Turning to Acupuncture
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a million people
use acupuncture each year. Most of these people have found little or no
success with conventional medicine. Therefore, they turn to acupuncture
for relief and to improve their overall health.
Why does acupuncture succeed in areas that conventional medicine seems
to come up short? Both systems of medicine have their own areas of effectiveness.
Conventional medicine generally looks to the outside for healing, primarily
in the form of pills, and often focuses on the elimination of the symptoms
of ill health rather than the underlying problem.
On the other hand, acupuncture and oriental medicine focus on prevention,
with an overall wellness orientation.
Acupuncturists look for patterns of ill health to determine the underlying
cause. Looking to the inside and assuming that the mind, body and spirit
are interconnected, acupuncture concentrates on the body’s ability
to heal itself. Imbalances in the body’s energy cause illness and
acupuncture heals by restoring the body’s balance.
Assisting the Body's Healing Systems
The NIH cites recent findings that the nervous system communicates
with the immune system to detect the arrival of foreign invaders
in the body. Once detected, the two systems work together alerting
to release pain-relieving endorphins and healing immune cells
to the compromised area. They go on to conclude that acupuncture appears
stimulate this two-way flow of information, thus enhancing the
process in many instances.
A system of total body healthcare, acupuncture can be used as a complement
to other approaches. For example, acupuncture might be combined with
physical therapy, diet and herbal medicine. Acupuncture is offered as part
array of therapies at many well known hospitals throughout the country,
including the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.