Acupuncture is a made-up word! You might be surprised to learn that there is no such word in Chinese. Why? Because traditional Chinese people didn’t speak English, they spoke Chinese 🙂 Since most of us don’t speak Chinese, someone had to make a translation into a word we would feel more comfortable with. And like most terms in Western Medicine, the word acupuncture was made-up from multiple Latin words. The word “acus” means needle, and of course, “puncture” means to puncture the skin. The Chinese term that was originally used would literally be translated as “needle & fire”. But since the idea that conveys is not so appealing, westerners have settled on the word acupuncture.
Unfortunately, this word is exclusively focused on the aspect of puncturing with a needle and thus leaves out a significant piece of the original practice, namely the “fire” part. Now the word “fire” might sound scary, but fear not, this really has more to do with warming the “acupuncture” points through various methods than a direct application of fire to your body. Warming therapy was traditionally accomplished by holding smoldering herbal “coals” over the area that one wanted to warm. This highly effective method of stimulating blood flow as well as the body’s flow of bio-electricity is still in use today in some instances.
But thanks to the miracle of modern technology there are now other ways to help achieve these same objectives of reducing pain and restoring function. The use of lasers to stimulate acupuncture points has been used in clinical practice for some years now and has been demonstrated to be quite effective for some conditions. Similarly, the use of nearly imperceptible electrical stimuli have been used in some form or another in China since the 1950’s. Electro-acupuncture is very commonly used these days and sophisticated micro-processor devices can be very effective at relieving pain and helping to bring the body back to a “fully charged” condition. This form of therapy truly deserves to be described as “energy medicine”
Your circumstances will determine which approach is best for you. To learn more about how these techniques can help you please contact our office to schedule a consultation.