The general theory of acupuncture is based on the premise that bodily functions are regulated by an energy called “chi” or Qi (?) which flows through the body. Disruptions of this flow are believed to be responsible for disease. This energy travels through meridians or channels. The use of acupuncture is an ancient traditional form of healing involving the stimulation of specific acupuncture points along these specific energy meridians or channels. These acupuncture points are likened to the circuit breakers in your house that flip when the circuit is overloaded. When the acupuncture meridians go out of balance due to diet, weather, or emotions they can short circuit and create imbalance in these acupuncture energy systems.
Using needles has been the traditional way to assist in balancing the energy meridians but there are other methods to accomplish this balancing. Cold laser is a more recent way, as well as using electro-acupuncture using micro-current technology.
In 1993, I was on a 3 week Physician Tour in China. The Tour included spending two weeks learning advanced acupuncture in a few of the hospitals of Beijing and Hangzhou. It really was an eye opener to see acupuncture in action. The response to individuals health after having acupuncture needles inserted for 30 minutes and then withdrawn was amazing. I remember on elderly man who had suffered a stroke, limping in with the use of a cane and unable to speak easily. After his 30 minute needling he walked out without the use of his cane and was conversing with his companion that had brought him. This was an amazing transition of his function that I had not experienced as a physician in North America.
One of my elderly patients ended up with a stroke several months ago when his daughter told me he was in the hospital and what more could be done for him. I mentioned that acupuncture could be very helpful for his recovery. We made arrangements with the hospital so that he could receive needle acupuncture in the hospital. The hospital staff was amazed how quickly he progressed with his post stroke recovery.
Acupuncture is not just used for pain relief. It can be used for fertility, insomnia, digestive problems, headaches, arthritis, and other health conditions. As Naturopathic Physicians both Dr. Justyna and I utilize acupuncture at the Semiahmoo Wellness Center.