ACUPUNCTURE: IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU?
By Dr. Robert Prather
Historians have stated, “More people have benefited from acupuncture over the course of fifty centuries than the combined total of all other healing sciences, both ancient and modern.”
What is Acupuncture?
Simply stated, acupuncture is a health science, which is used to successfully treat both pain and dysfunction in the body. Authorities agree the science is between 5,000 and 7,000 years old. Its primary application is the utilization of very slender, painless needles placed in the skin at various locations to relieve pain or affect a body part or function.
Early Asian physicians discovered there is an energy network traversing on or just below the surface of the skin, which communicates from the exterior to the internal organs and structures at over 1,000 ‘acupoints’ on the body. This energy works in harmony with the body’s systems, including the circulatory, nervous, muscular, and digestive systems. When this vital energy becomes blocked or weakened, an effect in a body system or anatomic location becomes evident. Stimulation of one or a combination of key acupoints on the body may restore harmony to the affected areas.
How Does It Work?
Far too often, a patient is told after extensive examination, “There is nothing wrong. It’s all in your head.” Or, “Sorry, you’ll just have to learn to live with it.” The examining doctor, unable to find the cause of the problem, has little else to tell the patient. Fortunately, many physicians are now referring their patients for an acupuncture evaluation as a new alternative.
The Asians have reported over thousands of years—and now modern science is verifying—that not only does the human body have an electromagnetic energy system, it courses through defined channels referred to as ‘meridians.’ In normal health, this energy field flows in a balanced state. If a disruption occurs, the altered energy flow can produce conditions and symptoms affecting certain organs or parts of and in many cases, the entire body.
Is Treatment Painful?
One would assume inserting a needle into the skin would be painful, since most can relate to having a hypodermic injection or being stuck by a pin. However, acupuncture needles are so slender that four of them can easily be inserted into the hollow tube of a hypodermic needle. Because of the extreme slenderness of the needle, most people compare the sensations to less than a mosquito bite.
However, at The Prather Practice, we can use a non-needle approach—an electronic and laser stimulation. We also can apply a powder over the acupoint that stays on 24 hours.
What Conditions Are Accepted?
The World Health Organization (WHO) lists over 100 specific pain and organic conditions, which specifically respond to acupuncture. A partial list of those conditions includes headaches, low back pain, TMJ, sinus conditions, depression, abdominal pain, high or low blood pressure, sciatica, gall bladder attacks, tennis elbow, nausea/vomiting, addictions and so much more.
(For a full list of all of the conditions the World Health Organization has proven acupuncture to be of merit go to www.IAMA.edu and see “Additional Articles”.)
How Do I Know It’s Right For Me?
It is best to go to a physician that is a licensed acupuncturist in case of underlying health issues. A thorough exam with consultation should be done first. At The Prather Practice, we then evaluate the need for acupuncture through the use of Electro-Meridian Imaging (EMI). We place an electronic probe on the skin over specific acupoints. By way of a sensitive metering device, the electro-potential of the point is measured. We then know where the imbalances are and test for either needle or non-needle acupuncture treatment.