Acupuncture Basics

“All great truths go through three stages—at first they are ridiculed, then violently attacked, and finally accepted as self-evident.”

Acupuncture Basics

    • Began in China over 2,000 years ago.
    • Introduced into Europe in the 1700’s after traders returned from trips to China with fantastic stories of a new healing art.
    • Introduced in the U.S. in 1972 when a reporter for the Washington Post wrote an article about his successful treatment for pain after an emergency appendectomy.

Common Concerns

1) It’s unscientific and unproven:

    • According to the National Institute of Health, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, thousands of research studies have confirmed acupuncture’s benefits for a wide variety of health conditions.
    • In 1997, the World Health Organization, the United Nations agency concerned with global health, reviewed thousands of studies and has recommended acupuncture for not only pain, but also conditions related to digestion, heart, lungs, and skin, as well as emotional struggles.
    • Did you know that acupuncture is commonly utilized in many hospitals and is currently taught in the nation’s top medical schools including Harvard, Duke, and Stanford?

2) It’s painful:

    • Although there may be occasional points that are sensitive, the style of acupuncture used in our office is generally much less painful. Our Japanese style differs from other forms such as Chinese acupuncture because it uses thinner needles and the needles are inserted very shallow, causing virtually no pain. Most of our patients actually find it extremely relaxing.
    • If you have experienced dry needling, a common treatment performed by physical therapists, you have not experienced acupuncture. The primary focus in dry needling is to stimulate a pain response! They also focus only on myofascial conditions (muscles, ligaments, tendons) while acupuncture’s focus is on reestablishing normal brain function.

3) It’s all just placebo (in your head):

    • While placebo plays a role in every form of treatment, medical studies have proven that the benefits are real and go well beyond that of placebo.

4) It’s potentially dangerous because of possible infection from dirty needles:

    • The skin is prepped with alcohol and the needles are sealed and sterilized until use, then thrown away after each use. No needles are ever used twice, even on the same patient.

Here’s How It Works

While the nervous system is the master controller of the body, the brain is the master controller of the nervous system. If there is interference in the nervous system, the body’s ability to heal and regulate itself is diminished. This interference can arise from  trauma, infection, inflammation, or emotional stress.

Your brain and body are in constant communication, making sure all systems are working appropriately. Picture this information occurring over a two-way radio. For communication to be optimal, both radios need to be turned on, the volume turned up, and dial tuned to the correct frequency. Poor health arises when this communication system breaks down. If the brain does not properly receive communication, it cannot provide the body what it needs.

Your skin contains the largest number of sensory receptors in the body, communicating directly with the brain. Over four hundred specific acupuncture points have been discovered that stimulate these receptors. Just like each piano key produces a specific sound, each acupuncture point produces a specific physiological response in the brain. This is why acupuncture has been show to effectively treat such a wide variety of conditions beyond pain.

In summery, stimulation of specific acupuncture points on the body restores normal communication between the body and the brain, normalizing nervous system function and restoring health.