In 1978, AB 1291 (Torres) essentially established acupuncturists as “primary health care providers” which gave the right to diagnose, and to treat diseases in California. Acupuncture has become one of the most popular “alternative” health care systems in the United States.
Ancient Chinese had a great interest in studying the relationship between nature and the human body. Over thousands of years of observation and exploration, the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has developed into a comprehensive natural healing practice that preserves health, and prevents illness. Acupuncture is a commonly used treatment technique as part of TCM.
The concept of Yin-Yang is the most important theory of TCM, which views things in relation to its whole based on two components “Yin” and “Yang." The environment inside of the human body should be harmonized by balancing the two opposing forces, “Yin” and “Yang” just like it happens in nature. Yin illustrates the cold, slow, or passive principle, while yang illustrates the hot, excited, or active principle. Other metaphors or characters may be used, such as male and female, sun and moon, water and fire. In TCM, health is achieved by maintaining the body in a “balanced state." Another important insight used in TCM diagnosis is finding of the “Qi” flow in the human body. Base on the belief, every living being has Qi that is known as an unseen vital energy flow along the invisible pathways called meridians. TCM identifies 12 “regular” and 8 “extraordinary” meridians as main energy channels. This complicated “web like interconnecting matrix," also can be pictured as a freeway system in our body. There are a number of reasons that cause a blockage in these pathways such as injuries, weather, emotions, or even diet. After all, the imbalance of yin-yang or the interruptions to the Qi flow are believed to be responsible for diseases. Along these pathways, there are about 400 acupuncture points to be connected. Acupuncture technique requires practitioner penetrating the skin with thin needles at specific acupuncture points at specific depths, and angles. This procedure has presented great results in balancing the yin-yang and unblocking the channels.
According to modern scientific studies, by stimulating acupuncture points, the electrical currents may influence a change in our bodies that can begin the healing process. Furthermore, it may release the neurotransmitters, substances that transmit nerve impulses to the brain which activate our body’s own pain reduction system. The release of endorphins, serotonin, nor epinephrine, or gamma-amino butyric acid relieves pain.
Many studies show a wide range of conditions benefited from the acupuncture treatments include but not limited to: allergies/asthma, sinusitis, fatigue, anxiety/depression, arthritis, back pain, tendonitis, fibromyalgia, common cold, headache/migraine, immune system deficiency, menopausal discomfort, pre-menstrual syndrome, and sciatica, side effects of chemotherapy, stroke rehabilitation, drug/alcohol/smoking addiction, infertility, and weight loss.