Acupuncture is a branch of Chinese medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years. It is a complete system designed to restore homeostasis, or balance, to the body. It is a family of procedures involving stimulation of anatomical points on the skin by a variety of techniques, the most common being penetration of the skin by thin, solid, metallic needles, which are manipulated manually or by electrical stimulation. Stimulation of these areas by moxibustion, pressure, heat, and lasers are also used in acupuncture practice.
Acupuncture is the only conservative, non-surgical treatment modality that allows the practitioner to directly influence the target tissue underneath the skin. This has profound beneficial effects and helps to stimulate healing in a more efficient manner.
The ancient Chinese theories of acupuncture involve movement of subtle energy called Qi, pronounced Chi, throughout the body along different pathways called meridians. In order for good health to be established, this flow of Qi energy must be balanced and consistent. For example, if there is not enough flow in the channel, there will be deficiency. If there is excess of flow it can lead to an overload, as in a flood. These types of imbalances will eventually lead to clinical symptoms and disease. The acupuncturist will determine the cause of the imbalance and then, by applying needles to the appropriate points, will regulate flow, restoring balance. The points act as a type of switchboard upon which certain combinations will cause responses internally, and in different areas of the body.
Modern scientific research has clearly demonstrated that acupuncture modulates brain/neurological function, stimulates the immune system and increases blood flow. It helps to stimulate microcirculation in the body’s tissues, which is important for healing, since blood carries nutrients and oxygen to cells and tissues, and carries waste products away.
Acupuncture can also be used to release trigger points in muscles, allowing muscle and connective tissue to relax. This is very helpful in the treatment of sports injuries and repetitive strain conditions.
There are many different styles of acupuncture. At Westchester Sports & Wellness, a combination of styles including Traditional Chinese Medicine, Scalp Acupuncture, Auricular (Ear) Acupuncture, Acupuncture Physical Medicine, and Contemporary Medical Acupuncture is used, depending on the needs of the patient.
According to an official report by the World Health Organization, acupuncture has been proven through controlled clinical trials, to effectively treat the following list of conditions:
- Low back pain
- Neck pain
- Tennis elbow
- Knee pain
- Periarthritis of the shoulder
- Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
- Dental pain
- Tempromandibular (TMJ) dysfunction
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Induction of labor
- Correction of malposition of fetus (breech presentation)
- Morning sickness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Postoperative pain
- Essential hypertension
- Primary hypotension
- Renal colic
- Adverse reactions to radiation or chemotherapy
- Allergic rhinitis, including hay fever
- Biliary colic
- Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
- Acute bacillary dysentery
- Primary dysmenorrhea
- Acute epigastralgia
- Peptic ulcer
- Acute and chronic gastritis
All acupuncture needles are sterile and disposed of after one use.