Smaller than a sewing needle and much more powerful.

Acupuncture: What is it?

Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting needles at very precise acupuncture points. Some times this is done in conjunction with heat or electrical stimulation applied to the needles.

How does acupuncture work?

The classical Chinese explanation is that channels of energy run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up in others. The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points; the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions at the dams, and reestablish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body’s internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and energy production activities, and in the circulation of their energy through the meridians. The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body’s own internal regulating system. The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.

Cupping therapy is a fascinating medical technique both in that there is evidence of its practice dating back as far as 3,000 B.C. and in that cupping therapy was practiced so widely in so many different cultures. Indeed, cupping therapy was part of Western medicine until the late 19th century and is seeing a revival again in the Western medical tradition today.

Cupping therapy works by creating a partial vacuum under the cup forming what is essentially an airtight seal. The cup sucks to the skin pulling in soft tissue. This also has the effect of drawing blood to the area under suction. Cupping therapy can be a great treatment for back, neck, shoulder and other musculoskeletal conditions. In many parts of Asia, it is believed that cupping therapy can improve the flow of chi and help fight respiratory diseases, anxiety and depression.

Cupping therapy increases blood flow in the cupped areas. Easter Asian practitioners use it along the meridian lines where they believe the energy flows. More blood means more oxygen to the area and quicker healing.
It is said to treat a wide range of medical conditions;

  • Muscle tension and muscle back pain
  • Skin problems like eczema and acne
  • Blood disorders such as anemia and hemophilia
  • Rheumatic diseases such as arthritis
  • Bronchial congestion as in cases of allergies and asthma
  • Varicose veins
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