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What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture has been used in China as a primary health care system for over thousands of years. It is the insertion of a fine needle at a specific point in the body. These points are located on meridian lines (energy lines). When a needle is inserted, it stimulates the area so that the energy becomes balanced again. People have unbalanced energy (Qi) in different parts of the body and this produces a pathological condition. For example, if the left side of the body has excessive Qi and the right side is deficient that means the body has a blockage on one side. This can cause pain, stiffness or numbness and so on... The treatment helps to move the Qi and remove the blockage.
What kind of health problems can acupuncture treat?
Here are some examples from the World Health Organization:
1. Nervous system and muscular diseases:
Facial paralysis, limbs that feel cold, numbness, shoulder stiffness (frozen shoulder), lower back pain, joint pain, sciatica nerve pain, post stroke symptoms, pain from falls, sprains and strains.
2. Digestive system disorders:
Chronic duodenal disorder, stomach fullness after eating, hiccups, stomach inflammation, constipation, diarrhea, and dysentery caused by certain bacterias.
3. Ear, eye, nose and throat problems:
Earache, nasal problems, sinus inflammation, sore throat, toothache, seasonal allergies, poor vision in children, conjunctivitis and retinal inflammation.
4. Respiratory disorders:
Simple asthma and chronic cough in adults and children.
5. Gynaecological and sexual disorders.
Acupuncture can also help with infertility, and pre and postmenopausal symptoms.
Usually the treatment requires more than one appointment. The acupuncturist will explain the nature of the blockage and how she/he can help you. The acupuncturist will also explain the benefits and risks in your case. If you decide to be treated, your practitioner will let you know about the progress of your treatment, and what to do if you feel worse, but most acupuncture treatments do not worsen the condition.