The Chinese have practiced acupuncture for over 2500 years as a treatment for various numbers of illnesses. The theory of acupuncture is to treat diseases by activating different regions of the body using needles. Acupuncture remains somewhat of a mystery for Western medicine though Americans have generally accepted it over the last 4 decades. There have been countless tests to observe how acupuncture St Helens empirically works. The basis of acupuncture lies in the existence of a force or energy in the body, called chi, responsible for its growth and life. This energy circulates within the body similar to blood circulation and if this circulation is obstructed, disease then starts to manifest. Traditional Chinese medicine have discovered a dozen or so energy pathways called meridians forming networks around the body just like the arterial and venous systems in the body. These meridians are the conduits where chi travels around the body. They connect to thousands of acupuncture points on the skin dispersed all over the body on one end and to the major body organs on the other end. To diagnose a disease, the acupuncturist uses visual inspection of the patient, breathing auscultation, interviewing the patient regarding the patient’s breathing and general health condition, analyzing the patient’s tongue and even smelling of the patient’s breath and urine. This type of examination seems odd to Western medicine but this determines whether the patient’s energy flow is deficient or whether it is too much.
There are different kinds of acupuncture techniques. There is traditional acupuncture, electro acupuncture, and moxibustion, which is acupuncture combined with using an herb called moxa. New studies have shown the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating some types of cardiovascular disease. These studies have observed acupuncture’s ability to lower blood pressure and its usefulness in calming heart activity by releasing opioid peptides to calm an excited cardiovascular state. Electro acupuncture produces low frequency electric stimulation effective in stimulating the nerves responsible for cardiovascular reflexes. Stimulating the acupuncture site where the nerves are located helps the body produce acetylcholine. Acetylcholine helps set off a series of reactions in the brain at the hypothalamus, midbrain and medulla that help improves cardiac functions. Acupuncture has also been observed to enhance blood flow in the myocardium, which is good for patient suffering from ischemic heart disease and cardiac arrhythmias. Studies show that acupuncture and electro acupuncture can improve unhealthy cardiac conditions due to the stimulation of endorphins and enkephalins in the blood improving the balance of energy in the heart area. The enhancement of blood flow to the myocardium has proven acupuncture’s ability to dilate the blood vessels, which is beneficial to patient’s suffering from Raynaud’s syndrome. This disorder is distinguished by the tightening of the small blood arteries and the discoloration of body areas affected by this disease.