Acupuncture: 3,000 Years and Counting
A few years ago I was working at my desk, when I heard commotion in the waiting room. A patient was raving about how great she felt following her Acupuncture treatment. She was saying that her shoulder pain was no more. I recognized the patient immediately but couldn’t believe my eyes. The same shoulder pain I’ve been working on for weeks!? The same pain that wasn’t getting better and wasn’t going away? How?
My name is Dr. Raj Gupta, chiropractor, and founder of Garden State Spine & Pain Institute, LLC. Over the years I’ve preached a healthy lifestyle, eating right, exercising and treating your body naturally. I‘ve been exposed to many alternative sciences, but not Acupuncture. This wasn’t the first of these incredible testimonials. What’s going on? What am I missing? Let’s first take a look at what Acupuncture is:
The history of acupuncture dates back 3,000+ years. Early Chinese physicians discovered there is a network of energy traversing just below the surface of the skin. This network is comprised of over 1,000 “Acupoints” which are located throughout the body. This energy works in harmony with the systems of your body including the circulatory, nervous, digestive, and genitourinary. This network also communicates with your muscles and organs. When this vital energy becomes blocked or weakened, it is obvious to a licensed Acupuncturist. By stimulating one or a combination of key Acupoints on the body, an Acupuncturist will restore harmony to the body.
My research was starting to make sense to the Chiropractor in me. My job is to relieve pressure on spinal nerves that are being choked by either a rotated bone or slipped disc. By doing this I’m able to ensure that the transmission of messages sent by the nervous system, are uninterrupted. My initial research indicates that Chiropractic and Acupuncture both relieve blockages.
What is Qi? Qi is the movement of energy thru channels called meridians. It is a vital substance; the combination of the air we breathe the food we eat and movement. Some describe it as an electromechanical force, some describe it as life’s energy, others the essence of life. In Einstein’s formula E=mc 2, there is a relationship between energy and matter. It is the blockage of this energy, deficiency of Qi or imbalances that are responsible for illness. Unblocking or balancing the Qi relieves the pain and corrects the source of the disease or discomfort.
The Acupuncturist balances the body to work at its optimum level. Here’s an example: I weigh 175lbs. My four year old, weighs about 40 lbs. If we were on a seesaw, I would be on the ground; he would be in the air. The average doctor would look at that and say physically there is nothing wrong. The Acupuncturist sees the problem of imbalance and corrects it. Make sense? By restoring balance, you are restoring energy. We have a saying in the office. “Would you rather be healthy, or just not sick?” This is making you healthy. I know what you are thinking. “Hey doc, do the needles hurt?” I can tell you from first hand experience, “no”. Acupuncture needles are so small, that four of them could fit into the hollow tube of a normal hypodermic needle. They are that small! The sensation from the needles is more like a tingling. Remember, these needles are stimulating the acupoints to increase energy and are therefore not going deep into the skin.
Acupuncture textbooks list well over one hundred different conditions that respond well to Acupuncture. The World Health Organization, working in close harmony with the International Acupuncture training center of the Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, has indicated that Acupuncture is effective in the following conditions.
-Neck, mid and lower back pain
-Shoulder pain -Post-operative pain relief
-Migraine, tension, cluster and sinus headaches
-Abnormal blood pressure
Cool stuff so far? It gets better. Acupuncture has gained a great deal of notoriety in recent years due to its considerable successwith addiction control. Specifically, it has been shown that Acupuncture has helped significantly in the areas of drug and alcohol addiction. One of the most noteworthy addictions Acupuncture helps with is smoking. The average patient who smokes will cut down by at least half within twenty four hours of their first treatment. Several additional treatments generally allow the patient to stop without experiencing the negative side effects of quitting. Acupuncture also helps patients manage their weight.
As for me, I’m now under the care of Acupuncture. As a chiropractor for 14 years I see the relationship these two disciplines have in healing the body where traditional medicine falls short. Throw in Physical Therapy and Physical medicine and now you’re getting the best in musculoskeletal treatment. More and more insurance companies are providing Acupuncture coverage every year. That’s right, your insurance may now cover acupuncture treatment! We would be happy to do a complimentary benefit check for you to find out. 3,000 years of healing, means that Acupuncture must be doing something right!