Frequently Asked Questions About Acupuncture

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a 5,000 year old Chinese system of natural healing (no drugs, no surgery) which is concerned with restoring proper energy flow to the various organs, glands and tissues of the body on the premise that most diseases are he result of malfunction due to disrupted energies.

The Chinese definition of health is “All parts of the body are functioning normally,” all 400 trillion parts. If there is an interruption in the transmission of energy flow or life force (called ch’i in Chinese) then organ malfunction, disease, pain and suffering are inevitable.

Where does the interruption of energy flow occur?

In either or both locations:

  1. In the channels of energy flow, which are locfated throughout the body, just beneath the skin surface;
  2. In the spinal column where vertebrae may become misaligned, thereby compressing vital nerve trunks.

Are there other causes of disease besides those associated with the interference of the transmission of energy flow?

Yes, of course. Psychosomatic states, hereditary factors, poisons, adverse environmental conditions, injury, germs, malnutrition, etc… are all disease producing.

How do you detect the disturbance of energy flow within a patient?

By many methods, including certain signs, symptoms, pain spots, organ reflex points, and by pulse or instrumental findings.

Assuming I’m going to take acupuncture treatments, how are they performed?

First, the related skin points are determined. Then they are appropriately treated by one of over thirty methods of stimulation, some of which are:

  • Long needle insertion (especially done in acupuncture anesthesia for surgery)
  • Short needle penetration
  • Non-piercing needles
  • Finger tip pressure (called shishin, or “finger needles”)
  • Metallic balls taped to the points
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Moxabustion (the burning of herbs over the points)

Note: The non-piercing needle (teishin) is very popular because the technique is practically painless, there is no blood, no danger of infection, and results are equal to, if not better than other techniques.

What are some conditions commonly treated by acupuncture?

Textbook listed conditions run into the hundreds. Typical ailments usually responding to acupuncture health care includes: neuralgias, headaches, trigeminal neuralgia, tics, spasms, muscular rheumatism, neuralgia of the shoulders and arm, tennis elbow, osteoarthritis, rheumatism, ulcers, stomach problems, diarrhea, hepatitis, asthma, bronchitis, shortness of breath, coughs, certain types of heart trouble, abnormal blood pressure, hemorrhoids, lumbago, bladder irritation, bed wetting, certain kidney problems, female disorders, impotence, glaucoma (sometimes), weak eyesight, hay fever, loss of smell, tonsillitis, loss of hearing, skin conditions, and even nervous or psychiatric factors based on the fact that often mental problems arise from physical disorders.

The above list may seem long as though acupuncture were a panacea. The truth is most textbooks list over two hundred diseases. Please be mindful of the fact that acupuncture is not like one drug used for one condition, but on the contrary, it is a complete healing art within itself, concerned with the systems of the body such as nervous, circulatory, digestive, respiratory, eliminatory, reproductive, hormonal, musculoskeletal, etc, and seeks to correct health problems within those systems.

Out of, say, 10 patients accepted for acupuncture health care, how many usually respond favorably?

On the average, 8. Two out of ten fail to respond favorably for a variety of reasons. Advanced age, severity of the condition, irreversible tissue damage, etc, are deterrents to recovery.

Are spinal adjusting treatments necessary with acupuncture?

Absolutely. Spinal adjusting is a part of the acupuncture health care. World authorities, including Feliz Mann, M.D. of England; Paul Nogier, M.D. of France, and Kunzo Nagayama, M.D. of Japan are very emphatic on this aspect of “getting well.” Dr. Mann states that many internal diseases are cured by the spinal adjustment alone. Leaving the adjustment (chiropractic) out of the treatment plan invites failure.

Does acupuncture have another name?

Yes. In fact, the word acupuncture is incorrect because it implies needles only. The proper wording is “Meridian Therapy,” or Ching Lo Chi Liao in Chinese. It was named “acupuncture” in the 16th century by Portuguese sailors who knew no better. The wrong name stuck.

In America, what kind of doctor should one go to for this type of health care?

Any doctor (chiropractor, medical or osteopath) who has had the proper training.

Any doctor who has not had the proper training is pretending to know something he/she does not, and by that definition is a quack. Just because a doctor happens to have a chiropractic, medical, or osteopathic degree does not mean he/she is qualified to do acupuncture. If he/she engages in practice, he/she is guilty of acupuncture malpractice. He/she must receive qualified training and pass exams to certify competence. This protects the public.

In acupuncture (Meridian Therapy) are there other significant factors besides skin point stimulation and vertebral adjusting?

Yes, there are four laws to obey for those who desire health and longevity: 1) proper nutrition, 2) adequate rest, 3) moderate exercise, 4) a positive mental attitude.

Has any research, other than empirical, been conducted?

Meridian Therapy is a natural healing based on knowledge of another biological principal new only to the western world. Soviet scientists Novinski and Vorobiev have proven the premise of ancient Chinese healing by localizing meridian points with a Wheatstone bridge, using an alternating current to prevent polarization. This was fed by a generator of sonic frequency and recorded on a cathode ray oscillograph. When the electrode touched an active acupuncture point the amplitude of the wave on the oscillograph diminished. Best results were derived from frequencies of a few kilohertz and voltage from several millivolts to 4 volts.

Research? The Russians have already done it.

The research needed concerns results in this country on the sick American. I’m doing that here in Winterset, Iowa. How? Our member doctors are sending in testimonials from their patients from all over this nation. We should welcome new knowledge as it is found… that’s what science is all about. Acupuncture won’t swallow us up… it’ll strengthen our medical professions.