuncturists are required to use 
disposable needles thus you are not at risk from these two diseases.

Third, acupuncture is used to treat pain. This is only a half truth 
because this holistic technique has been proven to do other things such 
as stop a person's addiction, lose weight and prevent certain illnesses. 

Fourth, there are some who think that Asians are the only ones that can 
practice acupuncture. Since 1982, there are already 50 schools all 
across the country that teach students about this technique and become 
licensed acupuncturists. 

This means that anyone who has the desire to learn about this ancient 
practice can do so and help treat patients. Just to give you an idea, 
there are at least 3,000 acupuncturists now working in the US. 

Fifth, medical doctors do not believe in the potential of alternative 
medicine. This is not true because there are more doctors these days 
that are open to the idea that there are other ways to help patients 
aside from conventional medicine. In fact, some of them even recommend 
an acupuncturist if they know that what they have done is not effective. 

Another myth is that every patient will undergo the four needle 
technique. This is not true and it will only be used when the specialist 
feels that the energy of the patient is virtually not moving as a last 
resort. 

The seventh myth is that it is better for a medical doctor to perform 
acupuncture. This is wrong because the training is much different than 
that taught in medical school. Students who have an acupuncturist 
license train for 3,000 hours before they are allowed to practice this 
profession. So between an acupuncturist and a medical doctor, you should 
go with someone who has learned about this much longer. 

The eighth myth is that acupuncture is only used in third world 
countries. This is not true because this technique originated in China 
more than 2000 years ago and this has spread to developed nations in 
Asia such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia. 

Here at home, acupuncture been practiced for more than 2 decades and is 
legal in 30 states. In fact 22 of them, license professionals after they 
graduate once they pass the state board examination. 

Although acupuncture has been around for a very long time, there is 
still a need for this form of holistic healthcare which is why this is 
being taught in colleges and in use today. It is painless and cost 
efficient and a lot of studies have shown that it is effective in 
treating various illnesses and preventing some of them.

Cupping as an Effective Acupuncture Method

Acupuncture happens to be a traditional Chinese medical treatment and 
you will find that the insertion of these thin needles that will hit 
your tension points will relieve all pain that you have. You will find 
that pain from your back, cramps, nausea, and can help you with serious 
conditions like infertility and cancer. You will find that there are a 
lot of benefits that you can get from using acupuncture and cupping is 
used along with acupuncture. Cupping is another traditional Chinese 
remedy that will help you to relieve pain and it is used to generate 
good energies. You will find that acupuncture is something that is done 
by a professional and they will give you more information before you 
decide to go through with the procedure.

Suction is the basic concept of cupping traditionally; small cups or 
jars (usually made from glass or bamboo) are heated from the inside with 
fire to create a vacuum and then placed on the body. The cups are heated 
and placed to the skin to begin suction and are left on the body for at 
least fifteen minutes, however, the treatment can be much longer. Today, 
this technique can be done with a suctioning pump as well. This allows 
more regulation of the suction created. In either case, the placement of 
the suctioning device is crucial. There are acupuncture sports that the 
professional will place a cup on each to help relieve your pain or you 
can be placed around a specific problem region.. It was thought in 
ancient China that by stimulating these areas, you could rid the body of 
negative energies like diseases and pain. Some people believe that 
cupping will open up the lungs and you'll be able to let out all the 
toxins through your breathing and through your skin pores. You will find 
that it can make breathing easier for you.  It is also believed to draw 
the cold and dampness out of your system, creating a healthier body 
overall.

There have been researches done to show and prove that there are a lot 
of real benefits from cupping and it's not just an old tale. Cupping 
helps stimulate the blood vessels in an affected area, drawing out old 
blood that settles in a bruise or otherwise pained area and making room 
for new blood, with a fresh supply of oxygen, to make its way to the 
area. Since it is creating a better environment, you will find that the 
tissues will begin to repair themselves. 

You will want to keep in mind that cupping is not right for everyone. 
You will find that if you are pregnant you should be very careful with 
cupping and it shouldn't be done where there are open sores or wounds. 
You will find that there should not be cupping where there is excess 
hair or on body parts that have different angles and surfaces. When you 
begin cupping you will begin to see large bruises from the cupping and 
it just goes and shows that this is proof that it is working, but you 
will notice that these bruises will disappear within a week. Ask your 
doctor if cupping is right for you, if you are willing to turn to 
alternative medications.

Acupuncture is an Example of Holistic Healthcare

Holistic healthcare by definition is being able to cure an illness 
through the use alternative means. This means no medication is given to 
the patient and an instrument like a bunch of needles could do the 
trick. 

Acupuncture has been around for than 2000 years. It is only recently 
that this holistic form of healthcare has reached the US. Studies have 
shown that it can treat minor problems and prevent some from happening. 

The needles used in acupuncture are very thin but thicker than the 
human hair. This makes it smaller than those used on hypodermic needles. 

Most patients that undergo acupuncture will not feel any significant 
change after one session which is why a few sessions are needed. Best of 
all, it is painless so your body will not feel sore afterwards.
 
Several studies have been conducted about acupuncture and there have 
been positive results. For instance in the UK, 400 participants who were 
suffering from migraines claimed they felt better after 3 months worth 
of sessions. 

In the US, acupuncture has also proven to be effective in helping 
people deal with arthritis because the needles help the body fight 
against this chronic illness that is much cheaper and more effective 
than conventional medicine.

Acupuncture can do more than just helping patients deal with arthritis 
or migraine. Clinical tests have shown that it can help obese people 
lose weight and those who are suffering from insomnia. 

In some countries, acupuncture has even been used to replace chemical 
anesthesia prior to surgery as there are some patients who are not able 
to tolerate regular anesthesia. 

Another field which acupuncture has proven to be effective is helping 
patients deal with their addictions such as alcohol, drugs and smoking. 
One study of smokers revealed that the average patient will cut down by 
half the number of cigarettes they consume after just one treatment. 
Just imagine the potential after a few more sessions!

This has resulted in the establishment of clinics nationwide that only 
use acupuncture as the means of rehabilitation. 

Acupuncturists in the US charge from $75 to $150 per session. This 
usually gets lower in the succeeding treatments.  The person will 
probably have to undergo 10 to 15 treatments 2 to 3 times a week but 
this really depends on the condition of the patient. 
  
Before you go to one, you should check if this is covered by your 
insurance. If it isn't, perhaps you should suggest that it should be 
included as it is much cheaper than having to undergo surgery.

Although there are risks if you decide to go undergo acupuncture, these 
can be avoided as long as the one doing it is a licensed professional 
who makes sure that the needles used are sterilized before they are 
inserted into the body. 

These days, a lot of people in the medical field have accepted the fact 
that alternative medicine such as this can also help the patient which 
is why they may refer someone when it is needed.

So, if you are tired of experiencing the side effects of conventional 
medicine and want to try a holistic form of healthcare, why don't you 
see what acupuncture can do for you? It is painless and cost effective. 
In fact, it is just one of many you can try to help treat a chronic 
condition.
Acupuncture for Effective Weight Loss

In a generation when physical fitness is given topmost attention, 
people are always on the lookout for the newest and most effective means 
for weight loss. Acupuncture, the method of inserting thin, filiform 
needles on certain points in an individual's body, has been found to be 
one effectual method for losing weight. 

Not many people may find the idea of being inserted by needles quite 
comforting in their quest for weight control. However, this ancient 
Chinese alternative treatment seeks to deliver a control mechanism, 
enabling the patient to manage hunger cravings more successfully in the 
long run.

The Skinny on Acupuncture Weight Loss

It has been found that weight gain is directly related to emotions.  
Other than physical hunger, people reach for a huge chocolate bar or a 
big platter of burger and fries because of the sense of comfort derived 
from food and eating. More often than not, excessive weight gain is an 
emotional issue, rather than a mere physical one. You may not realize 
it, but you tend to take in more food whenever you're stressed, upset, 
or pressured. 

In Acupuncture, there are specific spots on the body being targeted by 
the hair-like needles. These spots are linked to certain areas in the 
body and by stimulating these spots; the patient will achieve a greater 
sense of inner balance. As these points are inserted by the needles, 
certain hormones are released throughout the body. These substances work 
by helping you manage hunger and efficiently control the impulse to 
overeat. 

How Acupuncture Induces Weight Loss

Most acupuncturists will target the spots behind the ear when it comes 
to promoting weight loss. When these points behind the ear are 
stimulated, endorphins are released in large doses. Endorphins are 
called the feel-good hormones, and these are also often referred to as 
natural pain and fever relievers. The release of endorphins is what 
makes you feel better after an increased level of physical activity, as 
in the case of a good workout. 

These bodily compounds allow the patient to experience better 
relaxation, thus considerably alleviating stress. There is a greater 
possibility of enhanced weight loss when the patient has already 
achieved emotional wellness. Endorphins are also released whenever the 
body experiences low levels of bodily pain, thus their moniker as a 
natural pain reliever. 

Patients of acupuncture typically experience very minimal or no pain at 
all, however most of the points are located near nerve endings and 
muscle tissues. As the needles are embedded in the body, signals are 
sent to the brain thus promoting the release of endorphins from the 
pituitary gland.

There are also other points in the body that serve as gateways for 
better weight management. One of these placements promotes a decrease in 
an individual's appetite, while another has the ability to reduce water 
retention in the body. The acupuncturist may choose a multi-targeted 
approach, depending on the requirements of the patient. 

Consulting with a Professional Acupuncturist

There are a number of acupuncture practitioners in existence nowadays, 
offering a host of services. If you are considering this form treatment 
for your weight management, make sure that you settle with no less than 
a trained and professional acupuncturist. A poorly trained acupuncturist 
may not be able to pinpoint the specific meridian points and worse, may 
cause unnecessary bodily pain and discomfort. 

Moreover, your acupuncturist may require an herbal supplement for your 
treatment, to encourage a longer-term effect. Your sessions need not be 
maintained for an extensive period; however you may be required to visit 
your acupuncturist during the entire course of the sessions.

There are other means for losing weight successfully, and this does not 
include crash dieting and strenuous work outs. If carried out by trained 
professionals, acupuncture can be the answer for effective weight 
management. While it is far from being a cure-all, it may just be the 
right weight loss solution for you. 
Acupuncture For All Those Simple Aches And Pains

If, like me, you have quite a fear of needles and injections, then 
acupuncture, that practice of sticking needles onto different parts of 
your body to cure sicknesses might seem scary at first.

However, if you've been long been suffering from some problems like 
headaches or chronic pains and your regular visits to the doctor don't 
seem to be helping you, then why not consider a trip to an acupuncture 
specialist? After all, who hasn't heard of somebody's aunt somewhere 
suffering from arthritis and trying out everything that the doctors 
recommended all to no avail, only to finally be cured by a really good 
acupuncturist?

Perhaps you were wondering if it could actually work for you. You might 
feel a bit skeptical since traditional Chinese medicine doesn't 
immediately coincide with theories in modern Western medicine. In fact, 
the use of needles to cure people was discovered thousands of years ago 
in China long before microscopes or x-ray machines were invented or 
before bacteria and germs were discovered.

When you think about it, that might be something that the practice has 
going for it. If it has existed already for thousands of years and is 
still being practiced by millions up to now, then it must have worked 
already for quite a number of people.

What typically happens when you go to an acupuncturist?

When you go to an acupuncturist, you would typically first be asked 
about your medical history, how you're feeling and any symptoms of 
sicknesses you might have. The specialist would observe features of your 
face, including your tongue. According to specialists, your tongue is a 
good indicator of the health of your internal organs. The acupuncturist 
would listen to sounds that your body makes like the sounds coming from 
your lungs. How your body smells could also be an indicator of your 
overall health for the acupuncturist's diagnosis.

Based on what the acupuncturist finds out about your sickness, he or 
she would then formulate the treatment that your body needs. With 
traditional Chinese medicine, sicknesses are seen as a kind of imbalance 
and loss of harmony between your bodies' organs. You can consider the 
use of needles on your body as just a way to push your body and its 
organs back into balance.

The specialist would begin inserting very thin needles into the right 
places in your body. To many people, inserting these needles doesn't 
really hurt. After all, an acupuncturist's needles are usually much 
thinner than the needles that are used for injections. Many have claimed 
that inserting these needles actually calms them down and relaxes them.

How does the use of these needles help you?

A lot of problems have been claimed to have been alleviated through 
this practice. These include headaches, the common cold, arthritis, back 
pains, asthma and even infertility. 

Even though acupuncture isn't part of Western medicine, Western 
medicine experts have studied it extensively. Some theories as to why it 
works involve acupuncture perhaps stimulating the brain's release of the 
body's natural painkillers. Acupuncture could also stimulate proper 
circulation in the human body.

Western medicine is still studying acupuncture and trying to find out 
how to best integrate it with practices in Western medicine. That is 
why, along with Western medicine and trips to the doctor, one could 
certainly try acupuncture.

It couldn't hurt and it might actually be the one to finally relieve 
you of a lot of your body's aches and pains and even make you healthier.
Acupuncture Degrees

If you want to pursue a career in acupuncture, you need to obtain a 
degree and become a licensed professional. 

This can easily be accomplished in three years of schooling from an 
accredited alternative medicine school which prepares students in the 
various acupuncture techniques to treat illnesses resulting from 
allergies, occupational stress, emphysema, gastrointestinal stress, 
arthritis, headaches, depression, and hypertension to name a few.  

Students who enroll in such courses will be taught through 
demonstration, discussion and hands on application. 

Part of the curriculum will also include basic courses in traditional 
medicine covering subjects such as anatomy, biosciences, medical 
terminology, herbal medicine, moxibustion, and acupressure. In some 
schools, they may require students to also learn about nutrition and 
various kinds of research.

Once they graduate, they may start in an entry level position earning 
$40,000 or more which will soon double or triple after years of 
experience and working themselves up the ladder. 

If you want to look for a school that offers acupuncture degrees, it is 
best to go online and see which one has the best program that suits your 
requirements. 

You won't have a hard time looking for one as the number of 
institutions which teach students about acupuncture have gone up at a 
rapid rate since 1982 when the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture 
and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) and the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture 
and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM) were established. 

To date there are about 50 colleges and a few also offer a master's 
degree in Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture. 

So what are you waiting for? If you think you have what it takes to be 
an acupuncturist, then go ahead and just do it. 

It doesn't matter if you are still in high school or if you are already 
working because a shift in your career could let you achieve your true 
calling. 

The best way to start though is to talk with an acupuncturist about 
what it takes to become one so he or she will be able to give you an 
idea of what happens in the job.  

If you haven't picked a school, talk to students about the curriculum 
so you get your money' s worth should you decide to attend this college. 

A lot of people are unaware that acupuncture is not yet legal in every 
state. You can find work or start your own practice in California, New 
York, Texas, Hawaii and Oregon with 8 more states that are still pending 
legislation. 

We mentioned that you have to study in a school certified by the 
Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM). One 
more hurdle you have to face before getting your license is passing an 
exam given by them except in the state of California which has its own 
regulating body and board certification exam in order for you to 
practice your profession. 

An acupuncturist degree is just the first step in becoming your own 
boss. To become a master, you have to learn everything there is to know 
as a student so those who entrust themselves to you in the future will 
not have any problems.

As more people are opening their minds to this practice, people should 
know that getting an acupuncture degree will not replace traditional 
medicine since there are limits to what it can do for the patient. It is 
merely a form of holistic healthcare that works hand in hand with 
science to help the person deal with an illness. 
Acupuncture Could Help You Finally Manage Your Stress Levels

Today's world can fill the very busy individual with a lot of stress. 
Without some way of removing this stress from your system, you're 
placing yourself in danger from a lot of stress-related diseases. You 
might suffer from insomnia or headaches or very serious heart diseases.

You could take anti-stress pills to help you relax but, like me, you 
might also be worried about the side effects these pills could have. The 
good news is that you could try acupuncture at least once to see if it 
could help you manage the stress. It certainly couldn't hurt to try 
acupuncture if all you're after is stress relief.

If you find it doesn't work for you, then you can just easily stop 
taking acupuncture treatments. If it works, though, then you can say 
you've found a good treatment for stress that doesn't rely on those 
dangerous chemicals and pills.

How does sticking needles into your body help manage the stress?

In traditional Chinese medicine, much of the treatments depend on an 
understanding of the balance in our bodies and its internal organs. The 
sicknesses we sometimes develop are seen to be caused by imbalances in 
our lifestyles and environment. Stress is also affected by this 
imbalance. That is why when there is something wrong with your body, 
you'd typically have less of an ability to deal with stress. You'd get 
more irritable and find it really to difficult to relax.

By sticking these very thin needles past the surface of our skin, the 
acupuncturist stimulates nerves in our body. These nerves send signals 
to our brain and scientists believe that the brain then releases its 
natural painkillers into our system. This immediately causes a feeling 
of relaxation for many people.

The needles could also help your body by stimulating its circulation. 
With the circulation between the organs of the body improved, a lot of 
the body's wastes could be cleansed properly. Your organs would also 
receive the full benefit of the oxygen from your lungs making its way 
into the cells of your body without any blockages. This makes your 
organs much healthier and leaves you feeling much better in the long 
term as well.

You can think of a session with the acupuncturist as very much like 
massage therapy. A good massage would help give you a very relaxing 
sleep that night and an acupuncturist could help you with your sleep as 
well. You might immediately start to feel drowsy as soon as the right 
nerves are stimulated by the acupuncturist's needles.

You might be asking yourself how you'd be able to relax if you're 
suffering from the pain of the needles attached to your body. What you 
might not realize is that because of the thinness of the needles, you 
would hardly feel anything. The most that many people claim they feel is 
a kind of tingling feeling where the needles are. And that is actually a 
sign that the process is working,

Acupuncture is a practice that helps you use your bodies' own ability 
to manage stress properly. This leaves you healthier, and more 
importantly, prevents any of the serious diseases that could come from 
unbalanced, stressful lifestyles.

It might not be something to replace regular trips to the doctor but 
with its many possible benefits, acupuncture might be worth trying out 
very soon.

Acupuncture Closely Revealed

The foundation of acupuncture rests on the relevance of an individual's 
chi in maintaining bodily and mental health. It is believed that chi is 
present in every living creature, and flows through specific pathways in 
the body. Health problems arise when the flow of chi on the body is 
blocked. As a result, a person may feel persistent headaches, muscle 
pain, fever, weakness, or in the worst case, becomes afflicted with more 
serious health conditions.

A Deeper Explanation of Acupuncture

Acupuncture has its origins in ancient Chinese philosophy and practice. 
More than ten thousand years ago, during the Old Stone Age of China, 
stones were fashioned into knives for medical purposes. After several 
years, during the New Stone Age, these stones were eventually made into 
needles intended for the same therapeutic end. These accounts are 
further evidenced by unearthed stone needles found to be of the same 
types used during the New Stone Age. 

There are basically 14 pathways throughout the body where chi flows 
continuously. These are called the meridian points. In order for chi to 
course through the body unobstructed, there has to be a balance between 
the strengths of yin and yang. In ancient Chinese philosophy, yin and 
yang represent the forces of the universe- yin is for feminine, while 
yang is for masculine. Every single thing in the universe is believed to 
contain both yin and yang for harmony.

When the yin and yang are not balanced, chi cannot stream through the 
body liberally. Therefore, the meridian points through which chi courses 
through need to be stimulated. This is done by the insertion of hair-
thin, disposable needles in specific areas on a person's body to induce 
bodily harmony and bring about healing.

A certified and trained acupuncturist will be able to carry out an 
excellent therapy session for the patient. Trainings for acupuncturists 
are given in order for them to obtain their licenses. A poor 
practitioner may not be proficient enough with the practice and could 
end up jeopardizing the results of the entire procedure. Nowadays, it is 
wise to verify on a practitioner's credentials to ensure a safe and 
effective acupuncture treatment. 

What This Ancient Method Does

One of the foremost effects of acupuncture on the body is relaxation. 
Stress is frequently pinpointed as the main precursor for a host of 
physical ailments. There are particular points all over the body that 
direct the flow of harmony and relaxation and when these are enthused, 
the patient becomes more at ease.

Another positive effect of this alternative therapy is increased pain 
control. During a session, a patient will usually feel very minimal pain 
as the thin needles are being inserted gradually. However, the needles 
are deliberately placed in varying depths, depending on the health 
requirements of the patient. When the needles reach the right depth, the 
patient will feel deeper pain, although the entire procedure is not 
necessarily painful.  

It is also recommended for relief from chemotherapy fatigue as well as 
chemotherapy-related nausea. It has also been found to be largely 
effective for back pains, migraines, menstrual cramps, and as a pain 
controller for patients after undergoing surgical operations. 

Variations of Conventional Acupuncture

Auriculotherapy or ear acupuncture is one of the variations of 
conventional acupuncture. In this practice, it is believed that the ear 
provides a map for all the major bodily organs. A specific area or point 
on the ear corresponds to a particular organ, such as the heart, 
kidneys, or liver. Thus, the needles are placed in particular points 
around the ear and on the ear cartilage. 

Staplepuncture is a method used in smoking cessation, wherein staples 
are placed for a certain period anywhere on the ear area to provide 
stimulation. 

Indeed there is growing evidence that this traditional Oriental 
practice can rival any modern forms of treatment. If you are one of the 
many people who are looking for a widely recognized and time honored 
therapeutic practice, acupuncture may just be the alternative treatment 
for you. 

Acupuncture Can Help Treat Migraines

Acupuncture can help treat migraines. This was discovered after a 
comparative study was done with conventional medical care. In some 
cases, it even prevents it from happening which helps improve the 
quality of life for the patient. 

To understand how acupuncture helps migraine sufferers, you have to 
understand that in traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that an 
imbalance in the flow of blood and energy causes this to happen. 

In order to treat it, the specialist must relieve the tension by 
inserting needles into the body to improve the blood flow to the brain 
thus reducing the pain experienced during an attack.

The needles used helps the body balance the serotonin levels since it 
is a neurotransmitter that affects blood vessels and has a role to play 
in migraines.  In fact the more frequent these sessions are the better. 
It may even come to a point where the specific point of contact is no 
longer needed but the general stimulation itself.

The end result of undergoing acupuncture is amazing. If you experience 
15 to 20 days of agonizing pain, this may be count down to only 8 days. 
You won't even need to use that much medication anymore as before. 

For those who are working, this is good so that they are not absent 
from work that much and there won't be that much deductions in their 
salary. 

But how well acupuncture does for one patient may vary with another. 
This depends on the condition of the attack and the individual.

The best part about acupuncture is that there are no side effects and 
it is painless. Skillful professionals can do this so you don't suffer 
from hematoma or pneumothorax. Another disease is potentially dangerous 
is HIV or hepatitis which can be prevented of course as long as the 
needles used are properly sterilized. It will be much better if the 
person uses disposable needles. 

Acupuncture has been practiced in the United States for more than 2 
decades. Although tests have shown how effective it can be to treat 
chronic conditions and certain addictions, more studies need to be done 
to see where else it can be useful. 

Although one test has proven that acupuncture can help migraines, other 
tests will also have to be done to prove if this is true. Until such 
time that other results are published, patients will have to rely on 
conventional medicine that is prescribed by a doctor. 

But you don't have to wait for the results to come out. If you think it 
is worth a try, go for it. Just ask for a referral from your doctor as 
there are many practitioners who have accepted the fact that alternative 
forms of medicine can also help a patient. 

You can also find someone online. You can be sure they are certified if 
they are recognized by the National Certification Commission for 
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. 

Aside from that, you should also make some lifestyle changes as there 
are trigger factors that have been known to cause migraines. Stress is 
number one on the list so you get enough rest and exercise as well as a 
balanced diet. 

Patients who are suffering from migraine should also check if 
acupuncture is covered by their HMO. Most insurance providers and HMO's 
these days cover all or part of the cost but there are restrictions so 
you should check what is covered by your policy. 
Acupuncture Can Help You Quit Smoking

Smoking is one hard habit to break. If nicotine patches and gum doesn't 
work, perhaps you should try something else like an alternative form of 
healthcare like acupuncture. 

Acupuncture is an ancient practice involving the use of needles. This 
instrument is inserted into the skin to allow you energy or Qi to start 
flowing freely around your body and thus help you quit smoking. 

When you go visit an acupuncturist for the first time and tell him or 
her that you want to quit smoking, after answering some questions, the 
specialist will carry out an examination of your ears and search for 
areas where the energy is low. 

Once these spots are identified, these sharp needles are then inserted. 
Usually 5 needles are placed in various acupoints. 

The treatment is finished after an hour and when the needles are 
removed, you are advised to wear ear magnets so your session continues 
even when you leave the clinic.  While acupuncture itself is a painless 
procedure, some smokers have claimed that they felt a prick or get 
sleepy. 

Most smokers will have to come to the clinic 4 to 6 times before seeing 
any significant results.  Just to give you an idea, one study shows that 
the respondents reported a decrease in the number of cravings to smoke 
just after one or two sessions. Seven out of 10 of the respondents were 
able to kick the habit after 5 or 6 sessions. 

Because the number of test subjects is small, there are some who doubt 
the effectiveness of acupuncture.  This is because although there are 
positive signs with regards to the short term effects of this technique, 
its effects were not sustained. This is why some medical journals have 
stated that it is unclear what acupuncture can do in smoking cessation. 

But you have to remember that acupuncture is not permanent. It merely 
starts something that you have to finish on your own. Some smokers who 
go 2 or 3 times a week to the clinic will need to come back for follow 
up sessions in the future. 

At the same time, you have to find ways to prevent yourself from 
picking up a cigarette. You can do this by staying away from people who 
smoke since you will be tempted to ask for a stick. You can create your 
own personal mantra which you repeat to yourself every time you have an 
urge. 

Remember that this craving is only short term and will last only for a 
few minutes. You have worked so hard to leave this behind so stick to 
the path and stay smoke free.

Acupuncture treatment for smokers should only be done by a license 
professional. You can do some research online to find out if they are 
accredited by the National Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental 
Medicine, ask how long they have been in the profession, find out how 
many smokers they have helped and how much will they charge.

Once you have found one, you have to commit yourself to the program 
because both you and the acupuncturist have to work together to give up 
this habit.

Acupuncture can help smokers in the same way that it has helped addicts 
and alcoholics quit their addictions. You just have to try it even if 
you may not believe in it.  

Acupuncture can be used for anyone

Like anything else, there is a wide range of ways that you can practice 
acupuncture and you will find that when you are an acupuncturist that 
you have to be proficient with all of the techniques while specialize in 
one type of kind. You should know that acupuncture is not right for 
everyone and not all techniques are right for everyone. The 
acupuncturist will determine what is best for you and your ailments. You 
will find that this type of therapy can help you with stomachaches, 
headaches, arthritis, infertility, back pains, and certain diseases or 
conditions. You will find that it can help you with just about any time 
of pain and your pain can be corrected by the use of acupuncture. 

If you think about acupuncture, you may think of it as a Traditional 
Chinese medicine. You will want to lye on your stomach for the entire 
procedure or at least sit in a comfortable chair. Needles only slightly 
thicker than hairs are inserted into the body in multiple spots, called 
meridians, in order to help the energy flow of the body, called qi. 
Although most popular in the world overall and certainly within the 
United States, TCM acupuncture is not the only technique that can help 
you rid your body of bad energy flow. 

Japanese acupuncturists have a slightly varied technique. When it comes 
to getting Japanese acupuncture, you will find that it can be less 
intrusive and rigorous, but you may also find it to be more pleasing and 
appealing. Use thinner or shorter needles many times. Japanese 
acupuncture also uses fewer needles in general.

Another technique is Korean hand acupuncture. This is a good type for 
those who have issues with sitting or lying for long periods. It is also 
a good way to begin acupuncture if the methods are at first a bit scary 
to you. Korean hand acupuncture does not only target problems with the 
hands and fingers, such as arthritis. You will find that there are 
points on your hands that will affect the entire body. Learning these 
many points is an art, and so Korean hand acupuncturists are highly 
skilled professionals. Another form of acupuncture that can be done in 
one bodily location for those who cannot have needles placed at all 
points on the body is called auricircular acupuncture. With this, the 
needles will be placed near your ears. This is used very successfully is 
drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs.

For those who have pain in their life, acupuncture can be a good way to 
help with your specific needs. You will want to make sure that the 
acupuncturists you will want to make sure that there techniques are good 
for you.

Acupuncture and Weight Loss

There are a lot of people who are overweight. For those who are obese, 
perhaps surgery is the best option but for those who can't, they can try 
to see if acupuncture can help take out the excess weight. 

Acupuncture is a form of holistic healthcare that uses needles to help 
treat a patient.  Unlike the cartoon where the balloon will pop and all 
the air will go out, the needles that are inserted into the vital points 
will stimulate the body to release endorphins thus helping the person 
control their appetite. 

But before needles are inserted, the specialist will first ask the 
patient some questions and perform an examination. This is needed to 
understand the main cause for the person to be overweight. 

Part of examination is to help the acupuncturist figure out where the 
needles will be inserted. Your pulse will give the person an idea on 
your general state of energy and the general health of your stomach. 

You will also have to open your mouth and show your tongue to check for 
cracks, peelings or puffiness on the stomach area as this provides clues 
to why you are overweight. 

Once he or she knows the reason, this is the time that the needles are 
inserted into different parts of the body. One way is called the multi-
targeted approach which is designed to lower the body's weight by 
increasing the output of the pituitary gland.

The areas where the needles will be inserted will be in the ear and in 
two of three body points.  These areas could also include the mouth, the 
stomach, the lung, the endocrine, the spleen, kidney or thyroid. 

During the initial treatment, the "Four Gate" points would be used to 
circulate energy throughout the entire body. It is also possible that 
electro simulation will also be done to increase endorphin release and 
stimulate metabolism. 

These needles will be kept in place for 30 to 45 minutes depending on 
how much support is needed. These are then removed and replaced with ear 
tacs with adhesives to make sure they are in the same spot as the 
needles. 

These ear tacs work by applying mild pressure whenever he or she feels 
hungry. It causes a mild endorphin release and helps the patient relax 
making it possible to use their willpower and resist the temptation to 
eat. 

The patient will also have to reduce cravings on certain food by 
cutting down the intake. Some studies suggest that this can also lower 
insulin levels or lipid levels in the blood. 

The best part about acupuncture is that there are no harmful side 
effects and no chance for an addiction to occur. The patient will have 
to come back for regular treatment and have to pay attention to one's 
diet and exercise regularly as needles can only do so much to control 
one's weight.

The number of treatments for someone who is overweight varies depending 
on how many pounds they want to lose, the speed at which they want to 
lose it and their commitment to sticking to the plan.  

The average patient on the other hand who wants to lose 5 to 10 pounds 
will have to come for treatment every three days or twice a week then 
once this is attained, once every two weeks. It is up to the person 
until when the treatment will be done which shows that acupuncture can 
help you lose weight. 

Acupuncture and Autism

Studies have shown that there is an increase in the number of children 
that have been diagnosed with autism. Until now, doctors have not yet 
found a cure to this illness which is why some parents want to 
experiment with alternative forms of treatment and one example is 
acupuncture. 

Acupuncture is a holistic approach in treating and preventing certain 
diseases. Its main tool are very thin needles that are inserted to 
targeted points in the body. The body has about 400 of them linked 
through a system known as meridians or pathways. Once these are 
stimulated, these are supposed to create balance in the body. 

Autism on the other hand is a brain disorder that is long term. This 
disease is characterized by deficits in language, social communication 
and cognition. Children who are diagnosed with this illness may also 
suffer from secondary problems such as aggression, irritability, 
stereotypes, hyperactivity, negativism, volatile emotions, temper 
tantrums, short attention span and obsessive-compulsive behavior.

Preliminary studies have shown that acupuncture may provide symptomatic 
relief to children suffering from autism. Although difficult at first, 
it is believed that it is rewarding in the long run. This is because 
while conventional therapy and treatment requires that the child stay 
still, acupuncture doesn't. Some say it's a quick prick at the vital 
points in the body. 

A group of children in the US participated in a test to see how 
effective acupuncture is among children. There are 22 respondents and 
each of them was given the treatment once every other day for four 
months. 

After the treatment 20 out of the 22 respondents showed remarkable 
improvement. In fact 2 of them has cerebral blood flow.  The only thing 
that did not change prior to treatment and after was the blood flow 
between the left and right cerebrum as it showed no differences. 

Aside from traditional acupuncture to help children with autism, a 
preliminary study in Hong Kong is trying to see if tongue acupuncture 
can produce better results. 

Results have showed that of 30 respondents in the test, majority showed 
functional improvement of various degrees depending on the age and 
severity of their disabilities. Some improvement was noticeable within a 
few TAC sessions, especially for drooling, spasticity (scissoring or 
tiptoeing), ataxia, and poor balance in walking. Functional improvement 
was noted after one to two courses of TAC. Most children tolerated TAC 
well, with only occasional pain and minor bleeding in some patients.

The reason why tongue acupuncture is being experimented with is because 
there is a connection between the tongue and the heart through the 
meridians that spread to all the organs in the body. It is believed that 
the points on the tongue can influence the state of the other body 
organs thus giving relief to the one suffering from autism. 

But many believe that acupuncture alone cannot help autism sufferers. 
It has to be combined with other things like maintaining a certain diet 
to help improve one's mood and communication schools. Although it is 
only short term, it is better than nothing until a cure is found.  

When will the cure be found? Only time can tell as there are many other 
questions that have to be answered in order for doctors to further 
understand neurological disabilities. Doctors who are conducting 
research believe that an interdisciplinary approach is needed given that 
acupuncture has shown positive results in helping children with autism. 

Conditions for Puncture Application

There is a broad and extensive list of ailments which can be treated 
with acupuncture. The conditions run the gamut from asthma to 
constipation, anxiety to weight loss. Most TCM practitioners believe 
that any health condition results from an imbalance in Qi flow, 
therefore amenable to needle therapy. Western acupuncturists tend to 
have a more limited list of indications, the most common of which is 
undoubtedly control of pain.

Control of pain is the most well researched of all of the indications 
for acupuncture. There is a definite beneficial effect for a majority of 
patients using this method. Migraines, premenstrual syndrome, arthritis, 
carpal tunnel syndrome, and neuralgias are but a few examples. The 
theory behind its effectiveness is also medically accepted and well 
researched, called the gate-control theory of pain. It states that the 
needles can stimulate nerves so that they block the impulses from pain 
triggers. 

Expected Puncture Session Result

It is important to emphasize that acupuncture is used only on top of 
existing medical therapy. At no time should a patient discontinue 
medication or ignore medical instructions in favor of needle puncture. 
After undergoing a needle puncture regimen, the primary care physician 
can make an evaluation with regards to decreasing dependence on other 
therapies.

A course of acupuncture therapy will last anywhere from a few weeks to 
a few months. This depends upon the complexity of the particular medical 
condition. Results also vary, so it is important to have a frank 
discussion with the acupuncturist regarding expected results and their 
time frame. In general, the patient will begin to feel beneficial 
effects after three or four session. Certain specific conditions will 
actually get a little worse before improving so keeping informed is key.

In modern medicine, the use of traditional techniques with proven 
results has become a widely accepted practice. Acupuncture has proven 
its worth time and again. Modern practice guidelines make it effective, 
reproducible, and safe. It is a gift of healing form ancient sages that 
has the potential to bring relief to millions of people.

A Primer on Medical Acupuncture 

Have you ever had an uncontrollable urge to be pierced by a dozen 
needles? This is the image most people get when someone mentions the 
word "acupuncture". It comes as no surprise that most view this 
technique with suspicion, even downright horror. The fact is, however, 
that this relatively painless ancient Chinese technique has helped 
relieve the symptoms of millions of people. Properly used, it can help 
in the management of many medical conditions including chronic pain and 
fatigue. 

How does needle puncture work?

Practitioners of Chinese traditional medicine believe in energy flows. 
This energy, called Qi, circulates around the body using pathways called 
meridians. Meridians run very close to the surface of the skin in 
certain areas and can be accessed by needles. Much like plumbing, these 
pipes can get blocked or go the wrong way, causing health problems. The 
insertion of needles at these points is aimed to help loosen blocks and 
normalize flow.

It sounds like a made-up explanation with no basis in reality, but 
there are numerous scientific studies which support the effects of 
acupuncture. Although the exact scientific basis is still unknown, 
recent theories seem to suggest involvement of complicated neurochemical 
effects in the brain, nerve to spinal cord impulse modulation, and 
microscopic connective tissue changes.  
 
What risks and side effects are of concern?

The use of things not completely understood for the treatment of 
medical conditions is nothing new. Penicillin and aspirin were used for 
decades solely on the basis of their beneficial effects, without doctors 
knowing exactly how they worked. Results are what are truly important. 
However, it is equally important is to ensure that the technique is used 
safely.

Like other strategies used in treating health conditions, acupuncture 
may have some side effects. Medications have side effects and allergic 
reactions, surgeries have risk of infection and complications. For 
needle puncture, there is a risk of injury, rare infections, minor 
bleeding, small bruises, and some dizziness.

You can minimize the possible side effects by choosing a licensed 
acupuncturist. Most countries either have government licensing in place 
or have professional organizations with very strict rules and 
regulations. 

How do treatments go?

An acupuncturist will do an initial evaluation of your medical history 
and your body's current state. Multiple pressure points are palpated, 
and a regimen of treatment is formulated. Most courses involve a series 
of 10 to 20 treatment sessions, each lasting 30 to 90 minutes. Needles 
will be carefully placed at the required points and kept in place for 
some time. Most patients report a feeling of mild sensation at the site 
of the puncture, but no real pain.

Right after each acupuncture session, you will feel a bit tired and may 
need to rest. Some people feel an increase in their energy levels. The 
response to acupuncture is very individual. In some cases there is 
immediate relief of symptoms. For some patients, the beneficial effects 
may only be noticed after undergoing a few sessions. Do not be alarmed 
and keep your acupuncturist updated on what you are feeling to ensure 
everything is going as expected.

You need never fear the thought of needles ever again. Acupuncture is a 
beneficial treatment with a long history of effectiveness. It is used to 
complement current medical therapy and should not replace currently 
existing medications or treatments.

The safe application of this once exclusively Chinese therapy can now 
be experienced by chronic disease sufferers worldwide.

Will acupuncture help pregnancy?

The art of acupuncture is a part of Chinese traditional medicine and it 
has been round for the past thousand years or more. You will find that 
it was just recently accepted in the western world, especially the 
United States. However, the needles will not impregnate you, but it will 
allow you to let go of all your negativity and your body will begin to 
open it up. You will find that acupuncture will help both male and 
females with infertility problems. In fact, many people are turning to 
acupuncture as a way to help them conceive. 

Most of the time, you will find that it's older women who wish to have a 
child that tries this. This can be quite successful, especially when 
used in conjunction with more typical child-bearing-friendly activities 
such as eating a healthy diet. If you have fallopian tubes blockage or 
just a hormone imbalance, you will find that acupuncture could be 
prescribed to you. Along with acupuncture, women can use other TCM 
methods in order to battle infertility. Men can also benefit from 
acupuncture. Acupuncture with male infertility will be treated for low 
sperm count and it is very popular. Acupuncture, in this case, is used 
along with herbs to treat the energy of the kidneys.

When it comes to acupuncture you will find that your whole body is 
affected by a little bit of negativity, and that is why infertility will 
affect the way your whole body reacts. Rather than treating the symptoms 
of a disease in the body, acupuncture seeks to find the root of the 
problem and treat that. Acupuncture can also be used to create a 
healthier body in general - it may not cure you of your infertility 
problems, but by becoming healthier in general (less stressed, for 
example), traditional treatments for infertility have a better chance of 
working. Acupuncture will help even if you are thinking about getting 
artificially inseminated or using other methods of conceiving because 
your entire body is in a good place. 

After conception, certain types of acupuncture can still be done, and 
can help relieve back pain, curb cravings, and create a better 
environment for your fetus. After you have the baby your energy is 
thrown off, and you will want to go to an acupuncturist so that you can 
get quickly over postpartum depression and other negative feelings.

Acupuncture happens to be a tool that couples use through out the entire 
pregnancy (before and after). This is not for everyone, but it is a 
method that has been studied very carefully and it does have a high 
success rate. You will want to make sure that you research acupuncture 
and ask your doctor for any advice about the treatment. You may find 
that acupuncture could allow you to conceive quickly and you will be 
able to enjoy having a child.





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