”There must be something to acupuncture -- you never see any sick porcupines."
A Quick Look Back Into History
In 1972 when then President Nixon's Secretary of State, Henry A. Kissinger, traveled to China accompanied by a journalist for the New York Times. While in China the journalist, named James Reston, fell ill and ended up in a Chinese hospital requiring an emergency appendectomy. To relieve his pain doctors used acupuncture.
Intrigued and impressed with the effectiveness of his experience with acupuncture, James Reston wrote about his hospitalization and acupuncture treatment in the New York Times, exposing countless Americans for the first time to acupuncture.
Back then its' main focus was on its potential as a treatment for specific disorders. Research on acupuncture began in the United States in 1976. Through the years acupuncture research has produced a large body of scientific evidence. In states such as Nevada and California, acupuncturists were licensed as primary care providers by 1976.
Studies and Uses for Acupuncture
Some examples of its uses and studies come from the US Department of Health and Human Services-it's branch of complementary medicine-(NCCAM). Both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been used and studied for a wide range of conditions. A few examples for acupuncture are:
• Back pain, Chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting, Depression, Osteoarthritis, Chronic back pain.
Dental pain, Fibromyalgia, Migraine headaches
• As well as Emotional Pain disorders such as (Post Traumatic Stress Disorders).
• Acupuncture is now available in many US hospitals. It’s being used by the Department of Defense to treat
our soldiers who are dealing with acute and chronic pain in war-torn areas such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
• Many studies in recent years have been for the use of acupuncture to increase the chances of
achieving pregnancy alone or in conjunction with in-vitro fertilization.
• Chronic Pain is at an all time high among people of various ages. These days many people are
becoming cautious of taking pain medicine on a regular basis because of the possibility of
addiction and the negative side effects.
“Acupuncture has helped my pain almost immediately,” said a guest on the Dr. Oz show. Some people fear needles and believe that acupuncture is painful, but in reality, acupuncture is not painful. Most people do not even feel the needles being inserted. “I think acupuncture is worth trying,” added Dr. Oz. “If anyone finds it uncomfortable, the acupuncturist could simply remove the needles. Also, at least you don’t have to worry about side-effects,” said Dr. Oz.
How is Acupuncture Administered?
• Disposable, stainless steel needles that are slightly thicker than a human hair are inserted into the skin at acupoints.
• Determination of the correct acupoints to use will depend on your history, specific problem and Chinese
• The inserted needles may be twirled, moved up and down or heated.
• Generally needles are left in place for 30-40 minutes. The effects during a treatment allow you to deeply relax and
enjoy minutes of stillness.
• The effects after a treatment depends on how your body reacts-either with more energy, or with a "blissful" feeling
of relaxation and calm.
Other Chinese medicine techniques used in our Center
• Electro-acupuncture and Micro-current-a procedure in which pulses of weak electrical current are sent
through acupuncture needles into acupoints in the skin to further stimulate the acupoints.
• Acupressure-a type of massage therapy in which the fingers are used to press on an acupoint.
• Moxibustion: a type of heat therapy in which an herb is burned above the body to warm a meridian at an acupoint
and increase the flow of blood.
• Infra-red heat lamps: used to warm the acupoints.
• Cupping: a procedure in which a rounded cup is warmed and placed upside down over the area of the body making
a vacuum that holds the cup to the skin. Cupping is used to increase the flow of blood and qi.
Acupuncture and Cancer Support
“Acupuncture is simple, and often works. It has few side effects or complications, and the cost is low. For these reasons, it can be a good choice for some problems.”
—American Cancer Society
• Acupuncture is used to treat all types of chronic pain and is also endorsed by the Cancer Centers of America as
a supportive cancer therapy.
• Acupuncture is recommended as a valuable treatment for cancer, and continues to gain popularity in treating a variety
of other chronic illnesses. Throughout Asia, cancer is treated using a holistic approach which combines aspects
of western medicine with Asian treatments, such as acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbal medicine.
• The western world has started to recognize acupuncture as an effective and beneficial treatment for cancer because
it reduces the side-effects, symptoms, and pain that occur with conventional cancer treatment. In fact, the Cancer
Treatment Centers of America have licensed acupuncture physicians on staff at each of its five hospitals across
• In addition to focusing on cancer, acupuncture physicians at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America use
acupuncture to treat other conditions including chronic fatigue, hot flashes, anxiety, stress, and pain.
• Some acupuncturists at the cancer centers focus specifically on reducing the side-effects of standard cancer treatment
- radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery.
• Acupuncture is beneficial to the overall well-being of people suffering with cancer. Research indicates that acupuncture
is effective in supporting the immune system, which could help the body fight cancer.
• Moreover, acupuncture enhances the mood of cancer patients, increases their energy levels, and helps them
sleep better. In other words, acupuncture improves the quality of life for people battling cancer.
• More cancer specialists are starting to recommend acupuncture for their cancer patients. They believe that
using acupuncture simultaneously with chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery is the best form of treatment for
cancer patients because it eliminates pain without the use of drugs, and reduces the degree of other side-effects.
New studies for the uses of acupuncture and Chinese medicine come out weekly.
A quick Google search can bring up the latest ones if you are interested
Maintenance, Prevention and Improving Function
• Acupuncture encourages self regulation within the body that leads to health and balance.
• Millions of Americans use acupuncture and herbs to improve their health.
• Acupuncture when used to its full potential improves the bodies function, makes it stronger and enhances the
body's ability to self- heal as nature intended.
• Treatments are adaptogenic , with each treatment building on the last one. When incorporated into your personal
health maintenance it can significantly improve your body's ability to prevent disease and other annoying problems
that surface before becoming major issues.
• Many studies have found that acupuncture can induce the release of endorphins in the brain counteracting
the destructive effects of stress hormones in addition to providing pain relief.
• Acupuncture has shown to reduce inflammation by increasing the body's production of corticosteroids.
Aging With Consciousness
• Acupuncture increases blood and energy flow to the vital organs, tissue and the brain.
• When the function of our internal organs are working at an optimal level it allows for a slower degenerative
aging process. It increases regeneration and healing.
• The effects of having a treatment stimulates the flow of blood through the body, brain and circulates vital nutrients.
• Used along with the other components of Chinese medicine, the "symptoms" presented decrease, along with an
overall improvement of health, vitality and well being.
"America's health care system is in crisis precisely because we systematically neglect wellness and prevention"
-Tom Harkin, U.S. Senator, Iowa