Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of traditional Chinese medicine. Some sources date the practice to the Stone Age, where stones and bones were finely sharpened and utilized as needles. Today, acupuncture is a technique in which practitioners stimulate specific points on the body—by inserting thin needles into the skin. Acupuncture can treat over 200 health conditions and offers drug-free pain management solutions for many.
How does Acupuncture work?
In traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture uses the insertion of needles at specific meridian points of the body to redirect or re-balance “Qi” (the energy flow of the body). In Western terminology, acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions.
How does Acupuncture treat pain?
In essence, you are putting a needle through specific points of the body to stimulate a nerve. There are 309 acupuncture points situated on or very close to nerves, and 286 acupuncture points are on or very close to major blood vessels, which are surrounded by small nerve bundles. Inserting needles close to the area of pain increases blood circulation. It also stimulates nerve endings to produce neuropeptides, such as the calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP), nerve growth factor (NGF), vasointestinal active peptide (VIP), and the neuropeptide (Y). Their function is to promote vasodilatation and the formation of new blood vessels, to facilitate the healing process.
How does Acupuncture treat internal disorders?
Acupuncture treats internal disorders through diagnosis of disease and disharmony in the body. A comprehensive medical history is taken followed by a comprehensive medical exam with detailed questions regarding the patient’s health and emotional state and physical condition.
How does Eastern medicine diagnosis?
Eastern medical exams use several methods:
A. Tongue diagnoses (the tongue contains a map of the entire body). Examination of the color of each region of the tongue body, color of tongue coating, shape and sizes, are noted.
B. Pulse diagnoses (the pulse is read at the wrist on the radial artery). There are 28 different types of pulses. Each one is specific to the condition of the patient. For example: the most common American pulse is the wiry pulse. This pulse indicates stress, injury, pain, and liver/gall bladder pathology.
Dr. Han will analyze all of the above information about the patient’s condition and then carefully choose acupuncture points.
In Acupuncture, our body contains 12 regular meridians and 2 extra meridians. Each meridian corresponds to an organ system. The organs are further divided into Yin and Yang organs. The Yin organs are the lung, pericardium, heart, spleen, liver and kidney. The Yang organs consist of the large intestine, san jiao, small intestine, stomach, gall bladder, urinary bladder. The two extra meridians are called the Du and Ren meridians. Acupuncture points connect each of these meridians. For example, the lung meridian starts from LU1 [depression just below clavicle] down to LU11 [on the lateral side of thumb]. The lung meridian consist of 11 acupuncture points.
In total, the body contains 361 acupuncture points. Based on the patient’s condition, Dr. Han selects between 10 to 15 points to stimulate the meridian system and to re-balance the qi, yin, yang, and blood.