According to age old beliefs in Chinese medicine, flow of energy through specific bodily pathways determines the health of a body. It is designated as ‘qi’ and pronounced as ‘chee’ in Chinese language. Recovery is marked by the insertion of needles at precise points through which qi flows which ultimately leads to improvement and overcoming the disease.
The needles are responsible to stimulate the central and peripheral nervous system which activates the release of various neurotransmitters that block pain and promotes healing. Acupuncture often provides relief from chronic and acute pain, nausea, asthma and withdrawal symptoms from drugs and alcohol addiction.
Acupuncture involves a collection of procedures to stimulate the anatomical locations on or in the skin. Most important among these procedures is the skin penetration. The FDA has grouped the acupuncture needles under the category of surgical scalpels and other hypodermic syringes which has to follow good manufacturing practices and should be used only once.
How it is done
1. Session begins with general examination
2. 5 centimeter, 2 inch solid, thin, hair like surgical steel needles are used
3. Insertion of needles is made far from the diseased site. Example, in the earlobes and ankles for asthma
4. Technique does not any significant pain
5. Treatment provides relaxation and lasts upto an hour
6. Mild electric current is run through the needles
7. To determine whether the therapy is working or not, about 10 treatments are to be done
Acupuncture has reported to produce considerably good results on health. Studies have shown that acupuncture can inculcate manifold biological reactions. Local responses are common either at the punctured site or another close to it, intervened by sensory neurons. This activates pathways which indirectly affect physiological systems in the brain and along the side-line. Certain peptides, namely opioids are liberated during the process which makes the pricking process painless. Hypothalamus and the pituitary gland are also activated which results in systemic effects such as alterations in blood flow, neuro-endocrine functions, secretion of neurotransmitters, etc. Moreover the success of the process lies in the trust and faith that the patients should have in the clinician.
Acupuncture was found to show successful results in the treatment of vomiting and nausea after chemotherapy and dental problems after operation. Addiction, hemorrhagic rehabilitation, headache, menstrual spasms, back pain, asthma, etc. also find promising treatment.
1. Puncture of the lungs by accident leading to the collapsing of the lungs partially.
2. Viral hepatitis also has been reported in some cases.
3. Bacterial infections seem to occur at the site of insertion of needles.
4. Poor hygienic conditions followed by technician leads to most of the problems.
1. Use sterile, single-use disposable needles
2. Broken needles and possible tissue damage should be taken care of.
3. The practitioners should be well trained and certified.
Since the acupuncture treatment is made easily available for the public it is now gaining more acceptances. Now since it is become popular, the actual mechanism by which it treats the disease condition based on the physiologic and clinical value should be given more importance.