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Some Lesser-known Facts About Acupuncture

Most people who have heard about acupuncture know that it can be an excellent treatment for pain relief. And based on how my patients respond I’d certainly agree with that.

On the other hand, acupuncture isn’t only good for pain relief. In fact, there is a long list of other conditions that respond well to this approach.

For anyone not familiar, acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing art based on the idea that vital energy flows along pathways in the body. This flow can be regulated by inserting very fine, hair-like needles at specific points along these pathways.

The basis for this approach is the view that all illness, whether accompanied by pain or not, results from fundamental imbalances in the body. Stimulating the right points triggers the body to re-establish it’s naturally balanced state. When balance returns, symptoms leave.

In addition to pain, acupuncture treats more systemic problems as well. Here is a short list of some of these conditions:

  • Asthma
  • High blood pressure
  • Digestive disorders
  • Stress-related complaints
  • Depression
  • Nervousness
  • Weakened immune system
  • Fatigue
  • Seasonal allergies

As you can see, imbalances show up in many ways. The beauty of acupuncture is that unlike many drugs, there are no side effects to deal with. This is because we’re working with the body’s own natural tendency to move back into balance.

Acupuncture isn’t just about pain relief, it’s also a great tool to help your body return to a more balanced, and therefore healthier state.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Gregg PoehlmannMarch 28, 2011, 5:56 am

    Is acupunture a temporary or a permanent thing? Is it more for symptomatic relief or is it more of a cure, thus attacking the source of the problem? Will accupunture help me PERMANENTLY get and stay “in Balance?” Lastly, How should I determine when to use accupunture and for what problems? (my biggest interest is in B.P. lowering and getting rid of some fatigue) thanks for your answer! Gregg

  • Dr. BruceMarch 28, 2011, 1:18 pm

    Hi Gregg,

    It’s a good question. As with most health-related questions, the answer is, “It depends.”

    Here’s what I mean…

    Although acupuncture is very useful for reestablishing balance in the body, it is at best only one of many influences on balance. The other influences include food, exercise, genetic tendencies (family history), stress levels, amount of sleep, exposure to toxic heavy metals and many others. Any one of these or any combination can affect the body even if it is in perfect homeostatic balance.

    That means that there is no “permanent” health solution. Acupuncture, supplements, drugs or even sugery all have the potential of helping the body deal with problems that have come up. But none of these (or any other healing intervention) can insure permanent balance.

    The reason is that balance in the body is not a static state, but an ongoing process. And as with any process, there are regular inputs that affect the outcome. If too many of these throw the body off kilter, then symptoms occur.

    That’s why I prefer to deal with health issues by focusing on the big picture.

    For example, in the case of high blood pressure and fatigue, I ask myself, “What factors are present causing these symptoms?” Acupuncture may be very helpful in reversing these symptoms, but if the underyling factors aren’t corrected, then the improvement will eventually fade.

    At the same time, I’ve seen many cases where acupuncture provided the necessary stimulus for the body to reset itself and restore balance. In many of these cases the symptoms never return unless there is a trigger event, such as a period of high stress or eating poorly over several months.

    I hope that helps.

    Dr. Bruce

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