WHEN DID ACUPUNCTURE BEGIN?
It started in China 2,000 to 3,000 years ago. In that ancient time, people knew little about the anantomy of the human body. They believed that people in pain had blocked qi, pronounced “chee,” which is energy that flows through channels, or meridians, to different parts of the body.
They found that pain would lessen if you used stimulation such as a needle at a certain points on these meridians. There are 361 acupuncture points in all, along 14 different meridians. From China, acupuncture spread throughout Asia, then Europe and the U.S. in the 1970s, when the relationship between China and the U.S. opened up.
The columinst James Reston had an appendectomy while in China and wrote a column about how acupuncture relieved his postoperative pain, which helped make it popular.
WHAT DOES MODERN SCIENCE SAY?
The evidence is pretty clear that acupuncture can stimulate the production of endorphins, natural painkillers from your own brain. It can also send signals along the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, producing glucocorticoids, compounds that suppress inflammation. MRI studies show that acupuncture stimulates brain activity.
My own experience has found that acupuncture reduces pain from knee arthritis, neck pain, back pain, head-ache’s and nausea. I use very thin disposable needles. You can hardly feel it. Plan on coming in twice a week for the first two or three weeks and then less often if you’re doing better.
I hold a fellowship from the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture (IAMA) and certified by the Virginia Board of Medicine to practice acupuncture. To see if acupuncture is right for you, contact me for a complimentary consultation at 757-496-3229.