What is acupuncture and how does it work
Acupuncture, or acapuncture, is an ancient method of treatment based on the action of needles on the so-called biologically active points of the body. It is also called reflexology, acupuncture.
Acupuncture originated in ancient China more than 6 thousand years ago. It is based on the doctrine of the vital energy of qi, which circulates through the body through special channels – meridians, so that all organs and systems of a person work normally. A disease occurs when obstacles arise in the way of energy and its flow is disturbed. As a result, an excess of energy appears in one organ, and a lack of energy in another – that is, the balance of energies is upset. By acting with needles at certain points – biologically active, or reflex, you can eliminate these obstacles and restore the correct passage of qi along the meridians. How? Each reflex point is associated with a specific organ, and with mechanical stimulation with a needle, the influx of energy to the diseased organ increases or, on the contrary, decreases.
From the point of view of modern science, needle irritations affect nerve fibers, as a result of which certain impulses are sent to the brain. They can block a certain part of the brain that perceives pain, or cause the release of a large number of endorphins, and thus the effect of pain relief is achieved. In addition, with the help of acupuncture, you can activate a part of the brain that regulates the functioning of a particular organ, thereby improving its innervation and blood supply, which helps a quick recovery.
Acupuncture in its modern form appeared in the early 1930s thanks to the work of a Chinese pediatrician Chen Dan’an. He studied various acupuncture practices and summarized their data, suggested using thin ones instead of thick needles, compiled an accurate atlas of dots, which number about 700. In our country, acupuncture began to be used in the 1940s, it is recognized by the Ministry of Health and is widely used in medical practice, although representatives of official medicine still have no consensus on this method: after all, its effectiveness has not been confirmed by clinical trials. Nevertheless, acupuncture has helped millions of people get rid of many diseases.
What diseases is acupuncture used for?
Acupuncture has a positive effect on a wide variety of diseases and pathologies. It:
diseases of the musculoskeletal system: arthrosis, arthritis, periarthritis, osteochondrosis, scoliosis, myositis, calcaneal spur, sprain;
respiratory diseases: bronchitis, bronchial asthma, chronic pneumonia (during remission), tracheitis, laryngitis;
digestive system diseases: biliary dyskinesia, gastric and duodenal ulcer, gastritis, duodenitis, functional disorders of the gastrointestinal tract;
diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system: vertebral hernia, sciatica, neuritis, neuralgia, neurosis, migraine, dizziness, nocturnal enuresis, nervous tic, hysteria;
cardiovascular diseases: hypotension, hypertension of the 1st – 2nd degree, cardiac blockade, arrhythmia;
gynecological diseases: menstrual irregularities, ovarian dysfunction, infertility caused by hormonal causes, menopause manifestations;
diseases of the genitourinary system: chronic cystitis, prostatitis, nephritis;
eye diseases: decreased visual acuity, strabismus, oculomotor disturbances;
endocrine disorders: thyroiditis, hypothyroidism, mild hyperthyroidism, type 2 diabetes mellitus;
allergies: urticaria, neurodermatitis, eczema;
getting rid of bad habits: alcoholism, drug addiction, smoking;
getting rid of excess weight.
How is acupuncture performed
The doctor feels the area where the needles will be placed to determine the desired point, then treats the skin with alcohol and introduces the needle with a rotary movement. Depending on the desired effect, the needle is inserted at different depths, at different angles and at different times. Sometimes the needles are left for several days, in these cases they use gold or silver needles. To enhance the therapeutic effect, electric current can be supplied to the needles.
What contraindications exist
There are a number of contraindications to acupuncture. The absolute ones include mental disorders, tumors, blood diseases, high fever, infectious diseases, complicated pregnancy, under one year of age, as well as acute pains of unknown origin.
Relative contraindications to acupuncture include cerebrovascular accident, poliomyelitis, multiple sclerosis, progressive muscular dystrophy, normal pregnancy, over the age of 70 years, as well as exhaustion and severe physical fatigue. In these cases, is it possible for the patient to carry out the procedure, the doctor decides.
In addition, it is not recommended to put needles in places with skin lesions, on moles and scars, the area of varicose veins. Children under 7 years old are undesirable to affect the points of the face and front of the head.