Some years ago, the westerners laughed at India at our addiction to Yoga. “What madness?” they used to say. But currently, they have become crazy over it having witnessed its benefits as far as the physical exercises are concerned. A number of practitioners have certified that they are now leading an absolutely healthy life over all.

Same way about Acupuncture. Chinese have been practicing it for some 2000 years. We Indians didn’t go an anywhere near it for ages. But in recent years we too have accepted it as an effective treatment for several ailments.
How does acupuncture work?
The classical Chinese explanation is that channels of energy run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that checks the smooth flow.
The meridians can be made operational by needling the acupuncture points; the acupuncture needles [ultra-thin, sterile needles] unblock the obstructions at the dams and reestablish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body's internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and energy production activities, and in the circulation of their energy through the meridians.
The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the graph of pain or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body's own internal regulating system.
The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body's natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.

WHO’s recommendations
The world health organization (WHO) has acknowledged the merit of acupuncture treatment and has recommended it for the following ailments:
Respiratory Diseases
• Acute sinusitis
• Acute rhinitis
• Common cold
• Acute tonsillitis
Bronchopulmonary Diseases
• Acute bronchitis
• Bronchial asthma
Eye Disorders
• Acute conjunctivitis
• Cataract (without complications)
• Myopia
• Central retinitis
Disorders of the Mouth Cavity
• Toothache
• Pain after tooth extraction
• Gingivitis
• Pharyngitis
Acupuncture is a kind of miracle producer as well in that, it helps solve the infertility problem especially if it is due to spasmed tubes. In addition to acupuncture treatment, some herbal medicines may have to be taken. Many women declared sterile have conceived after a few acupuncture sessions.

Another great boon is at child birth. There is something known as electro-acupuncture therapy. This is used to lessen the labour pains during delivery and quick recovery from the stress of giving birth. Pregnant mothers could go home earlier than usual along with the baby if this process is adopted.

Acupuncture is not a common man’s self help medicine. You have to go to an expert who knows where to insert the pins. Does it pain when pins are inserted? No, not much; some people have not experienced any pain at all; some have said, “It is of the same magnitude as you would feel when a syringe is pricked at your arm by a nurse.

Where available

As I have said earlier, acupuncture has become a modern concept and technology. So much so, many eminent hospitals have an “Acupuncture wing” in their premises. There are exclusive Clinics and Hospitals also in all major cities in India. Chennai alone has around 15 in various parts of he city.

Cost of treatment

Don’t be surprised. Generally speaking, the cost would be between Rs.100 and 250. Not very expensive, is it? For more serious ailment, the cost may be a little higher. An allopathic treatment would cost you much more even for normal cold. So, don’t condemn it and do give it a try. It is absolutely legal and safe since WHO have approved it.

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