Acupuncture originated in China. It has since spread to Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Europe and America. Based on different opinions as to theory and technique, different styles have developed over the centuries.
Traditional Chinese medicine regards the body as a system of organs and tissues that are connected by pathways called meridians. These pathways are channels through which life energy is passed to each of the body’s systems. Modern science uses the explanation that acupuncture works because the insertion of needles stimulates the nervous system, which releases chemicals in the areas of the body that is stimulated as well as the spinal cord and brain.
Acupuncture has been used for the treatment of back pain for many years. People with back pain, using acupuncture as a treatment, may be surprised that the effect may be felt on another part of the body. The reason for this is that the energy flow from other parts of the body can have a strong effect on back pain. Acupuncture is often used as a treatment for back sprains, herniated disc, and sciatica.
Acupuncture has often been used to treat depression. Chinese medicine looks upon depression as a physical problem that manifests as an emotional problem. The theory is that the Qi is blocked and that if the normal movement of energy does not flow smoothly, one or more of the classic symptoms of depression can appear.
When used in the treatment of depression, acupuncture can bring about beneficial effects beyond the improvement of depression symptoms. It improves sleep, reduces anxiety and increases mental alertness and concentration by stimulating brain activity. It also boosts physical energy and regulates digestive function.
Without having to know the exact reason for the success of acupuncture, results have shown that it can be very beneficial, especially for treating people with chronic pain.
Acupuncture is usually given as a series of treatments. It is also mostly used as an adjunct to some other form of medical care.
As with any part of life that you are not very familiar with, it is wise to do as much research as you can before deciding if this alternative form of medicine will possibly work for you.