Acupuncture has been around for almost 3,000 years. Originating in the Orient, it has spread to worldwide use as a comprehensive system of healing, as well as for powerful pain control and addiction treatment. There are around 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body. These are located on energy channels (“meridians”) that are associated with, but not identical to, nerve pathways. In 1993, the Food and Drug Administration estimated that Americans made up to 12 million visits per year to acupuncture practitioners and spent upwards of half a billion dollars on acupuncture treatments.According to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), disease results when energy flow is excessive or deficient. Precise stimulation of acupuncture points helps regulate the flow of energy (Qi, Chi) to re-establish normal function and decrease tension, reduce pain, control inflammation, and help a variety of human ailments.
Western theories of acupuncture differ from TCM theories. The “Gate Theory” suggests that stimulating nerves blocks pain by “closing the gate” to the brain by stimulating nerves in the periphery. The “gate” in the spinal cord becomes closed to pain, and the body “listens” to the distracting stimulus (the acupuncture needle, or whatever device is used to stimulate the point). Like chiropractic, acupuncture involves the nervous system.
Another theory is neurochemical. This theory suggests that acupuncture stimulates the body’s internal pharmacy, releasing powerful endorphins to control pain. Stimulating points on the ear may relax the body by firing the Vagus nerve, a calming nerve associated with the parasympathetic (“feed or breed”) system.
There are many theories of how acupuncture works. All that is certain is that this 3,000 year old method has survived for a reason. Though we don’t fully understand acupuncture’s mechanisms in Western terms, millions of Americans have come to benefit. The Virginia Board of Medicine has granted our doctors qualification to practice this science and art. We use the safe, effective methods of acupuncture to get and KEEP you well. You may be pleasantly surprised at how relaxing this approach can be!
- The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) recognizes acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems.
- The W.H.O. supports acupuncture for tendonitis (including golfer’s/tennis elbow), headache, neck pain, arthritis (OA), low back pain, sciatica, facial tics, rib neuritis, frozen shoulder, and many other conditions
- The W.H.O. also recognizes acupuncture for digestive disorders, constipation, diarrhea, sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, and recurrent chest infections.
- Recent studies have also shown acupuncture to be highly effective for dental applications and addictions. Dr Shaye treats patients with nicotine addiction (smoking), and has also treated cocaine addicts at the Lincoln Recovery Center in Bronx, New York.
- Once classified as “experimental” devices, acupuncture needles were reclassified in the 1990’s by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as established medical devices.
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