Sunday, March 11, 2007

Acupuncture Used As ATreatment

Acupuncture can be used to treat certain symptoms and assist in the recovery from certain conditions, or the recurrence of those conditions. It can be used to reduce complications and to alleviate the need for further surgery or pharmaceuticals. Generally, the purpose of Acupuncture is to restore or jump-start the circulation of energy in a person's body. In Chinese medicine this energy is know as "Qi" (pronounced "chee"). Qi is a concept of Chinese living and relates to "air" or the "life force" and "spiritual energy" of every living being.

According to ancient beliefs, Qi is constantly transferring between the Qi of the body and the Qi of the environment. One of the functions of Qi within the body is to prevent harmful Qi from entering. If the protective Qi is strong, resistance is high and disease is prevented. Before the discovery and use of microscopes - whereby man discovered individual cells - and before autopsies revealed the intricate workings of the human body, doctors and academics could only compare it to the visible world outside of the body. One aspect of civilisation, which was well developed, was the system of water courses, canals, streams, rivers, irrigation systems. They were considered as the givers of life and the human body was accepted as operating in the same way, moving the life-giving fluid in the same way. The fluid was the Qi and the canals and pathways where it flowed were termed the meridians.

There are known to be 500 acupuncture points along the body's meridians, or pathways of energy flow. These areas are stimulated to enhance their receptiveness either by the insertion of needles, which is the common perception of what acupuncture involves, or via massage, herbs and even suction cups. Acupuncture can be used as a treatment or a cure for dozens and dozens of illnesses, diseases and conditions. Some of these conditions have been effectively controlled or cured by acupuncture and others still need to be proven. Notwithstanding this, the benefits to the patient's state of mind can only be positive.

Initial consultation for acupuncture would typically involve an interview where the patient's medical history, current treatments and symptoms can be explored. The next step would involve the taking of the pulse from both arms and an inspection of the patient's tongue. The appearance of the tongue gives the practitioner a good indication of what is going on inside the patient's body. A diagnosis and treatment plan follows. The treatment can last anywhere between 5 minutes and 60 minutes.

The treatment may consist of any or all of the following:

Needling - The insertion of needles into acupuncture points.

Moxibustion - The application of the herb mugwort to produce heat at the acupuncture points. Auricular therapy, which is the insertion of needles into acupuncture points on the ear and can often be worn for a couple of days.

Electropuncture - The introductions of an electrical current through the needles.

Laser therapy - The use of laser light at the acupuncture points for those people who are intimidated by the thought of receiving needles.

The treatment can also entail a dietary supplement using foods with therapeutic properties, the use of an herbal formula, exercise therapy or internal therapy such as massaging.

Costs for Acupuncture Therapy can vary depending upon the practitioner, but generally between $10 and $100 would be considered average. Dietary and herbal supplements can be extra. Some Health Insurance companies do have rebates for this type of treatment.


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