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The National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization recognize acupuncture to be effective in the following areas:
Acupuncture as an oriental art began thousands of years ago. It began on animals with crude instruments. The ideas and theories of acupuncture developed with an eye close the workings of nature. The Ancients felt the earth represented a view of the body within us. Restoring harmony within the body was the same as the harmony outside of the body. The idea of changing seasons, weather, and smooth transitions from one aspect of life to another was incorporated into a series of medical theories which restored health to the body. This made sense to a society that lived close to the earth. Food, Qi Qong, Herbs, Meditation, burning incense, rituals, point therapy, massage, guasha, cupping, moxabustion, and needling were considered different modalities applying the same theories of inner harmony.
The art of acupuncture was highly refined during various dynasties of the middle kingdom (China) and continues to be integrated today throughout the orient to the Western Medicine view. They operate side by side with medical concepts and apply the best of both. Today over a billion people have an acupuncturist as their primary physician. The World Health Organization lists a wide variety of disorders in which they claim acupuncture to be a great treatment. The NIH has been a host of over 7,500 studies in acupuncture. Every major medical school in the United States teaches acupuncture as part of medical training for new doctors in the field. For those in this field it has gone far beyond asking does acupuncture work?
The real question is why not use something that does work?The fact is during the 1990s the tide turned and Americans began spending more on alternative care than on traditional medical treatments. All the major medical schools transitioned from departments of quackery to departments of complementary (and later integrated) medicine.
Acupuncture is often viewed as channel theory. There is a series of channels in the body that move in an orderly fashion and cycle every 10 to 15 minutes. These channels coalesce at certain places and form reservoirs of energy and blood. This view, although correct, is limiting given years of intense research in parallel areas. Acupuncture like oriental medicine grew up in an environment of competing theories -- all of which were accepted to the degree that they work.
It was the pragmatic approach to medicine that has given oriental medicine and acupuncture its staying power.That is the exciting part to patients -- what will work and address the root cause of my condition?
Hundreds of studies show acupuncture is effective against pain. It doesn't matter if the pain is internal, external, caused by trauma, or caused by deficiencies. Acupuncture on a motor point deep in the belly of a muscle causes that muscle to reset itself. If you reset both the agonist and antagonist muscles suddenly you can correct spinal problems, postural problems, and even re-balance the integration of muscles across the body. Frozen joints, collapsed joint injuries from blunt traumas, bursitis, tendonitis, and most other traumatic injuries will feel relief from motor point therapy. Add to the list of points, those that balance the internal network of nerves and organs -- then acupuncture begins to relieve suffering from chronic diseases.
So how can the mind and spirit be effected by physical changes? The real question is how can it not be effected?Often depression accompanies chronic illness. Anger follows pain. Joy and happiness often reflect a healthy and balanced person in many areas of their life. Fear and uncertainty follow from the lack of stability in life. Over thinking often follows the lack of nourishment of our body, mind or spirit.
Many points in acupuncture reflect names that follow the course of calming the mind, settling the spirit, pulling us out of deep depressions, and restoring the burial of our spirit. They are often gateways that open up new energetic responses to the physical, mental, and spiritual world around us.