Acupuncture is the oldest continually practiced form of medicine in the world, with written records dating back almost 2500 years. It is perhaps the most respected complementary health care system worldwide and has been accepted and promoted by the World Health Organization to treat many illnesses and disorders.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Conference on Acupuncture in 1997 stated, “The data in support of acupuncture are as strong as those for many accepted Western medical therapies. One of the advantages of acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs and other accepted medical procedures used for the same conditions.”
Acupuncture works from the premise that our vital energy, called Qi (pronounced “chee”), circulates through meridians in the body. When this circulation becomes stagnated, blocked or out of balance, illness results. Acupuncture needles are placed at specific points on the body where the Qi can be accessed and affected. By harmonizing and balancing the flow of this energy the acupuncturist can create dramatic and positive changes in the health of the patient.
There are several different styles of acupuncture used at Acupuncture Associates in Wilmington, NC and each has it’s strengths.
- Chinese acupuncture tends to be more aggressive, with more needles and stronger stimulation. Chinese style acupuncture is most often used in acute conditions, internal medicine conditions and painful conditions. It is the most commonly practiced form of acupuncture in the world as it is the most standardized and best documented.
- Japanese acupuncture tends to be more gentle with fewer needles and more shallow insertion. Japanese style acupuncture is most often used for patients that are extremely needle sensitive who can not tolerate Chinese style and in the treatment of emotional disorders where dramatic shifts in energy are contraindicated. It is very effective for depression, ADD and ADHD and in the treatment of children. Japanese style acupuncture works at a more subtle, intuitive and spiritual level than Chinese style acupuncture.
- 5 Element acupuncture treats the root constitutional and emotional issues in our life instead of focusing on just the physical symptoms. The points most often used are below the knees and below elbows and on the back. It can involve more spiritual and esoteric aspects of the medicine as well.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine takes into account the wonderful complexity of each individual’s body, mind and spirit. Instead of being a symptom centered medical system like most of Western medicine, acupuncture is a patient centered system where you are seen as a whole person. From this perspective your health problems are seen to occur within the context of your life and are not isolated or apart from who you are.
Acupuncture is a safe, effective form of treatment for a great many conditions and works well in conjunction with Western medicine, chiropractic, osteopathy and other healing modalities.
Read more about the history of acupuncture.