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Acupuncture is a treatment based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a system of healing that dates back to thousands of years. At the core of TCM is the notion that a type of life-force, or energy, known as qi (pronounced "chee") flows through channels in the body called "meridians." Each meridian connects to one specific organ, or group of organs, that governs particular bodily functions. When too little or too much qi exists in a meridian or when the qi stagnates or is blocked, illness results. Acupuncture treatment consists of inserting thin stainless-steel needles at various points on the body, known as "gateways," to unblock or rebalance the flow of qi.
Acupuncture is effective for pain relief and for post-surgery and chemotherapy nausea and vomiting. In addition, both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognize that acupuncture can be a helpful part of a treatment plan for many illnesses. A partial list includes: addiction, asthma, bronchitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, facial tics, headaches, irregular periods, menopausal symptoms, menstrual cramps, osteoarthritis, sciatica, sinusitis, spastic colon, stroke rehabilitation, tendinitis, tennis elbow, and urinary problems. You can safely combine acupuncture with prescription drugs and other conventional treatments, but it's important for your primary care physician to be aware of and to monitor our acupuncture treatment.