What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine that originated over 5,000 year ago. It is based on the belief that the body is viewed as a balance between two opposing forces known as the Yin and Yang. Vital energy call the “qi” circulates through twelve energy lines known as meridians. Each meridian is associated with a different organ system. An imbalance flow of the qi, therefore an imbalance between the Yin and Yang, throughout a meridian is the thought on how disease begins. The qi affects a person’s emotional, spiritual, physical and mental conditions.
Acupuncture typically involves penetrating the skin with thin, metallic needles that are manipulated by the fingers or by electric stimulation. The needles are inserted into specific points along meridian lines to influence the flow and restore balance of the qi. The unblocking of the qi allows the body to return to a balanced state and a healthy center. Most people feel a brief stinging or no pain and report feeling energized or relaxed from the therapy. There are over 1,000 acupuncture points on the body.
In 1997, acupuncture needles were reclassified from “experimental” to “medical” devices by the FDA. That same year, the National Institutes of Health released a consensus endorsing acupuncture for the treatment of a variety of conditions, such as pain relief and improved function for osteoarthritis, reduced post traumatic stress disorder and improved pregnancy rates following in vitro fertilization. The National Cancer Institute reports that acupuncture has shown many proven benefits for cancer patients. These benefits include improvement of the immune system response and reduction in pain, nausea and vomiting.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
There are many theories about how acupuncture works. Some of them include the following:
· Acupuncture stimulates the release of pain-relieving endorphins;
· Acupuncture stimulates circulation;
· Acupuncture influences the electrical currents of the body;
· Acupuncture influences the autonomic nervous system;
· Acupuncture influences the release of neurotransmitters, substances that transmit nerve impulses to the brain
Conditions Treated By Acupuncture
· Migraines and tension headaches
· Common cold
· Addictions (food, smoking, etc)
· Trigeminal neuralgia
· Meniere’s disease
· Tennis elbow
· Menstrual cramps
· Weight loss
· Low back pain
· Carpal tunnel syndrome
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture is generally considered safe and adverse effects tend to be rare. Some people may experience dizziness, sweatiness and nausea or even lost of consciousness. However, these problems usually clear up on their own in minutes, without lasting harm to the patients. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine reports “there are fewer adverse effects associated with acupuncture than with many standard drug treatments used to manage painful musculoskeletal conditions.” While acupuncture is an extremely safe form of physical medicine, there are some contraindications and risks.
Precautions & Contraindications:
· Avoid blood vessels to prevent bleeding
· Points of the chest and back should be carefully needled to avoid injury to organs
· It is a contraindication to needle to abdomen of lumbosacral areas in a pregnant woman
· Muscle spasm
· Nerve damage
· Punctured lung
· Accidental injury to organs
Additionally, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine recommends that patients “do not rely on a diagnosis of disease by an acupuncture practitioner that does not have substantial medical training.” As part of Avecinia Wellness Center’s integrative approach to medicine and healing, we incorporate medical acupuncture with a variety of other healing modalities. Dr. Unaiza Hayat is one of the few Fresno based board certified physician who has been trained by the Pain Research institute in Medical Acupuncture. Each session is approximately 15-20 minutes and costs $65 for the first session and $40 for each session after (your insurance may reimburse, please speak to Colette for more information). We also offer Acupuncture for Weight Loss and Acupuncture for Infertility. Those programs start at $200. If you would like more information about acupuncture, please visit Avecinia Wellness Center’s website: www.avecinia.com and look under services for “Acupuncture” or call us at (559) 450-7299.