More and more people address complimentary medicine in general, and Chinese acupuncture in particular. Chinese acupuncture is perceived to be effective for many chronic medical problems, back ache, pains and more.
Chinese acupuncture, as a dominant factored in the Chinese medical way, is based on a model of the energy of life that flows within the human body in special channels of energy, called meridians. These channels of energy need to be clean and open for the energy to flow, otherwise, implications will appear in terms of aches, and sickness and so on. (I read some where that there are 12 major meridians, and 8 special meridians, and there are about 2000 acupuncture locations that relate to these meridians).
The role of the acupuncture is thus to detect the root cause for the sickness, open up and clear out the meridians channels, and to bring about a clear and smooth flow of the internal energy, and eventually to regain the needed balance.
Well, is there anything behind the Chinese meridians’ model? Is there anything behind the Chinese acupuncture?
Naturally, one can not prove the existence of the meridians themselves, as they are invisible. But, is the model itself a successful one? Will we achieve fruitful treatment if we follow the location of the meridians? If we do, it does not really matter whether the meridians do exist or do not exist, as long as we can treat successfully sick people and help them, when we follow the Chinese meridians.
Clinical researches and treatments found that acupuncture do have positive impact on human body, but did not really succeed to clearly explain in western phrasing and tools how this is done. One of the suggested explanations was that the acupuncture impact is achieved by some adjustment of the neural system, by which bio-chemical substances, such as endorphins are produced, and which neutralize pain…
However, and this is actually the point we want to underline here, it is found in various experiments, that it is not the “Chinese acupuncture” itself, i.e. the acupuncture that is based on the meridians model, that makes the difference and provides relief to people, rather it is the acupuncture method, even a random one.
In a column published recently, it was reported about two big experiments, with 1500 patients, which took place in the USA recently. In these medical experiments, the effectiveness of acupuncture to reduce some chronic pains, was analyzed. The patients were split into two groups. One group was treated for several months by a random acupuncture (i.e. with no relation to the Chinese meridian model), while the second group was treated “by the book”, i.e., in full accordance to Chinese meridians model. Needless to say, the patients themselves, of course, were not aware of any distinction between groups.
Eventually, it was found that there was no difference between the groups in reporting on pain relief, or in gaining progress in the reported sickness. It was also found that therapist, from both groups, who were assertive and promised success in treatment gained better results, than therapists that did not set high expectations.
Does electronic acupuncture measure up to traditional acupuncture when it comes to effective management of pain? The traditionalists view electronic acupuncture with scorn but is there really something in it?
I have been involved in providing alternative therapies to patients for both mental and physical pain for much of my working life. Much scepticism surrounds non-conventional treatments and many doctors are afraid to speak up about the facts. That said, there is an increasing number of medical doctors learning the art of traditional acupuncture and using it as an extra tool to help their patients.
Traditional acupuncturists train for many years in their chosen art and place a high value on the knowledge and the skill required to allow them to offer an effective treatment to patients for pain management. This is understandable. There is no doubt that traditional acupuncture provides significant relief for a wide range of ailments including back pain, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, tennis elbow, sciatica and arthritis.
Patient assessment takes place on the basis of the problems presented by a patient on any given day and the sites chosen for insertion of needles is dictated by the experience and knowledge of the acupuncturist.
Both traditional acupuncture and electronic acupuncture are based on the same principles of restoring balance to the body and allowing energy or Qi to flow freely. When meridians or energy lines in the body become blocked, stimulation of specific acupoints can in fact release the blockage and allow energy to once more flow freely throughout the body. In fact, acupressure and thought field therapy use these very same principles and I have achieved similar results to traditional acupressure without using needles on patients.
The question at hand here is whether an art that has existed for 2000 years can be replicated in an electronic device that anyone can use with little or no training. It has long been accepted that both acupuncture and transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS) have delivered significant benefits for some people suffering from pain and therefore the only real question to be answered is whether an untrained person can identify blockages in their meridians and treat their underlying condition without specialist help.
I decided to put it to the test by acquiring an electronic acupuncture machine for use in my practice. The most interesting result of my tests has been in detecting problems in the body. Some of the electronic acupuncture devices on the market claim to allow you to detect exactly where the blockages in meridians lie and give you an indication of what the underlying medical problem might be. This has been perceived by my patients as extraordinary, particularly when the indications I got have been confirmed by more traditional testing methods such as X-ray’s, MRI and CT scans.
One such patient was astonished when I told her that she had a problem with her Gall Bladder. She had undergone an MRI about 10 days previously and had only received the results of the scan the day before coming to me. Many examples like this one have certainly convinced me that it is possible to measure energy levels in the body and to receive feedback when blockages in the energy channels are present. The location of the blockage gives a very good indication of what the underlying problem may be.
Treatment points for detected problems are the same ones that show up during the testing phase and mild stimulation of these points with acupressure or electro-acupuncture has delivered pain relief for a large number of my patients. It is clearly not a cure-all solution and not everyone has got the same results. As with traditional acupuncture, repeated treatments are required to maintain the benefits. Based on my experience, there are some very positive results to be gained from using electronic acupuncture.
Using Acupuncture to Cure Back Pain
Research and data from around the world shows that more than 80% of all adults will experience back pain at some point in their lives. And if you are reading this, I know you trust this data because, chances are, you are in pain as well.
So What Can We Do To Fight Back Pain?
I’m sure you came across all sorts of medication, products and techniques on your road to back pain relief. Some of them were more successful, some less, but since you are still searching for answers, I can imagine you are not pleased with the methods you previously tried out.
Before I go on to talk about using acupuncture to cure back pain, let me just say that I believe in others back pain relieve techniques as well. I’ve had great success with, so called, McKenzie exercises, various back pain products (body back buddy and Theracane), yoga etc.
So, the reason I am writing this article today is not to tell you that every other method sucks, I am here to offer you just one more tool you can “put in your back pain relief toolbox.”
What Is Acupuncture And How It Can Help You?
I’m sure you’ve, at least, heard about acupuncture, but let me say a few words about it. It is actually an ancient Chinese practice of inserting needles at certain, very specific, parts of our body, dots, if you will.
There are over 2000 of those dots, and they are considered to be connected by various paths. Those paths allow energy (or chi) to flow around our body.
When we experience pain, it is believed that something is disrupting the flow of energy. And the best ways to do so, is by stimulating respected dots using needles.
Benefits Of Acupuncture
One of the great tings about acupuncture is, if done by an experienced professional, the entire procedure is risk free and has no side effects.
The Western medicine tried to explain the effects of acupuncture, and it was determined that acupuncture will help you by:
• Stimulating your nervous system. The stimulation of nervous system actually triggers the release of various chemicals into the muscles, relaxing them and relieving you of pain.
• Releasing the natural opioids. It may sound strange, but our brain can release certain chemicals that will lessen the pain we are feeling.
• Speeding up electromagnetic impulses. This goes hand in hand with previous points, since it will further promote and speed up the flow of chemical brain will release to help relieve us of pain.