Acupuncture is a component of the health care system of China that can be traced back at least 3,500 years. The general theory of acupuncture is based on the premise that there are meridians of energy flow (Qi) through out the body that are essential for health. Disruptions in this energy flow are believed to be responsible for disease and pain. Acupuncture corrects these imbalances of energy flow at identifiable points, known as acupuncture points.
The practice of acupuncture to treat pathophysiological (disease) conditions in American medicine was rare until the visit of President Richard M. Nixon to China in 1972. Acupuncture was being talked about everywhere because one of Nixon’s press staff, James Reston, had an emergency appendectomy with post-operative acupuncture to address pain when he was in Beijing the summer before Nixon’s trip. Reston wrote an article on the experience for the New York Times. That was a big break for the field of oriental medicine. Since that time, there has been an explosion of interest in the United States and Europe in the application of the technique of acupuncture to Western medicine.
There are a variety of approaches to diagnosis and treat in acupuncture that incorporate traditions from China, Japan, Korea, and other countries. The most thoroughly studied mechanism of stimulation is acupuncture points.
Recognized and endorsed by both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institutes of Health, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine are effective in treating a wide range of illnesses and maladies.