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Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine and the Different Types of Alternative Treatments

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Consistently and appropriately associated with needles, acupuncture is oftentimes seen in a negative light by some people. They think that the needles used by practitioners are the same ones used by nurses and doctors for drawing blood, or for injecting anesthesia, drugs and vaccines into the body. Of course those hypodermic needles hurt but they are not the ones used in a typical acupuncture procedure. Acupuncture needles are solid (they are not hollow and therefore not as thick as hospital needles), very thin, and tiny. When stuck into the body, an acupuncture needle may generate a slight numbing or tingling sensation, but not pain. The fact is, a lot of patients who have tried acupuncture keep coming back for more treatments because it makes them relaxed, sleepy, or reinvigorated. Acupuncture is a type of alternative therapy that promotes natural health and overall well-being.

What is an Alternative Treatment?

Alternative therapy or healthcare involves healing traditions that is not used by Western conventional medicine. Alternative treatment can have several forms and each one of these forms focuses on a different part of the mind or body in order to achieve holistic wellness in a patient. Some of the forms of alternative medicine are as follows:

1. Holistic Medicine – This type of treatment is based on Aristotle’s theory that states “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” This theory implies that the body and all its parts need to be healed together as they all work together to bring about balance and harmony in the body (and mind).

2. Herbal medicine – Herbal medicine or herbal therapy involves the use of herbs to maintain wellness or to heal. The herbs can be used topically as ointment or taken as teas, supplements or ingested by cooking.

3. Meditation – In order to attain such ends as self-awareness, or greater creativity or focus, a discipline of deep relaxation should be practiced in order for the person to go beyond the conditioned thinking mind into a deeper state of awareness and relaxation. Meditation can have several different forms and it is up to the person to choose one that best suit his/her needs.

4. Chiropractic medicine – Adjusting and manipulating the musculoskeletal system are the aims of this holistic therapy. Chiropractic medicine also strives to achieve fulfillment and symmetry between the body and mind.

5. Homeopathy – This type of alternative treatment theorizes that an individual is able to heal in conjunction with that which makes him/her ill. Homeopathy is derived from the Greek word homoio or homeo which means ‘similar’. In homeopathy, the things that made the person sick are used as a healing aide by introducing them in small doses. When these things are introduced in a controlled environment the patient’s body uses its own healing powers to fight off the intruder.

6. Massage Therapy – The body is able to heal by the power of touch and gentle or hard rubbing pressure on the body. One powerful form of massage therapy is Reiki.

7. Naturopathic Medicine – This type of healing is based on the belief that health is a state of complete social, mental, and physical well-being and is not just merely the prevention or absence of illness or disease.

Each form of therapy possesses its own belief on how to maintain wellness and best heal the body. Certain therapies can perfectly complement other types of treatment, even Western conventional treatments.

A lot of these alternative modalities are known to be painless and harmless. The issue of needles has been briefly discussed a while ago.

Acupuncture is one of the branches of an ancient healing tradition known as traditional Chinese medicine or Chinese medicine, for short. This type of alternative treatment has been used for tens of centuries in Asia. It works by incorporating two or more branches (For example, a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbs for back pain or depression) to balance the chemical composition of the body, and to boost the flow of chi and blood throughout the body to relieve pain and enhance mood. Acupuncture is usually used for pain relief. Whereas most people will reach for prescription or over the counter drugs to relieve their aches and pains, the Chinese will use a more natural form of relief with acupuncture.

What Does Acupuncture Involve?

Acupuncture is a healing practice that involves the insertion of needles precisely placed in certain areas of the body and spine. The idea behind this therapy is that the body has certain areas where chi is known to circulate. The needles tap into this flow and increase positive energy while preventing the movement of negative energy. This leads to the removal of pain.

Being a time-honored medical tradition, acupuncture is a very popular worldwide medical phenomenon and is one of the biggest stars of the alternative medicine constellation.

Kine Fischler is a licensed acupuncture physician and the clinical director of Willow Tree Wellness in Portland, OR.

Written by Valerie

November 15th, 2016 at 5:02 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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