Due to the various side effects associated with the normal painkillers, acupuncture treatment is practiced as an alternative medicine aid by many modern health practitioners. Acupuncture basically originated in China nearly 2,500 years back. However, some also say that it was practiced by the ancient Egyptians much before that. For the last few decades this has become very popular all across the world including the United States. Here, there are more than 8000 qualified acupuncturists, 16 acupuncture schools and 2 medical institutions teaching acupuncture. Chicago, being an important city has also some reputed centers for undergoing this treatment.
Contrary to popular belief, acupuncture is not a mere pain control technique. This treatment is not only about insertion needles in the different parts of the body to interrupt the nerve pathways that send pain messages to the brain. This method can treat any malady and works to balance the energy of the entire body. Acupuncture can be used to treat a variety of gastro-intestinal, eye and mouth, respiratory, muscular, and neurological disorders. This treatment can also be used to stop smoking, lower blood pressure, relieve constipation, reduce weight, alleviate anxiety, insomnia, asthma, allergies, and skin disorders.
Theory of acupuncture is based on the principle that there are patterns of energy flow through the body and disruptions of this current usually cause diseases. Human body has a network of energy channels or meridians that are associated with the physiological system and internal organs. According to the theory of acupuncture, there are twelve principal meridians that run the length of the body. A human body has 350 acupuncture points (these are specific locations located along the meridians). In this treatment, fine, flexible needles, about a diameter of human hair, are inserted into points along the main meridians of the body. Inserting needles unblocks or stimulates the energy flow through the meridians in a very measured and predictable way. Acupuncture mainly aims at correct imbalances of flow at identifiable points close to the skin. In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates acupuncture needles, just as it does other devices such as surgical scalpels and hypodermic syringes, to ensure hundred percent sterility and good practicing standards.