Originally from China, acupuncture has been practiced in the East for centuries. It is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which includes herbal medicine, massage, Qi Gong and diet.
Acupuncture uses fine needles to stimulate invisible lines of energy (called meridians) running beneath the surface of the skin. According to Chinese philosophy, our body’s health is dependent on the body’s motivating energy (Qi) moving in a smooth and balanced way through these meridians. By inserting fine needles into the meridians a practitioner can stimulate the body’s own healing response and help restore natural balance.
Many things can upset the balance of the body and disturb the flow of Qi , these include:- emotional states, diet, the use of drugs (recreational or medicated), trauma, environmental conditions, hereditary factors, excessive or lack of exercise, viral or bacterial conditions.
Traditional acupuncture's greatest strength is that it treats each patient individually. It focuses on all factors that contribute to disease, not just the presenting symptoms. Consequently, traditional acupuncture does not neatly fit the prevalent research protocols that have been developed in response to symptom-based treatments.
Traditional acupuncture can be effective for conditions that dont't always respond well to conventional medicine such as stress, insomnia, migraine, fertility, anxiety, depression, muscular-skeletal conditions and lower back pain.
Although traditional acupuncture has been studied, tested and refined for centuries in China, huge databases of research remain largely inaccessible outside the Far East and some western commentators question their credibility. But as new research begins to provide quantifiable evidence of traditional acupuncture's efficacy and cost-effectiveness the body of evidence available internationally is growing rapidly.