After having 2 sessions of acupuncture. I noticing an improvement in my illness after trying many other things that didn't work (doctor was even considering anti-depressants).

First of all, the needles are not big and ugly. They are very thin (much thinner than a syringe). And don't hurt that much at all (although it can feel weird at times).

It has been practiced by the Chinese for about 3000 years. The theory is that energy flows though the body. When there is a disruption, you can become ill (in my case this was Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
When the needles are inserted in specific places. They stimulate certain organs. And help the become healthy again.

It may seem unbelievable that such a simple thing as poking needles in the right place can solve an illness. But there is plenty of scientific, western-world evidence to back it up.

That's it in a very small nutshell. Plenty of details here: http://directory.google.com/Top/Health/Alternative/Acupuncture_and_Chinese_Medicine/

Just to add to Webster 1913

Acupuncture is an ancient technique that involves the insertion of hair thin needles into specific points on the body to prevent or treat illness. It has been practiced for over 2500 years in China and is part of a holistic system of traditional Chinese medicine that views health as a constantly changing flow of energy or "qi",(pronounced chee). In traditional Chinese medicine, imbalances in this natural flow are thought to result in disease. Acupuncture aims to restore health by improving this flow.

One might ask, "How does this work?". Well........

According to the principles of tradional Chinese medicine, qi flows through the body via 14 primary meridians or channels. Here's a listing of them:

The Lung Meridian
The Large Intestine
The Stomach
The Spleen
The Heart
The Small Intestine
The Urinary Bladder
The Kidney
The Pericardium
The Triple Heater (I need more info on this)
The Gall Bladder
The Liver
The DU or Back Midline
The REN or Front midline

To strengthen the flow of qi or to remove blockages, the acupunturist inserts a number of tiny, sterile, flexible needles just under the skin at certain specific points (acupoints) along the meridians. There are thousands of acupoints along the meridians which are associated woth specific internal organs or organ systems.

For example, if your suffering from nausea, needles might be inserted on your wrist. If your suffering from vision problems, needles might be inserted in your foot. The most popular points of insertion during acupunture are the ear, scalp, and hand.

The needles may feel uncomfortable but they rarely hurt. Once the needles are inserted (usually one to 15 are used), the acupunturist may twist them or send a weak electrical current through them to increase the energy flow. They are left in from anywhere between 15 to 40 minutes depending on the type of ailment being treated.

In Asia, acupuncture has been used to treats scores of illnesses and ailments. In the United Sates, acupuncture has been primarily used to relieve chronic pain from arthritis, headaches, PMS and back pain. Its also been used to assist withdrawal from alcohol and drug addiction and is sometimes used as an analgesic to reduce pain during surgery.

Acupuncture is also a popular brand of fashion trainers (as opposed to trainers that could actually conceivably be worn when participating in sports or athletics). The Acupuncture Footwear company is based in Soho, London, their website is at http://www.acupuncturefootwear.com. It's a pretty nice site, actually. Kinda funky Flash stuff, and a full catalogue of their current lines. Their logo looks like the age-old anarchy symbol, i.e. an 'A' inside a circle.

Acupuncture's most famous (and most popular) shoe is what they call the Beefer. Nice, big, chunky trainer with velcro fastening on both sides, in the shape of an 'A', sorta. I have a blue pair myself, and they're very comfortable and hard-wearing. Along with the Beefer, they have other lines, including the Fujiyamamama line, which has wafer-thin soles with a picture of a stylized, naked geisha on the bottom, and the Ribbed Cat, which has an amusing cartoon cat on the sole. They used to do a line (whose name I forget) which had naked teddy bears on the soles. And by that, I mean one teddy with a scrotum and penis, and another with breasts and a vagina. Oh, the odd looks I got wearing those trainers...

The thing about Acupuncture is that they always have a few really popular designs, which pay the bills, and a few pretty out-there, downright odd designs. The sorta thing you'd see a model wear on a catwalk, but that nobody would ever wear in real life. Which is kinda cool, really.

Ac`u*punc"ture (#), n. [L. acus needle + punctura a pricking, fr. pungere to prick: cf. F. acuponcture.]

Pricking with a needle; a needle prick

. Specifically Med.:

The insertion of needles into the living tissues for remedial purposes.

 

© Webster 1913.


Ac`u*punc"ture (#), v. t.

To treat with acupuncture.

 

© Webster 1913.

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