Acupuncture or meridian therapy is an old, tried and true form of healing that is very new to the United States. Meridian therapy was actually developed in India originally and spread from there to all other Asian countries, where it developed slightly differently in each culture.
In the U.S., we tend to think mainly of China when we hear acupuncture mentioned and it is true that acupuncture has been part of the Chinese culture for over 5,000 years. Acupuncture was first introduced in the U.S. in the 1970’s by a couple of chiropractors who had studied acupuncture while traveling in Asia.
So, what is acupuncture and how does it work? Just as we have blood that circulates around in our blood vessels and nerve impulses that travel through our nerves, there is also a network of meridians or energy channels where “chi” or life energy flows. The meridians are not visible to the eye on dissection as blood vessels and nerves are, but we can measure differences in electrical resistance around acupuncture points. The main premise of meridian therapy is that we want a balance of energy flowing evenly through the body. If we get too much or too little energy in a meridian, pain or disease can result.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognize the benefits of acupuncture as a valid form of treatment for many diseases and a very effective form of pain control. In China, tooth extractions, child birth and even open heart surgery is performed using just acupuncture to anesthetize.
In today’s debate about the Opioid medication crisis, acupuncture is a great alternative since it can both help control pain and is a very helpful treatment to overcome addictions. Acupuncture is a perfect complement to chiropractic in a natural care model.
By Barbro Brost, D.C.
The Brost Clinic