What is Acupuncture: Treatment, History, Benefits

Considering the rise of the “New Age” philosophy, people are beginning to migrate back to more holistic natural methods. Coupled with this migration have been a certain interest in how we look at healing and the methods we use to counteract disease. Practices like meditation ,yoga, acupuncture, acupressure, reiki and Tai-Chi also have risen to the forefront of this popularity in recent years combining the ideas of healing, balance and control over impulses.
These practices, although most of them have been around for quite some time, have begun to swing back into the scope of the public.

I for one, have done research on the dealings of big pharmaceutical companies that profit off of the misfortune of others and on the political monetary driven drug market. Also, considering the healthcare crisis, astronomical cost, and treatments that leave some to wonder if treating the issue and not curing it somehow helps “Big Pharma” out financially at your expense. Although with would be immature to condemn the modern strides medicine has made in the last couple centuries, I am always open to other healing possibilities that greatly differ in cost, side effects, effectiveness.


What is Acupuncture Treatment ? History

Similar to meditation and yoga, one of the ancient healing practices I’ve called you here today to learn about is acupuncture.

“Acupuncture is a component of the health care system of China that can be traced back at least 2,500 years. The general theory of acupuncture is based on the premise that there are patterns of energy flow (Qi) through the body that are essential for health. Disruptions of this flow are believed to be responsible for disease.” (medicine.net)

One of the major healing considerations in a lot of Asian culture is the understanding and study of life energy. Taking into account that spiritual health is just as important as physical and mental health.
Even though dating back to 6000 BCE when the first makeshift acupuncture tools were discovered, acupuncture became an officially documented practice a few centuries before the Common Era.

As popularity of the new stress relieving, balancing, and healing method began to surface, acupuncture became one of the prominent healing systems in China.

The Practice: Defined

The theory of acupuncture like a lot of other practices its broken up into different aspects that all represent major organ/pressure/chi/chakras outlets in the body: these 12 aspects are called meridians. To combat issues accruing within these 12 points, a look into how acupuncture views the organs and their respective balances and imbalances is vital to the practice. For example:

  • Heart Meridian– One of the most popular organs, the heart is the organ that distributes blood throughout the entire body. An imbalance in the heart meridian can cause shortness of breath, heat flashes, chest pain, and the sensation of feeling light-headed.
  • Spleen Meridian– Understood to be a primary organ for distributing nutrients, blood flow and aiding in healthy digestion. An imbalance here can cause diarrhea, bloating, weakness of the muscles, fatigue, short-term memory loss, and inability to think properly.
  • Liver Meridian – The liver organ filters blood before it’s distributed to the rest of the body. An imbalance here can cause loss in flexibility, irregularities in the menstrual cycle, PMS, dehydration, depression and anger.
  • Small Intestine Meridian– The organ that breaks down nutrients from the food we eat so our body can functioning properly. An imbalance here can cause body soreness, nerve damage, digestion problems, and poor circulation.
  • Bladder Meridian – An organ that removes excess liquid from the body. An imbalance here can cause neck stiffness, headaches, back pain, and urinary track infections.
  • Gallbladder Meridian– The organ that stores and distributes “bile”, an enzyme produced by the liver. An imbalance here can cause bloating, liver disease, discoloration, liver failure, and loss of energy.
  • Pericardium Meridian– A membrane that protects the heart by assisting in its functions. An imbalance here can cause sever loss of energy, heart failure, and decrease in sex drive.
  • Lung Meridian – Although understood by most to be a respiratory organ, in acupuncture, an imbalance in this point can cause bacterial infections, inflammation, an uncontrollable skin conditions.
  • Large Intestine Meridian – Known by most as the organ that expels waste while extracting water, an imbalance here can cause abdominal pains, holding on and letting go of unwise situations.
  • Stomach Meridian – The digestive organ. An imbalance here can lead to abdominal pains, internal bleeding, extreme anxiety, and feelings of not being accepted.
  • Kidney Meridian – Considered to maintain things like hormones, the reproductive system, and growth, an imbalance here can cause urinary infections, backaches, decrease in will-power, sexual drive, and ability to cope in everyday life situations.
  • Triple Warmer Meridian – Not considered to be an organ but one of acupuncture’s vital points. Controls metabolism, heat/cold dementia, and body temp. An imbalance here can cause anxiety, dementia, chest pains, heart failure, stroke, cancer, and just about any other ailment associated with the other 11 points.

By guiding the needle precisely into the designated meridian points or “hot spots”, the energy balancing can be assessed and executed. These hot spots allow the acupuncture practitioner to decrease, increase, or unclog blockages of the life force energy needed for harmonized balance.

Acupuncture Treatment Benefits

Although considered by some as a “superstitious practice”, the FDA has taken acupuncture off of the experimental healing practice list some time ago. Scientific research points to its plethora of benefits.

  • Lowers Chronic Joint and Muscle Pain – Usually a result of chronic stress, muscle tension, or just plain old injuries. Shown to reduce lower and upper back pain by as much as 15%. Extensive research also points too its effect on reducing knee, and arthritis pain.
  • Alleviates Migraines – Considered to be one of acupuncture most popular positive effects:”In a 2011 review, there was nearly unanimous support and proof of acupuncture being a reliable and side-effect free way to relieve chronic neck pain, very often the pain that can lead to constantly tense muscles, soreness, and headaches.”
  • Cures Nausea and Prevents Vomiting – Acupuncture has been known to provide extreme nausea relief. Published by The Care and Emergency Group, considered the practice to be on par and safer than regular prescription drugs.
  • Helps With Insomnia – An experiment was done to prove acupuncture effect on helping the brain to produce nocturnal melatonin: a chemical in the brain that aids in sleep.
  • Reduces Anxiety – A safer outcome than the severe side effects of traditional prescription drugs. Several Studies show its proven effectiveness against anxiety, anxiety disorders, and other mental disorders.

Acupuncture Today

Acupuncture today is largely practiced with little knowledge from its ancient predecessors. It is said that skill is one thing that’s lacked when it comes to majority of the practitioners today. A typical acupuncture in modern society can cost you anywhere between 70$ -125$ and be found just about in any major city.

I hope you enjoyed our post on describing what is acupuncture!

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to comment below.

Thanks for viewing.

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20 thoughts on “What is Acupuncture: Treatment, History, Benefits

  1. What a fabulous site and post. I’ve been getting acupuncture for relief of a tail bone injury which took much longer than a usual break due to nerve sensitivities. Without acupuncture, it would have taken much longer to heal. I also had acupuncture for inducing my very late baby! I had to have it twice before she decided it was time to come out lol! But since these experiences, I certainly recommend acupuncture for treating many things, and being able to have an acupuncturist you can trust makes the experience much more beneficial and less scary. A much better alternative to medicines in so many instances for sure!

    1. Hey Kat,
      I haven’t had the pleasure of trying the practice yet (i’m a little afraid of needles) so I have to in person testimony, thank you for that. As far as the practice goes, the FDA took it off of the experimental procedures list so it’s affects are definitely backed by science!

  2. Thank you for this very informative article on acupuncture. I have experienced it am happy to say had very good results.

  3. Thank you for all the information about the meridians! It’s really such a wealth of knowledge, from ancient times passed down. I really believe in the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment. In fact, it helped us with our infertility issues, and allowed us to have kids!

  4. This was a nice read for me. I am all ears for any treatment that diverts one from pharmaceuticals. I know there bottom line is money, not your health. But the alternative medicines like you have written about here is great and I am a believer.

    1. Hey Maurice,
      Acupuncture (If done correctly) can definitely have a multitude of benefits, however the treatment differs with the practitioner performing it. Always be mindful of where you get your acupuncture done.

  5. What a very informative post Dwight. I’m loving your content.
    I’ve used acupuncture to treat headaches, anxiety and other health ailments and have had success.

    I have tried different practitioners and noticed some are better than others. What’s the best way to identify a good practitioner?

    1. Hey Vince,
      usually you can identify a good practitioner by asking them how long they’ve been practicing and using helpful reviews tools like google review or yelp to see feedback. I believe it be a delicate practice and would recommend some serious investigation before trying!

  6. Dwight, I have thought for many years, that acupuncture is wonderful.

    When I was young I followed the story of a giraffe with rheumatism in its neck. The keepers tried acupuncture and it worked. Now you can’t brainwash a giraff into believing something is working so if the neck moves easier it is working.

    For myself, I had bad headaches from my sinuses. My doctor was from Hong Kong and had been trained in acupuncture. Lots of needles in knee, hands and face. I can’t stand anything on my face including my own hair. So needles in face start to go in. Helen’s nose starts twitching. Another needle and sniffing starts. Second last needle near nose and eye starts watering. Final needle and this humoungous sneeze follows. The facial needles ended up across the surgery and the doctor was in hysterical laughter. Oh well I provided the light relief that day.

    You have here a really well done and informative article on acupuncture. Keep up the terrific article writing.

    Bye the way I never get any headaches now from any cause.


    1. Hey Helen!
      What a wonderful story. I do believe in acupuncture’s many beneficial effects as well. The only thing I would advise is coming across a person who isnt as well versed in the craft as opposed to your doctor.

  7. I have heard about acupuncture for a long time but have never had it performed on me. I’m not sure why, but I haven’t yet.

    My one question is, has there been a lot of peer reviewed medical research that validates the effectiveness of acupuncture or is it a contentious subject among members in the health community?

    1. Hey Rick,
      The practice was taken off of the FDA’s experimental procedure’s list some time ago. Its now a certified practices with the documented and proven benefits to match. Just like with a hair stylist, barber, or other service jobs finding a good practitioner is key!

  8. Wow, you put so much research into this ! It is so well written. I can tell that you have taken many English classes or something (?) You seem to be very interested in health and natural remedies. I am interested in this subject as well. I have had acupuncture done on me before and I didn’t even know all of this information! Great post !

    1. Hey Malee,
      I always had a love for writing hoestly. Combined with a few college and highschool courses, it just comes natural at this point. Thank you for the comment !

  9. I found this post to be full of valuable information. Very enlightening, and well explained. I feel that ancient techniques such as this, as well as herbal remedies are far more beneficial to our overall health than modern drugs.

    1. Hey Adam,
      I think that largely depends on the type of practice, practitioner, and ailment you aim to heal. I believe a lot of these practices should be used in conjunction with one another.
      thanks for the comment my friend !

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