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The benefits of acupuncture

The benefits of acupuncture

By Chris Strub

As we age, problems associated with chronic pain can become increasingly debilitating. A growing number of people are seeking relief through acupuncture, a non-invasive, drug-free Eastern practice dating back almost 3,000 years.
The conditions that can be addressed by acupuncture run the gamut from neck, back and shoulder pain to carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, OB/GYN pain - even shingles.

Acupuncture is based on the theory that there is energy, called Qi (pronounced "chee") which flows throughout the body. Qi takes its path along meridians or energy pathways. There are 12 meridian pathways, each connected to specific glands and organs. These meridians deliver energy to every cell in the body. A person's health is reflective of the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.

When energy is blocked, the body is unable to function optimally and when blocked for a prolonged period of time, illness pain and disease can set in. An acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles along specific points on the body as a way to unblock and balance the flow of energy. The frequency and number of treatments depends upon the type of problem. While some people experience immediate results, others may need several treatments over an extended period of time. Acupuncture is also used by some people as a health maintenance or prevention therapy.

Acupuncture is being accepted as a safer alternative to traditional painkillers, which were described by CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta in a 2012 interview as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.

Dr. Rui Wang, a seventh-generation acupuncturist, uses acupuncture to address neuropathy, a collection of disorders that occurs when nerves of the peripheral nervous system are damaged. She also commonly treats rheumatoid arthritis - inflammation of joint linings, and osteoarthritis - or "wear and tear" arthritis.

"Balance is healthy," says Dr. Wang. "When energy is up, it helps to strengthen the immune system. In acupuncture, we do not treat a patient's symptoms, we look for the cause of the symptoms. The body's channels are all related -- acupuncture helps to restore the body's balance. It is a safe therapy which increases the good health of the patient."

An acupuncturist selects the points to be used based on the data derived from a detailed health history. The practitioner will check the patient's pulse, and examine their tongue. In the practice of acupuncture, the tongue acts as a map of the body, reflecting the health of the organs and meridians.

Source: Dr. Rui Wang, Certified Acupuncturist by National Commission for Certification of Acupuncturists. 120 Plaza Dr., Suite B., Vestal NY 13850