Acupuncture is a method of treatment which was developed in China over 4,000 years ago. Ancient Chinese doctors used their experience to develop comprehensive scientific medicinal models which are still in use to this day. At that time there was no precise medicinal knowledge of anatomy or neurology in China, let alone in Europe. These doctors noticed that when they touched certain places on the body which were seemingly unrelated to the point of the actual illness, an extreme sensitivity was displayed by the patient. Additionally, the doctors noticed that by stimulation of these areas, the pain could be relieved. Bit by bit, the acupuncture points were ascertained, and connecting lines were able to be drawn between these points (so-called Meridians). In addition, it was able to assign a large number of these points to certain organs.
There are different forms of acupuncture. One is the classic body acupuncture, in which needles are inserted into a variety of locations on the body. Disposable needles are used, so that there is no risk of infection. Other special forms of acupuncture are ear acupuncture, skull acupuncture and oral acupuncture. These can be also combined with body acupuncture. The needles can be stimulated electronically to increase the stimulus. Acupuncture is also possible without needles in the form of laser acupuncture, acupressure, and the so-called Moxa treatment. The first two of these can also be applied to children, and acupressure treatment can be also administered by the parent, after having received prior instruction. The Moxa treatment consists of cones made from sagebrush leaves which are allowed to smoulder over certain acupuncture points.
Acupuncture has an analgesic effect, affecting physical and mental disorders in a relaxing and reassuring manner. It has a motor activating effect (also in the case of paralysis), and it increases the body's power of resistance. It is beneficial for a huge number of applications. All disorders which are reversible in principle can be treated: e.g., migraine, cephalalgias resulting from a variety of causes, facial pain, trigeminal neuralgia, acute and chronic sinusitis, chronic inflammation of the middle ear, acute and chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, respiratory allergies (e.g., hay fever), dyspepsias, menstruation and cyclic disorders, infertility, potency problems and menopausal symptoms. Sleep disorders, nervousness, exhaustion and immune response weakness can also be treated by acupuncture. All levels of pain, particularly musculoskeletal system complaints all react favourably to acupuncture treatment. Addiction withdrawal symptoms resulting from smoking, alcohol addiction and eating disorders can also be relieved with acupuncture. Also in the treatment of cancer, acupuncture can play a useful supporting role in treating the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, as well as tumour pains.
The impact of acupuncture treatment is verifiable using modern scientific medicinal methodology, and it is continually being researched upon. Complicated mechanisms are responsible for its effect, based on biochemical, bioelectric, anatomical, neuroendocrinal and neurohumoral (the excretion of chemical substances which irritate nerve endings) principles.
Treatment takes place once a week, as a rule. With acute illnesses, treatment can also take place on a daily basis. Depending on the complaint, treatment takes approximately 45 minutes. The duration of the treatment depends on the reactivity of the organism, from the duration of the illness, and on the patient's age. On an average, 10-15 of these acupuncture treatments are required. The needles are placed on the relevant points and distributed over the entire body, sometimes in combination and in special relationships to one another, because acupuncture is a holistic form of medicine. It is low in side effects. Although the initial treatment can cause a passing deterioration, this is rather a positive sign within the scope of the transposition within the organism.
Due to the important number of diagnoses which can be treated with acupuncture's low-ranging side-effects, and the fact that Western scientific and academic technology has proven that acupuncture is useful as a sole therapy or in combination with other medicinal methods, this treatment is valued highly in modern medicine.
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