What is Clinical Acupuncture
Clinical Acupuncture, innovated and practiced by Dr Anjali Sharma, is the advanced acupuncture system which blends the benefits of Medical Acupuncture developed by western medical practioners and the Traditional Chinese Acupuncture which is in practice for thousands of years. It includes both ‘With Needle Acupuncture’ and ‘Needleless Acupuncture’. Its advantages are :
- It is scientific in Biomedical understanding based on anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and pathology..
- It gives quick relief.
- It requires less time per session & fewer sessions.
- It retains the Holistic Health base of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture.
Under Aseptic Condition - Acupuncture treatment at Ethos is done strictly under complete aseptic conditions. International brand stainless steel, silver or gold needles are used which are never reused even on same patient. Treatment protocol at Ethos includes following:
- Holistic Diagnosis and Assessment – This includes collection of relevant information about sickness & its associated factors, clinical examination of patient and investigations. This is followed by diagnosis of the sickness, both clinical diagnosis and diagnosis of disorder on the basis of acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine.
- Treatment Plan – A suitable treatment plan is designed on the basis of diagnosis. This is explained to patient along with its benefits and precautions.
- Treatment sessions – Treatment sessions are then undertaken.
- Follow up – A regular assessment of patient’s health and effect of acupuncture continues. On the basis of response, decision is taken about number and frequency of further sessions.
What is Acupuncture
Acupuncture is the drugless treatment technique in which specific points (called trigger points / acu points) are stimulated to relieve pain or to treat various diseases / disorders. These acu points are situated on meridians along which Qi (Vital Energy) flows. Each point relates to specific body organ & function. Such stimulation results in free flow of vital energy which helps in better functioning of organs, treatment of disease and restoration of good health. Acupuncture is :
- Safe – Only sterile needles are used in acupuncture and are discarded after single use.
- Painless – Very fine needles are used in acupuncture which does not cause more than mosquito bite sensation.
- Effective – World Health Organization has accepted effectiveness of acupuncture in various diseases & disorders. It is in practice all over the world.
Types of acupuncture treatment are as follows:
- Body acupuncture
- Scalp acupuncture
- Face acupuncture
- Ear acupuncture
- Hand and foot acupuncture
Types of traditional acupuncture techniques are as follows:
- Needle acupuncture including filiform needle, three edged needle, plum blossom needle, press needle, intra dermal needle etc.
Modern techniques of Acupuncture
There are some modern techniques in Acupuncture which can be utilized in conditions in which Classical Acupuncture with needles can not be used. These are more suitable for children, for people who are averse to needles, at sites where needle acupuncture is better avoided etc. Some of the techniques are :
- Electro Acupuncture
- Laser Acupuncture
- TENS Acupuncture
- Ultrasonic Acupuncture
History of acupuncture
Acupuncture is said to have originated in China. It is claimed that acupuncture dates back as early as 1600 BC. Some believe that during that period it was seen during wars, soldiers who were wounded with arrows reported improvement in diseases which were difficult to treat by other methods. It is also claimed that tribals in India pierce some specific body points which are same as important acupuncture points. Acupuncture later spread from China to Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Europe etc where it developed in various forms. In 1970’s acupuncture started becoming known in USA. However in USA, the emphasis was more development of medical acupuncture which was less based on Traditional Chinese Theory of Acupuncture.
In 1997 National Institute of Health (NIH) issued a statement that there are sufficient evidences to support the effectiveness of acupuncture. In 2003 World Health Organization (WHO) published a report giving a list of diseases & ailments where acupuncture can be successfully used as effective therapy.
How acupuncture works in pain and diseases
Many physiological benefits are reported about acupuncture and its effectiveness in treatment of various diseases & disorders. Some are:
- Analgesic (Pain relieving) effect – Acupuncture relieves pain and is getting accepted worldwide as one of the best option in pain control. It increases the pain threshold which is the level at which pain is felt. Similar effect is seen in acupuncture anesthesia.
- Sedation (Tranquility) effect – Acupuncture results in calming down. There is decrease in delta & theta wave activity in brain as seen in EEG. This calming down effect helps in conditions like insomnia, anxiety, mental agitation, Parkinson’s disease etc It is observed that after acupuncture treatment, there is rise in dopamine content in brain.
- Homeostatic (Regulatory) effect – Acupuncture helps in normalization of internal environment in body. It helps in endocrine balance, sympathetic & parasympathetic balance of autonomic nervous system, cardiovascular & respiratory balance, metabolic balance, electrolyte balance etc. All this helps in bringing body functions to normal level.
- Immune enhancement – Acupuncture helps in increasing resistance to diseases. It is said to increase antibody level, white blood cell count and activation of reticulo endothelial system. All this helps in better immunity.
- Anti-inflammatory anti-allergic effect - Acupuncture reduces inflammation and has anti allergic effect. The release of interferons is said to be the basis such positive effect.
- Better motor activity – Acupuncture has pronounced effects in musculoskeletal conditions like paralysis. It increases motor activity by stimulation of anterior horn cells.
Theoretical basis of acupuncture
The Traditional Chinese Theory of Acupuncture is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. It believes human body is composed of vital energy system (Qi pronounced as Chi) which has two mutually dependent counterparts called Yin & Yang. This Qi flows in body in 14 meridians (or Channels) and nourishes & sustains the body, the body functions and the life. Health is a state of balance between Yin and Yang. In disease due to internal or external factors, there is disbalance between Yin and Yang. This results in obstruction, stagnation or depletion of Qi. This state of Qi results in disorder in organ function & disease. With acupuncture, some specific points on meridians (Called acupoints) are either stimulated or sedated to bring back the balance & harmony in Qi which results in better organ function and good health.
Scientific basis of acupuncture
Acupuncture has been subjected to extensive scientific research. Many studies have found that acupuncture treatment has significant benefit and effectiveness in treatment of pain and diseases. Many theories have been forwarded to explain the scientific basis of acupuncture. The two important ones are:
- Gate Control Theory of Pain
According to this theory, pain feeling is modified by interplay between excitatory and inhibitory pain pathways. Acupuncture helps by influencing these pathways.
- Neurohormonal Theory
According to this theory, pain perception is influenced by release of certain neuro hormones like endorphins & enkephalines. It is proposed that acupuncture causes release of these neuro hormones.
- Neurotransmitter Theory
According to this theory, acupuncture works by releasing certain neurotransmitters like serotonin or noradrenaline.
Information for Patients
- Keep the body parts clean for treatment.
- You must inform acupuncturist if you have any of the following conditions:
- Diabetes mellitus
- On medication for example anticoagulants like warfarin
- Hemophilia or other bleeding disorder
- Cardiac pacemaker or other metallic / electronic implants
- Tuberculosis or other active infection
- Avoid being too hungry, too thirsty or too tired before acupuncture treatment.
- Avoid very tight cloths & outfits.
- Do not change position or move during acupuncture. If you have to move, inform the therapist first.
- Remain mentally and physically relaxed but do not fall asleep during acupuncture treatment.
- Empty your bladder before acupuncture treatment.
- Do not touch or remove acupuncture needles or acupuncture equipment.
- There can be sensations like soreness, heaviness, fullness and / or warmth. These are normal in acupuncture treatment and go away on their own.
- Those on medication like for high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, asthma etc must note that as the treatment progresses, there will be lesser need of medicine. Therefore, medicine dosage must be readjusted in consultation with the physician.
Precautions in Acupuncture Treatment
There are conditions in which acupuncture is avoided or used with great caution. Some are:
- Cancer & malignant conditions. Acupuncture can be of help in palliation.
- Mechanical obstruction like twisted loop of intestine or severed tendon.
- Surgical cases like fractured bone, dislocated joint, congenital defect etc.
- Fulminating acute infections. In resistant chronic infections, acupuncture can be used as support therapy.
- Pregnancy especially in first three and last three months.
- Hemorrhagic or bleeding disorders. Caution must be observed or laser acupuncture may be used.
- Certain states like very old, debilitated or dying patients.
- Excessive emotions and after sexual intercourse.
- Conditions like after hot bath, under alcohol influence, after excessive sweating.
- Patients with uncontrolled movements.
What diseases are treated by Acupuncture
World Health Organization WHO has accepted effectiveness of acupuncture in various diseases & disorders. Some of the conditions which acupuncture treats are as follows.
Paralysis, Neuralgia, Migraine & other Headaches, Epilepsy, Coma, Parkinson’s Disease.
Cervical Spondylosis, Backache, Disc Prolapse, Frozen Shoulder, Sciatica, Arthritis, Rheumatism, Bursitis, Tendonitis, Osteophytes.
Cough & Cold, Asthma, Bronchitis, Sarcoidosis, Emphysema, Pleurisy.
Gastritis, Acidity, Flatulence,
Constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Indigestion, Piles, Ulcerative Colitis, Anorexia.
Dysmenorrhea, Irregular Menses, Menopausal syndrome, Fibroids, Leucorrhoea, PMS.
Infertility, Habitual Abortion, Nausea & other pregnancy related ailments, Prolapse.
Angina, Hypertension, Cardiomyopathy, Vasculitis, Thrombosis, Varicose Veins.
Kidney & Urinary Complaints
Stones, Enlarged Prostate, Cystitis, Involuntary Urination, Renal Failure, Nephritis.
Skin & Hair Complaints
Eczema, Psoriasis, Lichen Planus, Alopecia (Baldness), Urticaria, Dermatitis.
Impotence, Vaginismus, Premature Ejaculation, Painful Coition.
Eye & ENT Complaints
Glaucoma, Optic atrophy, Retinitis Pigmentosa, Sinusitis, Adenoids, Meniere’s Disease, Tinnitus, Vertigo, Hearing loss, Polyps, Vocal Cord Nodules, Voice loss, Tonsillitis
Hypothyroidism, Poor Growth, Hyperthyroidism, Diabetes Mellitus, Sex & other hormonal Complaints.
Addictions, Autism, OCD, Insomnia, Mania, Depression, Anxiety, Behavior disorders, Schizophrenia, ADHD.
Allergies, Auto Immune disorders, Chronic Poisoning & Toxicity, Injuries, Sports Injuries, Gym Trauma, Obesity.
Family history of diseases like Diabetes Mellitus, Asthma, Hypertension, Psychiatric disorders, Autoimmune disorders etc.