Traditional Chinese Acupuncture

Acupuncture is the insertion of needles into superficial structures of the body (skin, subcutaneous tissue, muscles) – usually at acupuncture points (acupoints) – and their subsequent manipulation; this aims at influencing the flow of qi. According to TCM it relieves pain and treats (and prevents) various diseases. Acupuncture is often accompanied by moxibustion – the Chinese characters for acupuncture (simplified Chinese: 针灸; traditional Chinese: 針灸; pinyin: zhēnjiǔ) literally meaning "acupuncture-moxibustion" – which involves burning mugwort on or near the skin at an acupuncture point. According to the American Cancer Society, "available scientific evidence does not support claims that moxibustion is effective in preventing or treating cancer or any other disease". In electroacupuncture, an electric current is applied to the needles once they are inserted, in order to further stimulate the respective acupuncture points. Acupuncture is a modality involving insertion of very thin needles through the skin. Traditional understanding of its mechanism involves the concept of body’s life force energy, known as Qi (pronounced “chee”). An imbalance or disruption of Qi may occur in response to one's diet, lifestyle, environment, injuries or excessive emotions. This imbalance then results in physical and/or emotional pathologies. A Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner completes an assessment based on a patient's history, tongue and pulse. This diagnosis then guides the Insertion of needles in acupuncture points, which are positioned along a network of pathways (called meridians). Acupuncture regulates and restores the normal flow of Qi, restoring health in the process. Meridians have been shown in recent research to be more than energetic pathways, but rather real, anatomical structures potentially involved in tissue restoration and repair. Acupuncture has been shown to have pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, hormone-regulating and immuno-stimulating effects.

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