Acupuncture for Beginners

Simply put, acupuncture is the alternative medicine practice of placing fine, filiform (representing filaments or threads) needles into certain points of one's body in order to relieve pain.

Sounds painful to me; I think you would have to have some serious chronic pain to consider such a treatment...

...but the anecdotal evidence shows these needles inserted into meridians (energy junctions) of the body is effective, especially for those stubborn conditions that have responded to nothing else. See the story below.

This photograph is from a chiropractor/photographer in St. Paul, Minnesota. It elicited the testimonial of one Mary Mueller,

"Acupuncture works wonders! At least it did in my case. I had severe and chronic pain a few years ago that was almost disabling. I tried everything and had all kinds of testing. They (western medical doctors) concluded I might have fibromyalgia. At the time, there wasn't much known about it and it had a bleak outlook for treatment.

Instead of accepting my "fate" I started doing alternative treatments and while it took months of treatment, a combination of healthier living, accupuncture, chiropractic and massage cured me. My accupuncturist was one of the best in the area and I am still grateful to her.

And no, it doesn't really hurt. It was amazing how my pain would be eased or eliminated."


Who has Studied it?

You may be surprised--I was--to learn that the efficacy of this alternative treatment has been studied by various organizations, including:

  • World Health Organization
  • National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  • American Medical Association, and the
  • National Institutes of Health.

General consensus: acupuncture is safe when administered by well-trained practitioners using sterile needles, and further research is appropriate. *see footnote

Conditions it Treats

Fibromyalgia, as you read above, as well as these diseases and conditions:

  • adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
  • depression
  • epigastralgia (in peptic ulcer, gastritis, and gastrospasm)
  • facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
  • headache
  • hypertension and hypotension
  • pain in knees/low back or neck
  • morning sickness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • pain in dentistry (including temporomandibular dysfunction)
  • periarthritis of shoulder
  • postoperative pain
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • sciatica
  • stroke, and
  • tennis elbow.

My thanks to the World Health Organization for this thorough list from controlled clinical trials!

For More Information, read from an Expert: David Farr

On Healthy Alternative Solutions, you'll find such a broad variety of alternative therapies that I like to give you references to look for more detail. So, if you're still interested in learning more, click on the text link just below to go directly to David Farr's page on acupuncture. You'll read about his experience and view a model showing some of the meridians--a map for needle placement, if you will. To return here, simply close page. This way to David Farr's holistic medicine site

As Always...

...I hope this information helps you in your quest for optimum health! Remember to consult with your primary caregiver, using alternative medicine as a complement to what already works for you.

* Ernst, Edzard (2006-02). "Acupuncture - a critical analysis". Journal of Internal Medicine 259 (2): 125–137.

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