Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and has been practiced in the East for thousands of years. Acupuncture is considered to be part of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). In the philosophy of TCM, health is achieved when the body is in a balanced state. Acupuncture promotes natural healing by maintaining the flow of chi (pronounced chee), the body’s vital energy.
The most common form of acupuncture involves penetrating the body with fine needles at key points along energy channels, called “meridians.” The 14 major meridians are believed to be linked to organs and body systems, which transfer the flow of chi. Acupuncture influences the flow of chi and therefore good health through the use of solid, metallic filaments manipulated by hand or with electrical stimulation.
The Intention of Acupuncture
- Relief from pain
- Influence on the body’s natural healing ability
- Balance and integration of body functions and systems
- Research is emerging on the benefits and outcomes of acupuncture use.
- The FDA regulates the manufacturing of filaments used by licensed acupuncture practitioners.
- National acupuncture organizations provide credentials to practitioners of acupuncture.
- Acupuncture is most commonly an out-of-pocket health care expense. Check your individual coverage plan for reimbursement potential.
Talk openly to your healthcare provider about your desire to receive and participate in acupuncture.
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Irv Marcus is a health educator and acupuncturist trained in TCM. He uses innovative, evidence-based programming to promote health awareness and positive lifestyle change.
Degree: Master of Science, Meiji College of Oriental Medicine, San Francisco, CA
Irv is a nationally board-certified acupuncturist with a Diplomate of Acupuncture (NCCAOM) with 21 years of experience.