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Acupuncture Treatments

written by: Diana Cooper • edited by: BStone • updated: 7/11/2011

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing art that has been practiced in China and other Asian countries for centuries. Read this article to answer the question of "How does acupuncture work?" and find out why it is such an effective natural therapy.

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    How Does Acupuncture Work?

    You've heard of this common practice, perhaps seen photos of people with needles sticking out of their backs, but if you're still wondering exactly how does acupuncture work, read on.

    Part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture is based on the belief that we all possess an essential life force called qi, pronounced chee. This qi circulates through our bodies via channels or meridians similar to the way blood circulates through our veins. Although they are invisible, these meridians are central to a person's health and vitality. According to TCM there are twelve main meridians which link to each major organ and then to all of the muscles and main parts of the body. When blockages occur in the meridains, the body cannot be in harmony or work properly. Acupuncture aims to bring harmony to these meridians. Many studies have shown the efficacy of this practice.

    Although acupuncture does involve the highly feared use of needles being inserted into the skin, a skilled acupuncturist can perform this without any pain at all. In all truth, acupuncture leads to relief from pain. It is used to treat a very wide range of modern ailments.

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    Chronic Lower Back Pain

    It is very common to associate acupuncture with the treatment of chronic lower back pain. Studies have shown that there is promising hope for sufferers of lower back pain as acupuncture did indeed prove to be a beneficial treatment for this ever so common ailment.

    For non-surgical pain relief of spinal stenosis (pain in neck and back), acupuncture has also proven to be an effective treatment. This is only the case where life threatening or otherwise dangerous symptoms are not present.

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    Infertility

    Infertility is a major concern today for couples desperately wanting to start a family. Acupuncture is becoming a more and more popular treatment for infertility. It is thought that this therapy is effective in treating infertilility due to the fact that it increases circulation to the ovaries as well as to the uterus. Studies have shown that IVF is much more effective when preceded by acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture does not work in all cases of infertility such as those that are caused by physical disorders such as blocked fallopian tubes but proves to be effective in many common cases.

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    Weight Loss

    Are the dieting blues getting you down in the dumps? Do you feel that you have tried every imaginable way of eating to lose weight only to pack on more pounds than you started with? You may want to consider using acupuncture for weight loss. The theory behind using this alternative therapy to melt away those unwanted pounds is that many times we eat because we feel anxious, depressed and overwhelmed. Eating does offer a temporary relief from these feelings. What if we could gain relief and feel calm without the extra calories?

    If you are not overeating as a result of anxiety, depression and the like, you may be holding on to extra pounds because of hormonal imbalances, thyroid issues, stress or lack of exercise and overeating. Proponents of using acupuncture to increase metabolism say that it can target the problem areas of the body to bring back balance so that the body can operate properly. These parts of the body include the nervous system, the liver, the digestive system and endocrine system which controls the hormones.

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    Menopause

    How does acupuncture work for menopause? As we have learned, acupunture can be a very beneficial treatment for balancing the hormones. Many woman today are opting not to use hormone replacement therapy because of the known negative side effects. Acupuncture may hold promise for women looking for an effective alternative treatment. There are some recent studies that show very promising results in the use of acupuncture as a natural treatment for menopause symptoms. If you are looking for a natural alternative to HRT, you may want to find a qualified acupuncturist in your area.

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    Using Acupuncture for Treatment on Dogs

    Your furry friend can suffer from many common ailments in much the same way that their human counterparts do. Using acupuncture for dogs is a great way to treat these issues in an all natural, non-invasive way that your best friend will thank you for. From gastrointestinal issues, to pain, immune system support and general health maintenance, acupuncture is becoming more commonplace for the alternative health treatment of dogs. Acupuncture is performed for dogs similarly as it is for people, by using needles or sometimes even using lasers.

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    Give Acupuncture a Try

    As you can see, there is a lot of evidence pointing to the efficacy of acupuncture. If you are suffering from any number of ailments, now that you know how acupuncture works, you may want to give it a try!

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