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Acupuncture
"I am passionate about helping others reach their health goals. You too can enjoy life to the fullest and share the same success as many of my patients." Steve Vetricek, Registered Practical Nurse, Acupuncturist
History and Information
Acupuncture is a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that originated in China over 5,000 years ago. It is based on the belief that living beings have a "vital life force" called "Qi", that circulates through invisible electro-magnetic lines on the body, known as meridians. These meridians have been "mapped out" for thousands of years in China. Essentially, these meridians are "rivers of Qi flow" where the Qi flows along your body and is associated with each one of your vital organs. According to TCM theory, Qi forms at conception and is maintained and re-inforced throughout our life by the intake of food, water and air. An imbalance or blockage in the flow of Qi throughout a meridian is how the disease process begins. Over a period of time, a deficiency in one meridian will cause imbalances/excesses in other meridians and therefore continued degeneration of the human organism ensues.  
yin-yang acupuncture
Another concept within TCM is the Yin and Yang theory. Everything in nature is classified as being either Yin (cold, female, dark, liver meridian, etc) or Yang (hot, male, light, gallbladder meridian, etc). In fact, they are complementary opposites of one another. It is important to understand that the meridians are categorized into being either Yin or Yang. Under healthy circumstances, the body maintains a state of balance between Yin and Yang when Qi is moving smoothly through the meridians.

If there is an imbalance in Yin and Yang or if the movement of Qi is deficient, blocked, moving in the wrong direction, or in excess, the body may already be in a diseased state or more susceptible to illness in the future. In traditional approaches, acupuncture is used to stimulate points either along meridians or points that lie outside these pathways that may connect two meridians, to correct the imbalance and restore the flow of Qi. There are over 1,000 acupuncture points on the body.
Western medicine explains it a different way. Instead of “rivers of Qi flow", there are hormones and other bio-chemicals that compose the internal regulating system, that are either stimulated or inhibited by the hypothalamus.
Acupuncture is excellent for pain relief as it helps to increase the level of beta endorphins which lowers pain levels and gives oneself a sense of happiness and euphoria. (They’re the same hormones responsible for the so-called "runner’s high.")

       QI              versus              ENERGY
 
aka, "Ki,Chi,Lifeforce"         aka, "Power, Juice..."
Defies the law of physics     Defined by law of physics
No unit of measurement       Has units of measurement
Generated by what is alive   Not generated, only converted
Various functions in body     Exists in all forms in body
Ties together TCM philosophy  Ties together Newtonian
                                                     physics
Air + Food = QI                          e = mc2

Therefore QI is NOT ENERGY!!!!

In 1997, acupuncture needles were re-classified from "experimental" to "medical device" by Health Canada.
Summary
Many individuals have insurance coverage for acupuncture treatments. Check with your insurance company to find out more about your coverage.


References:

Zumr, Z. (2005). Introduction to Oriental Medicine through Charts and Graphs - The Missing Charts Manual (2nd Edition). Portland, OR. USA. Oregon Lithoprint.

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